Planting Hope: “A Powerhouse Female Leadership Team Working to Disrupt the Plant-Based Category as We Know It”

Canada’s Planting Hope Company, the publicly listed producer of the world’s first commercial sesame milk, was named Most Impactful Sustainable Food & Beverage Company 2021, as well as winner of Best Milk Alternative for Hope and Sesame beverages at Plant-Based World New York.

Planting Hope recently announced the acquisition of RightRice for US$7 million. Furthermore, the company announces that its shares have commenced trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker J94.

Continuing this reign of success, the female-led company is set to unveil exciting new product lines at the 2022 Winter Fancy Food Show next month, including RightRice Risotto products and espresso beverages created with the new Hope and Sesame Barista Blend sesamemilk.

After such a phenomenally successful few months it was definitely time to speak with CEO & Co-Founder Julia Stamberger about the exciting developments.

HopeAndSesame products
©Planting Hope

What is the mission statement of Planting Hope?
The Planting Hope Company Inc. develops, launches and scales uniquely innovative plant-based and planet-friendly food & beverage brands. Our cutting-edge products fill key unmet needs in the skyrocketing plant-based food & beverage space. Our founders are experienced food industry entrepreneurs, plus we’re a women-managed and women-led company, focused on three impact pillars: nutrition, sustainability, and representation.

“Our cutting-edge products fill key unmet needs”

Planting Hope is a woman-owned and led company with an all-woman c-suite and board of directors. How integral is this to the values of the company?
Very! One of our three core values is representation, and the decision to create an all-woman c-suite and board of directors was intentional and purposeful with multiple reasons behind it.

  1. To deliver on Planting Hope’s representation mission
  2. To provide representation for women consumers, as the majority of shoppers adopting new plant-based products and making buying decisions for their households are female
  3. To ensure we are developing products and marketing that truly meets and delivers on the needs of those consumers
  4. To deliver a stronger and truly effective culture and management team by uniting strong skill sets and approaches to tackling business problems.
©Planting Hope

Do you think women are underrepresented in the plant-based space?
I do. Female leadership in the food and beverage industry as a whole is substantially low, with only about one in five c-suite execs being women. We have observed that female representation is even lower in the plant-based space. Part of this is due to the fact most venture financing options available to fast-growth early-stage companies in food and beverage are controlled by men, who tend to have networks that are also male-dominant, and select men to fill key leadership roles. 

“We have observed that female representation is even lower in the plant-based space”

As a public company, we have more flexibility in selecting the best team for our board and C-suite and have the opportunity to break the mold and lead by example. That’s why it’s such an important mission of mine to have a powerhouse female leadership team that is working to disrupt the plant-based category as we know it.

RightRice products

How will Planting Hope’s recent IPO help to move the company forward in the industry?
Our recent IPO in Canada will allow us the ability to scale and launch new and innovative products that further disrupt the entire plant-based food category. Access to capital with a publicly-traded stock also opens the door for M&A opportunities to bring additional accretive brands that fit our philosophies and mandates into our portfolio. We just completed our first such acquisition and added breakthrough plant-based veggie rice brand RightRice® to our portfolio.

“Hope and Sesame sesamemilk is a revolutionary product in the plant milk space that meets the key interests of consumers embracing the plant-milk space”

One of your brands, Hope and Sesame, recently won Best Milk Alternative at the World Plant-Based Awards 2021. How does the milk brand stand out in such a competitive segment?
We are the first company to create a commercialized sesamemilk worldwide. Our sesamemilk is a unique disruptive breakthrough in the plant-milk space, as it’s both ultra-nutritious and highly planet-friendly. Sesamemilk is nutritionally comparable to dairy milk, delivering 8g of complete protein per serving with all 9 essential amino acids. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin D and calcium.  Sesame is also an extremely sustainable crop, cultivated around the globe as an excellent cover crop. It’s drought tolerant, bee-friendly, can self-pollinate, and it’s pest resistant.

HopeAndSesame three cartons
©Planting Hope

Because of this, sesamemilk has a lower water usage throughout the growth and production process than most other non-dairy milks. We also employ upcycling in making sesamemilk: after sesame seeds are pressed for oil, we use the rest of the seed (previously considered a byproduct) to make sesamemilk. Hope and Sesame sesamemilk is a revolutionary product in the plant milk space that meets the key interests of consumers embracing the plant-milk space: great nutrition, better sustainability, and excellent taste, and it performs in cooking and coffee in the same way consumers use dairy milk. 

What are the other brands in your lineup?
The Planting Hope Company Inc. has four rapidly-growing food & beverage brands at the moment: Hope and Sesame® sesamemilk, Mozaics™ real veggie chips,  Veggicopia® real veggie snacks, and our latest addition, RightRice® veggie rice.

What are you most excited about for 2022?
We have a number of exciting launches rolling out in 2022, including our Hope and Sesame refrigerated sesamemilk line, our new shelf-stable non-GMO one-litre cartons (easy to pantry-load and be prepared!) and our breakthrough Barista Blends sesamemilk in Q1.

veggicopia RoastedRedPepperHummus_Stack

We started 2022 strong with the acquisition and integration of RightRice® to The Planting Hope Company, a brand delivering next-level innovation in rice, the second-most consumed food on the planet. We are focused on bringing more nutrition and more sustainability to the pantry staples that truly make a difference in the lives of our consumers and their families.

In 2022 we are also looking forward to connecting with our current and new shareholders who are aligned with our mission as a company.  We look forward to continued growth across North America as well as fulfilling strong interest from retailers across the globe.

The sky is the limit for our Planting Hope brands in 2022 and beyond!  

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