For 18 years, I didn't eat meat. Neither hamburger, nor hot dog, nor single strip of bacon. My family were vegetarians, so I never felt like I was missing out on anything. We were able to eat food that was not only good for us, but also tasted good.
That said, some vegetarian options were duds. Veggie burgers tasted like cardboard, tofu was a tasteless block, and I was too afraid of what Tofurky was made of to ever give it a try.
Today, though, it's a whole new ballgame. There's a new wave of plant-based food options. Anyone who's followed the markets even casually knows the Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) story. Its plant-based burgers have the texture and consistency of a regular burger. Sure, you can taste the difference between the two, but it's a delicious difference.
Now, there's no question the meat industry is still big business. From 2019 to 2020, meat sales climbed 19.2% to reach a record-high $82.5 billion - many multiples of Beyond Meat's own record-high revenue of $406 million.
But when you drill down into what's hidden in those David-and-Goliath numbers, you see that growth in plant-based foods absolutely swamped the gains that traditional meat saw last year... and the year before that... and the year before that:
- $4.5 billion in 2018
- $5 billion in 2019
- $7 billion in 2020
Fully 18% of American households bought plant-based foods in 2020, up from 14% in 2019. Again, that's just in the United States. In 2020, consulting firm Polaris Market Research projected the global plant-based meat market would reach $35.4 billion by 2027.
Growth like this is proof positive we're in "ground floor" territory here; a new, lucrative investment trend is shaping up before our very eyes.
This is the time for investors to grab the bull - or plant protein, if you like - by the horns. And I've got what I think is the perfect penny stock in mind...
I might be singing a different tune if this were mid-2019, but frankly, as much as I like its burgers, Beyond Meat isn't the best play here right now. It has name recognition going for it, but I'm turned off by the $120 price tag... and the consensus price target of $121.36 by 2022.
Would you risk $120 for a crack at two bucks? Me, neither.
No, a ground-floor situation calls for a real ground-floor stock - a company with serious upside potential ahead.
Right now, I'm working with a plant-based food company that could rival Beyond Meat, but it's trading for just $1. Here's what you need to know...
This Small Company Is Perfectly Positioned Now
Rockshield Capital Corp., an investment firm focused on high-growth companies in their early stages, has made a huge splash in the plant-based food market.
If you've been with me for a while, you'll probably notice the business case for owning a company like this isn't all that different from the companies I usually research for National Institute for Cannabis Investors subscribers. (You can learn about everything you get alongside that investing research right here). It has a dynamite leadership team and an extremely favorable position in the market, primed for success.
What can I say? It's the "power of the plant."
On Sept. 2, it became the Eat Well Investment Group Inc. (OTC: EWGFF) after strategic acquisitions in the plant-based food space, and there are several things that make Eat Well stand out right away from the competition.
The first is the team.
It includes much of the team that managed the development of Cheetos. Around 5 million Americans consumed eight or more bags of Cheetos in 2020. In other words, the team knows how to make a product that people love, and it is bringing that knowledge and expertise to Eat Well.
A part of the team also includes Belle Pulses, which has been family-run for over 40 years. It processes dried peas, lentils, fava beans, and chickpeas. These products are essential for manufacturing Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat foods.
Another strategic advantage for Eat Well is vertical integration. My extensive experience in the cannabis sector has taught me a lot, but especially that not having vertical integration can be a significant pain point. It's tough to overstate that.
While many other plant-based food companies rely on outsourcing production and acquiring supplies, Eat Well Group has combined a consumer packaged goods (CPG) products company, a food science business, and a processor of pulse crops.
To borrow again from the cannabis business, this allows Eat Well to operate on a true "seed to market" basis. That's an optimal situation because the company can slash risk, assure quality control, and - critically important since the pandemic gummed up supply chains upside - it can squash supply-chain problems. And Eat Well can do all that much more easily than its sector-mates.
As far as products, well... Remember when I said the team at Eat Well was also the team that worked on the launch of Cheetos? It's currently working on a plant-based "Cheeto-style" snack. The team expects it to launch in 287 stores by Oct. 1, and early indications suggest that it could generate tens of millions of dollars in the first year.
Dr. Eugenio Bortone, the central figure at Eat Well's science division, hit the nail on the head when he said, "With a global shift to 'Better For You' (BFY) foods, Eat Well is simply providing consumers what they want most: quality, highly affordable, sensory experience, health and nutrition, and clean and simple products; the company is in a perfect position to capitalize on this."
The company also has a stacked pipeline of strategic acquisition targets, which will help get even more products out to the market and turn Eat Well into a household name for plant-based options. You can see why I'm so excited to work with this company.
The stock has been fantastic. Earlier this year, investors were able to buy shares at $0.12, making a year-to-date profit of about 733%. Nice profits, but don't worry: You haven't missed the boat.
This company is already positioned to generate $60 million in revenue in 2021, and I expect it to become a household name in plant-based foods; I expect continually increasing revenue year over year. I think this is going to make the company and its shareholders a ton of money along the way.
Here's How to Play It
There are a couple of different ways to play the stock, too. The company is listed on Toronto's Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker EWG and currently trades for C$1.15 ($0.991). Plenty of big American discount brokerages will let you buy and sell Canadian stocks, but not all of them will. Then there are potentially hefty commissions and fees to deal with.
Fortunately, there's a much better way to play this penny stock powerhouse.
See, the stock just began trading over the counter (OTC) here in the United States, where it trades for just $0.77. Any investor can find it under Eat Well Investment Group Inc. (OTC: EWGFF), and any investor who can buy and sell OTC should have no problem with it.
You'll only hear about this small stock here, I'm betting. Stocks like this are practically blacklisted; one Wall Street firm actually prohibits its brokers from offering stocks in this rare class of companies to customers. And yet, they're generating some of the markets' most outstanding gains this year. Exceptional performers in this space have seen peak returns like 2,953%... 4,801%... 12,754%... even 22,207% in less than a year. My friend Shah Gilani has more for you on this untapped corner of the market.