February 26, 2021 11:43 AM

Wellness investment opportunities in our own backyard

The world of wellness is a booming industry expected to top US$4 trillion by 2026. A major driver of this growth is a result of rising consumer awareness of the important role that food and nutrition play beyond the basics of weight control and cardiovascular health. Here we look at several Canadian companies creating products that will play an important role as the wellness theme evolves.

/ Published 3 weeks ago

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There was a time when most of us were meat-and-potatoes kinda folks. It was a time when simply eating a side of greens and an apple a day was enough to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, like we were taking care of our health and wellness. At most, the more health-conscious amongst us may have cut out refined carbohydrates and stuck to brown rice and bread instead. But that was about it.

Then things started changing. We became aware that diet was about so much more than just controlling weight and avoiding cardiovascular disease. Suddenly antioxidants were on our radar, the advantages that superfoods had to offer became apparent, and realizations that health and wellness were deeply personal took over. And let’s not forget the increasing evidence supporting the strong interconnectedness of our mental well-being, the health of our body and our state of mind.

Now, after a couple of decades worth of expanding wellness awareness, we’re seeing a new generation of companies emerging that are catering to the specific needs of the modern human. Companies that are developing products that help our minds and bodies deal with the increased noise, pollution, and stress taxing our immune systems and mental stamina.

Who are these wellness companies helping us thrive, and what are they creating?

To discover companies behind some of the latest innovations in health and wellness goods, we need only look in our own backyard. Whether based entirely in Canada or publicly listed here, there is a lot of activity going on in the wellness space. And with everything from functional mushrooms to organic agricultural innovations that help cut out the use of chemical pesticides, there’s no shortage of diversity in these companies either.

But, as an emerging industry, many of these companies remain relatively unknown to all but the earliest adopters in the space. This is unfortunate for investors, as the sector is expected to grow to a global market value of US$4.24 trillion by 2026, representing a significant opportunity that doesn’t currently get the attention it deserves. Fortunately, however, with so many companies already in our own backyard, there are plenty of openings for investors who may be considering expanding their portfolios into this booming market.

Organic fungicide distributing bee drones with Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc.

One of the big investment trends in recent years has been drone technology. Aside from making fun toys, they also have applications in a diverse range of fields, including mining, logistics and agriculture. This latter application for drones is what inspired Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (CSE: BEE). And if it wasn’t already apparent based on their name, Bee Vectoring’s twist on the drone theme is the use of, well, bees.

The wellness twist to this is what the bees are used for—replacing machine sprayed chemical fungicides with a naturally occurring fungicide which is, surprisingly enough, a fungus itself. The difference is that instead of feeding off the crop as other fungi do, this one feeds on other fungi. As for the bees, they come into contact with the helpful fungus which is deposited in their hives. The beneficial fungus is then naturally spread around the crops as bees fly around carrying out their normal business.

The wellness advantages of this are multiple. Not only are chemical fungicides avoided—fungicides which are reported to have numerous adverse health effects in humans—but a healthier, more sustainable ecosystem is engendered and bees are ensured protected status. This latter point is particularly important given concerns over the impact that diminishing bee populations are having on the very essential process of pollination.

Immunity and sympathetic nervous system wellness with Rritual Superfoods Inc.

Another mover and shaker in the world of wellness is the emerging market for functional mushrooms—mushrooms that support the body by providing essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the immune and sympathetic nervous systems. And while there is nothing new about using specific mushroom varieties to supplement targeted area of our wellness, Rritual Superfoods Inc. is bringing them to modern consumers in concentrated blends that are packaged up in convenient and appealing designs.

What makes the company so appealing from the point of view of both investors and consumers is—once again—hinted at in its name. Rritual (intentionally stylized with a double R) intends its products to be integrated into consumers’ daily rituals by way of powdered concentrates that are added to, for example, a morning coffee. Thus the onerous task of having to prepare specially conceived meals is removed (even if mushrooms are delicious, who wants to eat them every day?), and a simple daily wellness habit is formed.

The appeal for consumers and investors is thus created. Consumers benefit from consistency and effortlessness (as well as slick branding and packaging), while investors are assured greater recurring revenues owing to the lower friction Rritual’s preparations have when compared with conventional methods of mushroom consumption.

Mental wellness with Red Light Holland Corp.

Unless you pay close attention to its stock ticker, then Red Light Holland Corp. (CSE: TRIP) is definitely not what you’re thinking. Even if what you’re thinking is, according to some, decidedly wellness related. Instead, Red Light Holland is an early mover in one of the latest investment themes to emerge: psychedelic mushrooms. However, this description isn’t entirely accurate in Red Light’s case as its focus is, instead, on the less psychedelically potent truffle versions. These are delivered in microdoses that are suited to wellness support; doses that are well below those used in recreational settings where hallucinations and a total disconnect from reality is the goal of the game.

What makes the psychedelic mushroom space exciting is that the use cases for psilocybin extend well beyond its perception-altering properties that long-haired hippies have been abusing for decades. In fact, serious clinical consideration and research have already occurred (see this Johns Hopkins report for example), leading to strong evidence that psychedelic mushrooms are to play an important role in our mental wellness as their public perception undergoes a similar softening to that of the dope-fiend.

(Featured image by Roman Odintsov via Pexels)

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