Investors thirsty for ASX debutante Nuchev's goat milk infant formula
Written on the 9 December 2019 by David Simmons
Founded by Synlait co-founder Ben Dingle (pictured), Nuchev (ASX: NUC) currently sells its product into Australia, China and Hong Kong.
Another infant formula player has launched on the ASX today, with Nuchev (ASX: NUC) joining the likes of A2 Milk (ASX: A2M), Bellamy's (ASX: BAL), Wattle Health (ASX: WHA) and Bubs Australia (ASX: BUB).
Similarly to Bubs, Nuchev differentiates itself with goat's milk, imported from the Netherlands, and is finding opportunities in China, a booming market that nonetheless is a tough nut to crack.
Globally, the infant formula market is booming, and it is showing no signs of slowing down with recent estimates giving it a value of US$45.12 billion ($66 billion).
The total market is expected to grow past US$103 billion (AUD$150.8 billion) by 2026.
The company has landed on the ASX following a $48.7 million bookbuild, and a market capitalisation of $117 million.
It opened well above the IPO price of $2.60 per share at $3.40 and closed at $3.24.
Speaking to Business News Australia, CEO and founder Dingle says now is the perfect time for Nuchev to land on the ASX.
"We're raising funds to continue to build and add momentum to this framework," says Dingle.
"This is in a sector that's growing very quickly, and this offers a large opportunity."
While there are other infant formula brands producing and selling goat infant formula, Dingle says there are relatively few compared to cow milk infant formula.
This is an especially important distinction when it comes to the Asian market, where there is a large market that understands the nutritional benefits goat milk can have for children.
"Across large parts of the world today there have been widely held beliefs that have been passed down from generation to generation around the benefits of goats milk," says Dingle.
"People form Central China across Central Asia fundamentally understand that you feed the goat's milk to young kids."
"This is supported by research which has given that anecdotal evidence a lot of credibility."
And while the product might already have a leg up culturally in China, Dingle says the market remains one that is complex and not guaranteed simply because the product fits as a neat puzzle piece.
"China is not just one market, it is a multi-market with multiple dimensions," says Dingle.
"It's a complex place and it doesn't just operate within one paradigm. But the awareness of the benefits of goat milk nutritionals and goat infant formula is growing and that's demonstrated by the fact that this category is growing about five times as quickly as the wider infant formula category."
"Goat milk is typically considered a premium or super-premium product, so that demonstrates people's awareness has grown and also demonstrates that people think far more these days about what's good for them."
Ultimately Dingle says the opportunity to list on the ASX is one that will give the brand a solid platform from which the company can continue to sell to its dedicated customer base.
"This category is growing five times the wider infant formula category, so post-listing we're going to be building on that fantastic platform that we've established and continue to build the brand and access the opportunity."
Business News Australia
Author: David Simmons