Following the successful release of its initial line of products in brick-and-mortar locations, Future of Cheese Inc., the plant-based food subsidiary of Organic Garage Ltd., is preparing to launch its own e-commerce store within the first quarter of this year. This will entail having its complete line of dairy alternative products offered for sale across Canada.
Using unique aging and manufacturing processes, a well-established distribution network, and high-profile marketing channels, Future of Cheese is set to disrupt the rapidly growing plant-based dairy alternative market. In November of last year, the Canadian company engaged U.S.-based sales and marketing firm Oxford Hill Partners to develop and help execute its North American growth strategy and product rollout.
“Since our launch, we have been inundated with requests for orders from customers across Canada and the U.S., asking if they can buy direct,” said Jen Wojtaszek, president of Toronto-based Future of Cheese. “The plant-based food trend, combined with the necessity of online grocery shopping, has accelerated our plans to launch our e-commerce retail platform in order to meet the growing demand from the click-to-table digital shopper.”
According to the latest Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Shopping Survey, U.S. online grocery sales hit $97.7 billion in 2021 and online grocery shopping grew 2% to comprise almost 13% of total grocery spending for the year. More than 70% of U.S. households received one or more orders during the year, the findings show.
Future of Cheese believes that accelerating the plans to roll out its online shopping platform will quickly expand its reach to new customers and add direct-to-consumer sales. The company also plans to highly curate the shopping experience, providing customers with a detailed walk-through of each product, from its nutritional values to the unique processes used to produce it, something that is challenging to do through traditional retail.
“We want the customer to be educated and inspired when they choose to purchase our products, the same way I visit a table in my restaurants to personally walk a diner through the process of creating the food that they will experience, and leave them with the satisfaction that we care deeply about the food and products we are providing,” said Craig Harding, co-founder and culinary director of Future of Cheese.
Meanwhile, its parent company, Organic Garage, reported a sales decrease from CAN $6.9 million in the year-ago period to CAN $5.9 million for its third quarter ended Oct. 31, 2021, as the impact of COVID-19 overstocking subsided. The Q3 sales total didn’t include any material contribution from Future of Cheese because of the timing of the launch of the company’s products at the end of the quarter. Despite this, the independent grocer’s gross profit margin grew from 30.4% to 31.3%.
Founded in 2005 by a fourth-generation grocer, Organic Garage is based in Toronto. Currently operating five stores, the company is focused on continuing to expand its retail footprint within the greater Toronto area.