11 Best Vegan Stocks: Invest in Plant-Based Food and Alternative Protein

Plant-based alternatives have exploded over the past few years. Whether you are vegan or just want to invest in the trend, here are the stocks of the companies that make alternative proteins, milks, and vegan foods.

Ben Carson   Updated January 18th, 2022

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Why invest in vegan or plant-based stocks?

Vegan food has become mainstream. Consumers are adopting vegan diets because they think they have health benefits, for environmental reasons, or to support animal rights. Although only about 3% of Americans are vegan, plant-based alternatives are gaining traction among the general omnivore population. According to the Good Food Institute, plant-based foods reached $7 billion in U.S. sales in 2020, up 27% year-over-year.

The meat market alone is big enough for disruption. According to Fitch Solutions, the global meat category is worth $1.4 trillion, and the U.S. meat market is worth $240 billion. Although alternative meats cost more today, the price premium could decrease if plant-based manufacturers get larger and Covid-related supply chain disruptions ease.

And plant-based alternatives are not limited to meat. There are opportunities in plant-based milks, vegan cheeses, chicken, and even fish.

What are the best vegan companies to invest in?

The best-known vegan stocks are Beyond Meat (BYND) and Oatly (OTLY), but there are many smaller, early-stage companies, too. The IPO of Impossible Foods, a leading vegan burger maker, may come in 2022. You can also invest in SPACs that are targeting plant-based alternatives, such as the Natural Order Acquisition Corp (NOACU), though we don’t yet know what they will buy.

Vegan stock list

  • Beyond Meat (BYND)
  • Oatly (OTLY)
  • Tattooed Chef (TTCF)
  • Laird Superfood Inc (LSF)
  • The Very Good Food Company (VGCF)
  • Meatech 3D Limited (MITC)
  • Agronomics Ltd (AGNMF)
  • Else Nutrition (BABYF)
  • Burcon Nutrascience (BRCN)
  • Mission Produce Inc (AVO)
  • Calavo Growers (CVGW)

It is true that vegan stocks did not do well over the past year, many dropping over 50% on concerns about high valuations and competition from established food giants like Nestle (NSRGY). But you can decide if prices are now low enough to invest.

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Read more about each company:

1. Beyond Meat (BYND)

  • Market capitalization: $4.1 billion
  • 1-year return: -55%

The market leader in plant-based meats, Los Angeles-based BYND makes vegan burger meat, sausages, beef, and meatballs. Its brand awareness exceeded 60% in October 2021, and Beyond Meat products are now sold in around 128,000 worldwide locations, including 34,000 U.S. retail stores and 36,000 food service outlets. In October, BYND released the long-awaited plant-based chicken tenders, and Beyond Fried Chicken has just launched at KFC. Dunkin is serving the Beyond breakfast sandwich.

Still, BYND stock lost over 50% of its values over the past year. Investors worry that the company is losing share to competition like Impossible Foods, and revenue growth is slowing down. Revenue for the first nine months of 2021 grew 19% year-on-year to $364 million, and EBITDA was negative $50 million. Could this be a buying opportunity?

2. Oatly (OTLY)

  • Market capitalization: $4.4 billion
  • 1-year return: -65%

Malmo, Sweden-based Oatly is the world’s largest oat milk company, making oat milk alternatives to dairy products like milks, ice cream, yogurt, cooking cream, spreads, and drinks. The brand is now available in over 20 countries, 74,000 retail locations, and 72,000 food service locations. The company reported $457 million in sales for the first nine months of 2021, a drop in the bucket in what Euromonitor estimates could be a $600 billion market. But the company still has a long way to go until profitability.

Just like BYND, Oatly’s stock did not do well over the past year. Investors worry about competition, such as Nestle’s pea milk, and high valuation.

3. Tattooed Chef Inc (TTCF)

  • Market capitalization: $1.2 billion
  • 1-year return: -42%

Tattooed Chef makes plant-based frozen meals like ready-to-cook bowls, zucchini spirals, riced cauliflower, acai bowls, and cauliflower pizza crusts. The meals are sold in the frozen aisles of over 13,000 stores across the U.S., including Publix, Target, and Whole Foods. Tattooed Chef also makes private label products for select retailers.

The company reported $109 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2021, a 49% year-on-year increase. However, the company is focused on growing its brand and sales, and investments in growth are hurting profitability. TTCF went public in November 2020 and is listed on the Nasdaq.

4.  Laird Superfood Inc (LSF)

  • Market capitalization: $85 million
  • 1-year return: -79%

Laird makes plant-based creamers, coffees, milks, baking mixes, snacks, and more. Founded in 2015 by a surfing champion, Laird boasts a recurring revenue model and a high percentage of online sales. The company has a line of 69 products, though 60% of sales come from coconut and oat-derived creamers. Laird reported $27 million in sales for the first nine months of 2021, an increase of almost 50% year-over-year.

5. The Very Good Food Company (VGCF)

  • Market capitalization: 97 million CAD
  • 1-year return: -86%

The Very Good Food Company (VGCF) is an emerging plant-based food technology company. It designs, makes, and sells foods like bean-based burgers, sausages, hot dogs, and vegan cheeses. So far, VGCF has 25 products in the market, sold at over 3,100 distribution points. Brands include The Very Good Butchers and The Very Good Cheese Co. VGCF is still an emerging company, though, with only $8 million of sales for the nine months of 2021.

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6. Meatech 3D Limited (MITC)

  • Market capitalization: $84 million
  • 1-year return: -38%

Meatech is a Nasdaq-listed technology company developing 3D printed meat at its facilities in Israel and Belgium. Although it’s not a vegan stock, it should satisfy those who avoid meat because of animal rights or environmental concerns. Meatech-developed meat will be grown without carbon emissions or animal slaughter.

Sounds crazy? Meatech has already grown chicken cells and printed a piece of steak. Meatech meat is real meat too, without any pea, bean, or soy components. Meatech was started in 2019 and doesn’t yet generate revenue, so you are betting that its meat printing technology will be cost-effective and gain adoption.

7. Agronomics Ltd (AGNMF)

  • Market capitalization: 189 million GBP
  • 1-year return: 47%

Agronomics is a London, U.K.-based holding company with a portfolio of venture stage startups growing cell-based protein. For example, after a sample of tissue is taken from a cow, cells in the tissue are immortalized and grow indefinitely. As a result, a large amount of meat can be obtained from a small piece of tissue.

Portfolio investments include Meatable, which grows cell-based pork and beef; BlueNalu, which grows seafood; and VitroLabs, a maker of cultivated leather. Although this sounds super-interesting, Agronomics is a risky stock because its companies don’t yet generate revenue and the holdings aren’t very transparent.

8. Else Nutrition (BABYF)

  • Market capitalization: 117 million CAD
  • 1-year return: -68%

Else Nutrition makes plant-based baby formula currently sold at 1,200 locations and online. Although the company’s stock did not do well last year (like the other plant-based stocks), the market opportunity appears big. Else Nutrition is going after the $80 billion cow-milk infant formula market with its soy-free alternative.

Else’s baby formula – made from almonds, buckwheat, and tapioca – is 100% organic, globally patented, vegan, and gluten-free. Potential aside, Else Nutrition is an early-stage opportunity: the company brought in 3 million CAD in revenue for the first nine months of 2021.

9. Burcon Nutrascience (BRCN)

  • Market capitalization: 154 million CAD
  • 1-year return: -68%

Burcon Nutrascience (BRCN) is a Canadian research and development company working on plant-based proteins. Their portfolio includes proteins made from pea, canola, soy, hemp, sunflower seed, and more.

Instead of making products and selling them to consumers, BRCN patents its intellectual property and sells patented ingredients to consumer packaged goods manufacturers. The company has 285 issued patents and over 250 patent applications. BRCN reported 49.6 million CAD in royalty revenues for the nine months ending September 30, 2021.

10. Mission Produce (AVO)

  • Market capitalization: $979 million
  • 1-year return: -16%

Avocados are a staple of the millennial diet, and Mission Produce is the global leader in the avocado business. For over 35 years, Mission Produce has been sourcing, producing, and distributing fresh avocados to customers in over 25 countries. The company owns over 10,000 acres of land and runs facilities in locations like California, Mexico, and Peru.

Although Mission Produce isn’t as exciting as a tech company growing meat from cells, growing avocados is a relatively large and profitable business. In 2021, Mission Produce reported $892 million in sales and $85 million in EBITDA. And sales over the past decade grew 9% annually.

11. Calavo Growers (CVGW)

  • Market capitalization: $761 million
  • 1-year return: -41%

A more diversified avocado business than Mission Produce, Calavo Growers also sells fresh-cut fruit and vegetables and guacamole. U.S. avocado consumption grew 8% annually over the past ten years, and Calavo Growers has benefited from the trend. In spite of Covid, the company reported over $1 billion in 2021 sales.

🔔 Looking for other plant-based investment ideas? Check out this list of vegan ETFs or the top vertical farming stocks.

NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as investment advice.

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