A tiny British Columbia-based food company is developing a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk for baby formula.
Cow’s milk is the only protein source for babies, but Else Nutrition wants to change that with its new product.
The TSX Venture exchange listed company with the appropriate symbol BABY is staking a claim on the worldwide $83 billion baby food market.
The alternative milk product meets the global nutrition standards for baby food with a number of claimed benefits from being free of hormones, gluten, antibiotics, GMOs, corn syrup, chemicals and of course, it is organic.
Except for natural carbohydrates there are no additives.
The milk substitute is made from almonds and buckwheat. The product was invented by an Israeli whose child was lactose intolerant.
Else says 90 per cent of baby formula is cow-milk based with the rest being soymilk based.
United States studies show 50 per cent of babies are allergic or intolerant to cow’s milk with 50 per cent of babies allergic or intolerant to soymilk. That leaves a possible large niche to fill for Else.
The milk alternative is supposed to taste good. That is crucial. Babies not liking a certain taste will never eat that food.
A variety of milk substitutes — coconut milk, almond milk, soymilk, rice milk and hemp milk — have been developed, but little commercial product development has occurred.
The Else baby formula is tackling a giant market where other large companies with deep pockets can afford the marketing campaigns required to launch a new product and get it into consumer hands.
The company announced in October that it has successfully scaled up manufacturing at a Danish facility.
The Israeli team that invented and initially developed the award-winning baby formula is still with Else, working towards building a fortune in the baby formula market.
Else is a small company with $6.5 million cash from a recent share offering to continue product development and marketing
Sales for the first six months this year were just over $32,000, showing the business has a long road ahead before turning a profit.
The product became Canadian when ASB Capital acquired it last year and listed on the Venture exchange, giving Else access to a source of funds through sale of shares.
The outstanding share count is at 67.1 million with market value of $24.2 million at the recent 36 cent share value.
While the Else story is interesting, odds are the company will be acquired by someone with deep pockets before ever achieving profitability.
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Ron Walter can be reached at email@example.com
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