Vejii dials in business model and reports positive growth for Q3 2021

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: GettyImages / LeoPatrizi
Photo Credit: GettyImages / LeoPatrizi

Related tags Vejii e-commerce

Vejii, an online marketplace for plant-based and sustainable goods, is gaining ground in the competitive grocery e-commerce landscape less than month after going public under the symbol “VEJII” on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE).

In its first public financial results, the growing company (officially launched in November 2020) reported revenue of CA$226,252 for the three months ended September 30th, 2021, and CA$783,236 in revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2021. Its gross profit margin was 23% for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2021 and 14% for the previous nine months. Net losses for the latest quarter were CA$2.3m.

With the completed acquisition of Veg Essentials in October 2021, Vejii forecasted that revenues will exceed CA$1m for Q4 2021.

“We are particularly happy with our results this quarter, we were able to generate improved gross margin, lower cost of customer acquisition, and improved returns on ad spend right before going public in November 2021. Now that we have dialed-in our processes and business model, we can more efficiently deploy capital in ramping up customer acquisition in a more sustainable manner,” ​said Vejii CEO Kory Zelickson.

Vejii has steadily driven down its cost of customer acquisition, a key metric for the online retailer, over the last several months. For the nine-month period ending September 2021, customer acquisition costs for new customer accounts were $67.43 and continued to trend down in October, a significant decline since January 2021 when the cost of new customer acquisition was $123.18.

Concurrently, return on ad spend continued to improve over the past nine months, demonstrating Vejii's ability to deliver improved returns on capital it deploys towards customer acquisition efforts, the company noted.

It typically takes several site visits for Vejii to converting an online browser into a paying customer, Zelickson previously told FoodNavigator-USA​.

The first order is typically a test order, and smaller in terms of the overall average value of that basket size. We’ve seen already an increase to repeat purchase rate of over 30% and the average order value has gone from $40 to $80 since the inception of the website," ​he noted.

An ‘ethical Amazon’

With an expanding assortment of plant-based and sustainable products, the company has said it is positioning itself as an “ethical Amazon” ​by creating an expansive, easy-to-shop platform for consumers.

According to a report by 1010data​, consumers are shopping for their plant-based items more frequently online. The report showed  a 148% increase in pre-purchase search behavior for the term “plant-based”​ compared to 99% increase for “gluten-free”​ and 88% jump for the term “vegan”​ between July 2020 and June 2021.

Top performing retailers where consumers purchased their plant-based items over the same time period included Instacart (Costco, Publix, Sprouts), Walmart, and Amazon -- of which the top most purchased brands are Morningstar Farms and Beyond Meat, according to 1010data.

Vejii currently sells over 3,000 SKUs of plant-based products spanning multiple categories including grocery, protein & sports nutrition, vitamins & supplements, wine, and personal care with upcoming plans to launch a fashion offering.

“With the increasing competition among CPG brands competing for the same limited shelf space and the same large retailers, we believe Vejii is well-positioned for growth as our ability to offer an ever-growing selection is not limited to a retail footprint,”​ said Zelickson.

“We welcome partnering with brands across every category of plant-based and sustainable products, as we continue to expand our distribution reach and gain new customers.”​ 

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