Consumer Discretionary

Wide Open Agriculture launches WA plant-based protein plant

Fri 24 Jun 22, 11:08am (AEST)
The sun rises over a farmer's crop
Source: Unsplash - Jake Gard

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Key Points

  • Wide Open Agriculture to make base protein product for sales into global market
  • Called ‘Buntine Protein’, the company has locked in up to 60% of sales with Monde Nissin
  • Strong government support sees WA Agriculture minister Alannah MacTiernan open the facility

Wide Open Agriculture (ASX:WOA) is up 3% in early trades today on the launch of its pilot protein manufacturing facility in Western Australia.

The plant-based foods and drinks player will make the protein feedstock product using lupins, a member of the pea family.

The company notes WA is responsible for up to 80% of global production of the Australian Sweet Lupin. 

Sweet, sweet lupins 

Company management notes today’s news comes on the back of substantial R&D work. 

“Previous barriers for lupin to be used relate to its taste, texture and its capacity for gelling and thickening,” Wide Open Agriculture managing director Dr. Ben Cole said. 

“Our technology unfolds the constituent protein in lupin to increase its ability to blend and mix with other food ingredients.” 

Lupin has typically been used as animal feed in the past, as well as a soil-fixing crop. 

The quarterly growth in Wide Open Agriculture's revenue over the last year
The quarterly growth in Wide Open Agriculture's revenue over the last year

Pilot scale at first 

Currently at pilot-scale, the company notes its plans to scale up the facility.

Philippine multinational Monde Nissin is to offtake up to 60% of the company’s patent Buntine Protein manufactured at the facility. 

The first shipment is set to be sent off before next month. 

Wide Open Agriculture to use in own brand 

The company’s food brand, Dirty Clean Food, will use WA-made Buntine Protein in its own high protein oat milk and snacks products later this year. 

Back in May, the company announced it had minted a deal to distribute its Dirty Clean oat milk product in Taiwan. 

Wide Open expects the deal to reflect A$650,000 of annual sales. 

Bloomberg forecasts the global protein market could be 7.7% plant-based materials by 2030. 

Banking on increased plant-based demand

Despite being hit by recent sell-offs, Wide Open Agriculture continues to perform strongly. 

In its most recent quarterly report, the company posted third quarter revenue of $2.6m (up 129% year-on-year) and cash in bank of $22.9m. 

Opex spend during the quarter sat at $2.7m.

The shape of Wide Open's three month charts compared to the consumer staples index
The shape of Wide Open's three month charts compared to the consumer staples index

 

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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Journalist

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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