Global Shift Towards Functional Foods Could Create Massive $275 Billion Opportunity

In an effort to address health concerns, boost immune systems, increase productivity, and even focus, millions of people are turning to superfoods and functional mushrooms. Along the way, it’s creating a massive market opportunity for companies such as Rritual Superfoods Inc. (CSE:RSF), Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. (TSXV: BABY)(OTCQX: BABYF)(FSE:0YL), Burcon NutraScience Corp. (TSX:BU)(OTC:BUROF), Very Good Food Company Inc. (CSE:VERY)(OTC:VRYYF), and United Natural Foods Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI).

The functional food market could be worth $275.77 billion by 2025, expanding at a whopping 7.9% annually, says Global View Research. Functional mushroom demand is growing exponentially, forecast to rise from about $23 billion to about $34 billion in the next four years. In addition, data from Food Navigator shows an 800% demand increase for key mushroom varieties, with demand currently outstripping supply.

Rritual Superfoods Inc. (CSE:RSF) to Launch Product Line in Rite Aid Stores Nationwide

Rritual Superfoods Inc. just announced the Company’s premium brand of functional superfoods will launch in Rite Aid stores throughout the USA in Q2 and Q3.

“This first national retail rollout is a major achievement for the Rritual brand. It validates both supply and demand for the category, specifically, our product quality and the rapidly growing interest of consumers in functional superfoods,” said Mr. David Kerbel, Rritual Superfoods CEO. “We are striving to not only lead this emerging category, but to define it. A significant part of achieving that goal is accomplished through gaining the trust and support of consumers through top tier retailers such as Rite Aid.”

Rritual has scaled its production to meet growing demand, with a strategic sales and marketing focus aimed at major retailers across the USA in 2021. The Rite Aid rollout will be phased toward reaching 1000 retail stores, in addition to Rite Aid’s ecommerce platform. Rritual’s retail strategy is disruptive, the Company is aiming at national retailers rather than regional rollouts in order to gain market share and category defining leadership.

Rite Aid will carry Rritual’s full product line, including:

- Chaga IMMUNE with adaptogens Eleuthero Root and Astragalus to support healthy immune function and well-being all year round.

- Lion's Mane FOCUS with adaptogens Rhodiola Rosea Root and Bacopa to support brain health and cognitive function.

- Reishi RELAX with adaptogen Ashwagandha and cacao to help the body adapt to stress.

Rritual product offerings are all USDA-certified organic and are a caffeine-free option that can be mixed with other beverages or enjoyed by itself. Rritual's proprietary Immune-Synergy Six Mushroom Blend is the only functional health product on the market that contains a daily prebiotic blend which nourishes a healthy gut microbiome and facilitates balanced digestive function.

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Else Nutrition Holdings Inc., the Plant-Based baby, toddler and children nutrition company announced that it has listed its Plant-Based Complete Nutrition for toddlers, with United Natural Foods (NYSE:UNFI), as a core partner for Grocery distribution across the United States.  "As a strategic partner for growth, UNFI is fundamental," said Else Nutrition's CEO and Co-Founder, Hamutal Yitzhak. "Their deep roots in the natural food ecosystem, coupled with exceptional relationships with retail accounts of all sizes and types, positions us for exponential reach and accessibility. This is another pivotal moment for the brand, as many retailers have been awaiting this UNFI listing. We're more than ready for this next stage, and the major growth it is expected to generate," she added. 

Burcon NutraScience Corp., a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins, reported results for the fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2020. “We are very pleased with all that we accomplished during our 2021 fiscal third quarter and for the year-to-date.  Our fiscal third quarter was marked by continued milestone execution and a further strengthening of Burcon’s financial position,” said Johann F. Tergesen, Burcon’s president and chief executive officer, “Our joint venture company, Merit Functional Foods, successfully completed the construction of Phase 1 of its 94,000 square foot, state-of-the-art production facility dedicated to the production, under license, of Burcon’s novel pea and canola protein ingredients as well as Burcon’s new protein blends.  Subsequent to the quarter-end, Merit Functional Foods achieved first commercial production of Burcon’s Peazazz® and Peazac® pea proteins and will now focus on completing first runs of canola proteins.  When complete, the production facility will be the only commercial facility in the world with the capability to produce non-GMO food grade canola proteins.”

Very Good Food Company Inc. just announced a newly formed board of strategic advisors that will help guide the Company in its next stage of expansion. These food industry veterans have extensive experience in brand development, purpose-driven marketing programs and international sales. The formation of the strategic advisory board is timely as VERY embarks on expansion sales plans in the US and Europe, new product development programs and key opportunities. Mitchell Scott, CEO commented: “We are extremely fortunate to have such a seasoned team with diverse backgrounds in the CPG food space join us to help strategically grow and add value to both our consumers and VERY overall.”

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