DAVIS, CALIF. — Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. is progressing well on its path toward being a consumer-focused enterprise, said Matthew T. Plavan, president and chief executive officer.
The company’s mid-May acquisition of the assets of Lief Holdings, LLC and its portfolio of wellness products from The Parent Co., along with select assets of Live Zola, LLC, has proved instrumental in giving Arcadia an established consumer packaged goods business with meaningful recurring revenues. But Arcadia also has made solid progress developing its forthcoming GoodWheat products and planning a pasta market launch, Mr. Plavan noted during an Aug. 16 conference call to discuss second-quarter results.
“Retail buyers are constantly seeking new breakthrough and on-trend innovation to satisfy consumer needs, particularly in the health and wellness category, and GoodWheat delivers exactly that,” Mr. Plavan said. “So we’re eager to get our delicious products in front of the key retailers that we’re targeting.”
Wheat, in fact, is one of the things that Mr. Plavan said sets Arcadia apart from most other CPG companies.
“Developing and perfecting an intrinsically superior non-GMO wheat establishes the foundation for us to create a major disruption in the wheat industry, wherein we have the opportunity to set a new global standard for nutrition in wheat-based foods,” he said. “Because our superior nutrition is intrinsic to the wheat, which means the nutritional value is delivered naturally from the wheat itself. No additives or special processes are needed. Our nutrition profile is unmatched by conventional wheat. This affords us the opportunity to fill a fiber and nutrition gap in consumer diets globally. Studies have found a population-wide deficiency in fiber, with only 5% of people in the US meeting the institute or medicine's recommended daily target of 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men. This is a staggering deficiency and makes for a tremendous market opportunity for our GoodWheat products to change the health of the planet with very little adjustment, if any, to the foods we now consume.
“For other companies to achieve similar fiber density in wheat-based foods requires the addition of other ingredients like inulin or chicory, which often degrade the taste experience and increase the cost to manufacturers and consumers. Moreover, these enhanced products typically have formulation challenges and frequently sacrifice taste for nutrition.”
Mr. Plavan said Arcadia has made significant strides in its proprietary GoodWheat product development and has several pasta stock-keeping units ready to launch.
“Our pasta products have unmatched levels of fiber and are, in fact, an excellent source,” he said. “They have more protein and fewer calories than conventional pasta, and our pastas have only one simple ingredient, our GoodWheat. In addition … these products are USA farm grown and non-GMO. These claims truly and uniquely differentiate our GoodWheat pasta from the competition in this category.”
Mr. Plavan said Arcadia is planning a soft e-commerce launch of one SKU of GoodWheat pasta late in the fourth quarter. Following the holidays, the company plans to scale up, he said.
To facilitate the company’s move into the CPG market, Arcadia has announced several personnel moves in recent months. In mid-July, Laura Pitlik was named chief marketing officer. Ms. Pitlik will spearhead brand development and omnichannel marketing activities for Arcadia's portfolio of consumer nutrition, health and wellness brands, including GoodWheat, Soul Spring, ProVault, Saavy Naturals and Zola coconut water. She will also lead the company’s go-to-market strategies for the e-commerce, retail and foodservice channels.
Prior to joining Arcadia Ms. Pitlik was senior vice president of air care at NiTEO Products. Earlier, she held marketing and innovation roles at Century Snacks, Truco Enterprises, Hostess Brands, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages.
Arcadia also has added Chris Cuvelier as chief growth officer and Belinda Yao as vice president of operations. Mr. Cuvelier most recently was CEO of Zola while Ms. Yao most recently was vice president of operations at Zola. Zola is a healthy plant-based beverages company.
Arcadia in the second quarter ended June 30 sustained a loss of $5.26 million, which compared with a loss of $9.69 million in the same period a year ago. Total revenues, meanwhile, improved to $1.41 million from $281,000.