DRS

As confidentially submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 6, 2019.

This draft registration statement has not been publicly filed with the

Securities and Exchange Commission and all information herein remains strictly confidential.

Registration No. 333-        

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

Vital Farms, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   2000   27-0496985

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

3601 South Congress Avenue

Suite C100

Austin, Texas 78704

(877) 455-3063

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of Registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

 

Russell Diez-Canseco

President and Chief Executive Officer

Vital Farms, Inc.

3601 South Congress Avenue

Suite C100

Austin, Texas 78704

(877) 455-3063

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

Copies to:

 

Nicole Brookshire

Darren DeStefano

Jaime L. Chase

Cooley LLP

55 Hudson Yards

New York, NY 10001

(212) 479-6000

 

Daniel Jones

Chief Financial Officer

Vital Farms, Inc.

3601 South Congress Avenue

Suite C100

Austin, TX 78704

(877) 455-3063

 

Marc Jaffe

Cathy Birkeland

Latham & Watkins LLP

885 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10022

(212) 906-1200

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after this registration statement is declared effective.

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box.  ☐

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
     Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of each Class of

Securities to be Registered

 

Proposed

Maximum
Aggregate

Offering Price(1)(2)

 

Amount of

Registration Fee

Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share

  $               $            

 

 

(1)

Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(o) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(2)

Includes the aggregate offering price of additional shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase, if any.

 

 

The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant will file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement will thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the Registration Statement will become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We and the selling stockholders may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject to Completion, Dated             ,2020

            Shares

 

 

LOGO

CLASS A COMMON STOCK

 

 

This is an initial public offering of shares of Class A common stock of Vital Farms, Inc. We are offering            shares of Class A common stock and the selling stockholders identified in this prospectus are offering an additional            shares of Class A common stock. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholders.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our Class A common stock. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price for our Class A common stock will be between $             and $             per share. We intend to apply to list our Class A common stock on the            under the symbol “            .”

Following this offering, we will have two classes of common stock: Class A common stock and Class B common stock. The rights of the holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will be identical, except with respect to voting, conversion and transfer rights. Each share of Class A common stock will be entitled to one vote. Each share of Class B common stock will be entitled to              votes and may be converted at any time into one share of Class A common stock. All shares of our capital stock outstanding immediately prior to this offering, including all shares held by our executive officers, directors and their respective affiliates, and all shares issuable on the conversion of our outstanding convertible preferred stock, will be reclassified into shares of our Class B common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering. The holders of our outstanding Class B common stock will hold approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock immediately following this offering.

 

 

We are an “emerging growth company” as defined under the federal securities laws and, as such, we have elected to comply with certain reduced reporting requirements for this prospectus and may elect to do so in future filings.

Investing in our Class A common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 18 to read about factors you should consider before buying our Class A common stock.

 

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

     Per Share      Total  

Initial public offering price

   $              $            

Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)

   $      $    

Proceeds, before expenses, to Vital Farms, Inc.

   $      $    

Proceeds, before expenses, to the selling stockholders

   $      $    

 

(1)

See the section titled “Underwriting” for additional information regarding compensation payable to the underwriters.

We have granted the underwriters an option for a period of 30 days to purchase up to an additional             shares of Class A common stock from us and up to an additional              shares of Class A common stock from the selling stockholders at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discounts and commissions.

The underwriters expect to deliver the shares of Class A common stock to purchasers on             ,2020.

 

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC   Morgan Stanley   Credit Suisse

 

 

Prospectus dated            , 2020.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus

 

    

Page

 

GLOSSARY

     iii  

MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA

     iv  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     1  

RISK FACTORS

     18  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     48  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     50  

DIVIDEND POLICY

     51  

CAPITALIZATION

     52  

DILUTION

     54  

SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

     57  

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

     59  

LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

     78  

BUSINESS

     79  

MANAGEMENT

     95  

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

     101  

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

     112  

PRINCIPAL AND SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

     117  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     119  

SHARES ELIGIBLE FOR FUTURE SALE

     125  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES TO NON-U.S. HOLDERS

     127  

UNDERWRITING

     131  

LEGAL MATTERS

     139  

EXPERTS

     139  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     140  

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     F-1  

 

 

Through and including             , 2020 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers effecting transactions in these securities, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to a dealer’s obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as an underwriter and with respect to an unsold allotment or subscription.

 

 

Neither we, the selling stockholders nor any of the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectuses we have prepared. Neither we, the selling stockholders nor any of the underwriters take responsibility for, or can provide any assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. We, the selling stockholders and the underwriters are offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy, shares of our Class A common stock only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. The information contained in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of our Class A common stock.

For investors outside the United States: Neither we, the selling stockholders nor any of the underwriters have done anything that would permit this offering or the possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside of the

 

i


United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, this offering and the possession and distribution of this prospectus outside of the United States.

Pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, we are not required to file our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017 because we expect to file our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 29, 2019 when we first publicly file our registration statement.

“Vital Farms” and our other registered and common law trade names, trademarks and service marks are the property of Vital Farms, Inc. or our subsidiaries. All other trademarks, trade names and service marks appearing in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, the trademarks and trade names in this prospectus may be referred to without the ® and symbols, but such references should not be construed as any indicator that their respective owners will not assert their rights thereto.

We refer to our Series B redeemable convertible preferred stock, Series C redeemable convertible preferred stock and Series D redeemable convertible preferred stock as our “convertible preferred stock” in this prospectus.

 

ii


GLOSSARY

Unless we otherwise indicate, or unless the context requires otherwise, any references in this prospectus to the following key business terms have the respective meaning set forth below:

Branded eggs” are eggs other than private label.

Breaker plants” is a processor which converts shell eggs into further processed egg products.

Cage-free” refers to eggs that come from hens that are not housed in cages.

Clean label” refers to food products containing natural, familiar, simple ingredients that are easy to recognize, understand and pronounce, with no artificial ingredients or synthetic chemicals.

“Crew members” is a term we use to refer to our employees.

Egg Central Station” refers to our approximately 82,000 square foot shell egg grading and packing facility in Springfield, Missouri, which is centrally located within our network of small family farms.

Hatchery refers to a place where poultry eggs are hatched under controlled conditions for commercial purposes.

Organic” is a term regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, and refers to items the contents of which are 95% or more certified organic, meaning free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation or genetic engineering. The remaining 5% may only be foods or processed with additives on an approved list.

Pasture Belt” is a term we use that refers to the U.S. region, including Arkansas and Georgia, and portions of Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, where pasture-raised eggs can be produced year-round.

Pasture raised” refers to products produced from animals that were raised for at least some portion of their lives on pasture or with access to a pasture, not continually confined indoors.

Pullet” refers to a young hen, especially less than 24 weeks old.

“Refrigerated value-added dairy category” includes butter, cream, half & half, yogurt, cheese (including cream cheese and cheese spreads), sour cream and cottage cheese, but excludes milk.

Retail SKUs” refers to stock keeping units for discrete products (at universal product code level) that are sold through retail channels.

Traceable” is the ability to track food through production, processing and distribution, including importation and at retail.

 

iii


MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA

This prospectus contains estimates, projections and other information concerning our industry, our business and the markets for our products. Some market data and statistical information contained in this prospectus are also based on management’s estimates and calculations, which are derived from our review and interpretation of the independent sources listed below, our internal research and knowledge of our market. This information involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to these estimates. In addition, projections, assumptions and estimates of the future performance of the industry in which we operate and our future performance are necessarily subject to uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the projections and estimates made by the independent third parties and us.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, we obtained industry, business, market and other data from the reports, publications and other materials and sources listed below. In some cases, we do not expressly refer to the sources from which this data is derived. In that regard, when we refer to one or more sources of this type of data in any paragraph, you should assume that other data of this type appearing in the same paragraph is derived from the same sources, unless otherwise expressly stated or the context otherwise requires.

The sources of certain statistical data, estimates and forecasts contained in this prospectus include the following independent industry publications or reports:

 

   

Certified Humane, Humane Farm Animal Care, Animal Care Standards, February 1, 2018 Standards, Egg Laying Hens.

 

   

SPINS, LLC, Refrigerated Eggs & Refrigerated Butter - Natural Channel, 52 Weeks Ending November 3, 2019.

 

iv


PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights selected information included elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider before investing in our Class A common stock. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, including the sections titled “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Business,” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus, before making an investment decision. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references in this prospectus to “Vital Farms,” the “company,” “we,” “our,” “us” or similar terms refer to Vital Farms, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Overview

Vital Farms is an ethical food company that is disrupting the U.S. food system. We have developed a framework that challenges the norms of the incumbent food model and allows us to bring high-quality products from our network of small family farms to a national audience. This framework has enabled us to become the leading U.S. brand of pasture-raised eggs and butter and the second largest U.S. egg brand by retail dollar sales. Our ethics are exemplified by our humane treatment of farm animals and sustainable farming practices. We believe these standards produce happy hens with varied diets, which produce better eggs. There is a seismic shift in consumer demand for ethically produced, natural, traceable, clean-label, great-tasting and nutritious foods. Supported by a steadfast adherence to the values on which we were founded, we have designed our brand and products to appeal to this consumer movement.

Our purpose is rooted in a commitment to Conscious Capitalism, which prioritizes the long-term benefits of each of our stakeholders (farmers and suppliers, customers and consumers, communities and the environment, crew members and stockholders). Our business decisions consider the impact on all of our stakeholders, in contrast with the factory farming model, which principally emphasizes cost reduction at the expense of animals, farmers, consumers, employees, communities and the environment. These principles guide our day-to-day operations and, we believe, help us deliver a more sustainable and successful business. Our approach has been validated by our financial performance and our designation as a Certified B Corporation, a certification reserved for businesses that balance profit and purpose to meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.

Our Ethical Decision-Making Model

 

Stakeholders    Guiding Principles
Farmers and Suppliers   

•   Forming strong relationships with our network of approximately 200 small family farms, who are the foundation of our resilient and reliable supply chain

Customers and Consumers   

•   Delivering the transparency and quality around food products that today’s consumers demand

Crew Members   

•   Empowering our crew members by investing in their financial security, development and overall well-being

Community and Environment   

•   Investing in our community and being conscious stewards of the environment

Stockholders   

•   Building a sustainable company for the long term by delivering stockholder value



 

1


We have sustainably scaled our brand through our strong relationships with small family farms and deliberate efforts to design and build the infrastructure to bring our products to a national audience. Today, with a network of approximately 200 family farms, we believe our pasture-raised products have set the national standard for ethically produced food. We believe the success of our relationships with small family farms and the efficiency of our supply chain provide us with a competitive advantage in the approximately $45 billion U.S. natural food and beverage industry, in which achieving reliable supply at a national scale can be challenging. In 2017, we opened Egg Central Station, a shell egg processing facility in Springfield, Missouri, which is centrally located within our network of family farms. Egg Central Station is capable of packing three million eggs per day and has achieved Safe Quality Food, or SQF, Level 3 certification, the highest level of such certification from the Global Food Safety Initiative, or GFSI. In addition, Egg Central Station is the only egg facility, and we are one of only five companies, globally to have received the Safe Quality Food Institute, or SQFI, Select Site certification, indicating that the site has voluntarily elected to undergo annual unannounced recertification audits by SQFI, the organization responsible for administering a global food safety and quality program known as the SQF Program. The design of Egg Central Station includes investments in support of each of our stakeholders, from our crew members (daylighting, climate control, slip resistant floors in the egg grading room), to the community and environment (consulting with the community before we built the facility, restoring native vegetation on the property, best-in-class storm water management), to our customers and consumers (food safety and maintenance investments far beyond regulatory requirements). We believe owning and operating this important element of our supply chain is a key differentiator and provides us with a competitive advantage. We have leveraged the scale and efficiency of Egg Central Station to significantly grow both our net revenue and gross margin.

Our loyal and growing consumer base has fueled the expansion of our brand from the natural channel to the mainstream channel and facilitated our entry into the foodservice channel. As of November 2019, we offer 21 retail SKUs through a multi-channel retail distribution network across approximately 13,000 stores. Our products generate stronger velocities and, we believe, greater profitability per unit for our retail customers in key traffic-generating categories as compared to products offered by our competitors. We believe we have significant room for growth within the retail and foodservice channels and can capture this opportunity by growing brand awareness and through new product innovation. We also believe there are incremental growth opportunities in additional distribution channels, including the convenience, drugstore, club, military and international markets, which we may access along with retail growth opportunities to enable us to continue our net revenue growth.

We have built a sustainable company founded on ethically produced products that increasingly resonate with consumers. Our trusted brand and Conscious Capitalism-focused business model have resulted in significant growth. We have increased net revenue from $1.9 million in fiscal 2010 to $106.7 million in fiscal 2018, which represents a 66% compounded annual growth rate, or CAGR. From fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018, we grew net revenue by 44% and the number of stores carrying our products increased by 11%. Going forward, we expect the consumer movement away from factory farming practices will continue to fuel demand for ethically produced food. According to a 2018 survey of nearly 30,000 international consumers, 62% want brands to have ethical values and demonstrate authenticity in all parts of their business. We believe these demands extend to the food industry and that consumers are recognizing the benefits of pasture-raised egg and dairy products. Management is committed to ensuring our values remain aligned with those of our consumers while delivering stockholder value.



 

2


Evidence of our historical success in continuing to scale our business is shown in the graphics below. All dates refer to the year ended December 31, except for 2018, which refers to the fiscal year ended December 30.

 

Number of Stores    Net Revenue    Gross Profit
  

$MM

  

$MM

LOGO    LOGO    LOGO

Our History

Matthew O’Hayer and his wife Catherine Stewart founded Vital Farms in 2007 on a 27-acre plot of land in Austin, Texas. Armed with a small flock of hens, they maintained a strong belief that a varied diet and better animal welfare practices would lead to superior eggs. Our first sales came from farmers markets and restaurants around Austin and, less than a year later, our eggs were discovered by Whole Foods Market Inc., or Whole Foods. Matt and Catherine saw the opportunity to do something more than sell eggs to a few stores. They chose to build a sustainable company that aligned with the family farming community and was able to profitably deliver quality products to a devoted consumer base. As our business has continued to grow, our model remains rooted in trust and mutual accountability with our farmers, who are and will remain core to our business.

In 2014, our current president and chief executive officer, Russell Diez-Canseco, joined Vital Farms and led the development of our large and scalable network of family farms. In 2015, recognizing the opportunity to elevate our production process and bolster long-term growth and profitability, we began the design process for Egg Central Station, which opened in 2017 in Springfield, Missouri. We meticulously designed Egg Central Station in service of all of our stakeholders by improving on the best practices we observed across numerous world-class facilities. Today, Egg Central Station is capable of packing three million eggs per day and has achieved SQF Level 3 certification, the highest level of such certification from the GFSI. In addition, Egg Central Station is the only egg facility, and we are one of only five companies, globally to have received the SQFI Select Site certification.

Demand for our high-quality products has enabled us to expand our brand beyond the natural channel and into the mainstream channel through relationships with Albertsons Companies, Inc., or Albertsons, The Kroger Co., or Kroger, Publix Super Markets, Inc., or Publix, Target Corporation, or Target, Walmart Inc., or Walmart, and numerous other national and regional food retailers. As of November 2019, our ethically produced pasture-raised products are sold in approximately 13,000 stores nationwide. Over the course of our journey, our founder, Matthew O’Hayer, has continued to inform our strategic vision and remains intimately involved with the business as our executive chairman, going so far as to personally read and ensure a written response to each email and letter we receive from our loyal consumers.

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to bring ethically produced food to the table. We do this by partnering with family farms that operate within our strictly defined set of ethical food production practices. We are motivated by the influence we



 

3


have on rural communities through creating impactful, long-term business opportunities for small family farmers. Moreover, we are driven to stand up for sustainable production practices that have been largely cast aside under the factory farming system. In our view, this system has been consistently misguided, focused on producing products at lowest cost rather than driving long-term and sustainable benefits for all stakeholders.

Since inception, our values have been rooted in the principles of Conscious Capitalism. We believe managing our business in the best interest of all of our stakeholders will result in a more successful and sustainable enterprise. A key premise of our business model is our consumer-centric approach, which focuses on identifying consumer needs and developing products that address these needs. While remaining committed to ethical decision-making, we have achieved strong financial performance and earned the Certified B Corporation designation, reflecting our role as a contributor to the global cultural shift toward redefining success in business in order to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. We believe our consumers connect with Vital Farms because they love our products, relate to our values and trust our practices.

Industry Overview

We operate in the large and growing U.S. natural food and beverage industry that, according to SPINS, LLC data, generated total retail sales of approximately $45.0 billion in 2018 accounting for approximately 10% of total food and beverage sales and grew at an 8% CAGR between 2016 and 2018, outpacing total food and beverage growth of 1% over the same period. Consumer awareness of the negative health, environmental and agricultural impacts of processed food and factory farming standards has resulted in increased consumer demand for ethically produced food. We believe this trend has had a meaningful impact on the growth of the natural food industry, which is increasingly penetrating the broader U.S. food market as mainstream retailers respond to consumer demand. We believe increased demand for natural food and a willingness to pay a premium for brands focused on transparency, sustainability and ethical values will continue to be a catalyst for our growth.

According to SPINS, LLC data, the U.S. shell egg market in 2018 accounted for $6 billion in retail sales and has grown at a CAGR of 6.4% between 2016 and 2018. Our relatively low household penetration of 2%, compared to the shell egg category penetration of 95%, provides a significant long-term growth opportunity for our business. Additionally, we estimate that the U.S. processed egg market in 2018 accounted for $3 billion in retail sales. According to SPINS, LLC data, the U.S. butter market in 2018 accounted for $3 billion in retail sales and has grown at a CAGR of 3.4% between 2016 and 2018. We believe the strength of our platform, coupled with significant investments in our crew members and infrastructure, position us to continue to deliver industry-leading growth across new and existing categories.

Our Strengths

Trusted Brand Aligned with Consumer Demands

We believe consumers have grown to trust our brand because of our adherence to our values and a high level of transparency. We have positioned our brand to capitalize on growing consumer interest in natural, clean-label, traceable, ethical, great-tasting and nutritious foods. Growing public awareness of major issues connected to animal farming, including human health, climate change and resource conservation, is closely aligned with our ethical mission. We believe consumers are increasingly focused on the source of their food and are willing to pay a premium for brands that deliver transparency, sustainability and integrity. As a company focused on driving the success of our stakeholders, our brand resonates with consumers who seek to align themselves with companies that share their values. Through our Vital Times newsletter and social media presence, we cultivate and support our relationship with consumers by communicating our values, building trust and promoting brand loyalty. For example, a survey we conducted in November 2019 found that 31% of our consumers surveyed insist on purchasing our egg brand and would not purchase another in its place.



 

4


Strategic and Valuable Brand for Retailers

Our historical performance has demonstrated that we are a strategic and valuable partner to retailers. We have innovated and grown into adjacent food categories while reaching a broad set of consumers through a variety of retail partners, including Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Target and Walmart. As of November 2019, we are the number one or two egg brand by retail dollar sales for branded eggs with key customers such as Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market, or Sprouts, Target and Whole Foods. We believe the success of our brand demonstrates that consumers are demanding premium products that meet a higher ethical standard. We have expanded into the mainstream channel while still continuing to command premium prices for our ethically produced products, which sell for as much as three times the price of commodity eggs. We believe that our products are more attractive to retail customers because they help generate growth, deliver strong gross profits and drive strong velocities, as represented by the natural channel velocities depicted below.

Vital Farms Natural Channel Velocity versus All Other Competitors (1)

 

Refrigerated Eggs (2)

 

  

Refrigerated Butter (3)

 

LOGO    LOGO

Source: Refrigerated Eggs & Refrigerated Butter - SPINS, LLC, Natural Channel, 52 Weeks Ending November 3, 2019

 

(1)

Channel Velocity ($ / Store / Item / Week) is defined as weekly sales per store per item of products sold in retailers included in the Natural Channel.

(2)

Refrigerated egg competitors represent shell eggs in the Natural Channel.

(3)

Refrigerated butter competitors represent butter brands in the Natural Channel, excluding clotted cream and clarified butter.

Supply Chain Rooted in Commitment to Our Stakeholders

Our ongoing commitment to the social and economic interests of our stakeholders guides our supply chain decisions. We carefully select and partner with family farms in the Pasture Belt, the U.S. region where pasture-raised eggs can be produced year-round. We establish supply contracts that we believe are attractive for all parties, demonstrate our commitment to our network of small family farms through educational programs that transfer critical best practice knowledge and pay farmers competitive prices for high-quality pasture-raised eggs. We believe our commitment to farmers facilitates more sustainable farm operations and significantly reduces turnover. Our network of small family farms gives us a strategic advantage through a scaled and sustainable supply chain and allows us to go to market with the highest quality pasture-raised premium products.



 

5


Map of the Pasture Belt

 

LOGO

Experienced and Passionate Team

We have an experienced and passionate executive management team that we refer to as the “C-crew,” which has approximately 60 years of combined industry experience and includes our president and chief executive officer, Russell Diez-Canseco, a seasoned food industry expert with over 16 years of relevant experience, including at H-E-B, a privately held supermarket chain. Our C-crew works in partnership with Matthew O’Hayer, our founder and executive chairman, who continues to inform our strategic vision with the entrepreneurial perspective gained through over 40 years of building businesses. We also have a deep bench of talent with strong business and operational experience, and crew members at all levels of our organization are passionate about addressing the needs of our stakeholders. We have leveraged the experience and passion of our C-crew, our founder and executive chairman and our other crew members to grow net revenue over 250% since the beginning of 2014, to enter our second major food category, butter, and to build our first shell egg processing facility, Egg Central Station.

Our Growth Strategies

We believe our investments in our brand, our stakeholders and our infrastructure position us to continue delivering industry-leading growth that outpaces both the natural food industry and the overall food industry.

Expand Household Penetration through Greater Consumer Awareness

Critical to the success of our mission is our ability to share the Vital Farms story with a broader audience. By educating consumers about our brand, our values and the premium quality of our products, we intend to



 

6


increase our household penetration. Our relatively low household penetration of 2% for our pasture-raised shell eggs, compared to the shell egg category penetration of 95%, shows that expanding the national presence of our brand offers a significant runway for future growth.

We are well positioned to increase household penetration of our products given their alignment with consumer trends and approachability with consumers. We intend to increase the number of consumers who buy our products by using digitally integrated media campaigns, social media tools and other owned media channels. We believe these efforts will educate consumers on our ethical values and the attractive attributes of our pasture-raised products, generate further demand for our products and ultimately expand our consumer base.

Grow Within the Retail Channel

By leveraging greater consumer awareness and demand for our brand, we believe there is significant opportunity to grow volume with existing retail customers. Our products generate stronger velocities and, we believe, greater profitability per unit for our retail customers in the categories in which we compete. By capturing greater shelf space, driving higher product velocities and increasing our SKU count, we believe there is meaningful runway for further growth with existing retail customers. Beyond our existing retail footprint, we believe there is significant opportunity to gain incremental stores from existing retail customers as well as to add new retail customers. We also believe there are significant further long-term opportunities in additional distribution channels, including the convenience, drugstore, club, military and international markets.

Expand Footprint across Foodservice

We believe there is significant demand for our products in the foodservice channel. We see tremendous opportunity for growth in this channel through sales to foodservice operators supported by joint marketing and advertising. Our brand has a differentiated value proposition with consumers, and we believe consumers are increasingly demanding ethically produced ingredients when they eat outside of the home. We believe that more consumers will look for our products on menus, particularly with foodservice partners whose values are aligned with our own and that on-menu branding of our products as ingredients in popular meals and menu items will drive traffic and purchases in the foodservice channel. An example of our recent foodservice growth initiative is our relationship with Tacodeli, which sells breakfast tacos made exclusively with our pasture-raised shell eggs across 11 restaurant locations and more than 100 points of distribution, such as coffee shops and farmers market stands, across Texas. We believe branded foodservice offerings will further drive consumer awareness of our brand and purchase rates of our products in the retail channel.

Extend Our Product Offering through Innovation

The successes of our core products have confirmed our belief that there is significant demand for pasture-raised and ethically produced food products. We expect to continue to extend our product offerings through innovation in both new and existing categories. As shown below, our current offerings span five product categories. In 2018, we launched the only pasture-raised hard-boiled eggs in the U.S. market, and in 2019, we launched both ghee and liquid whole eggs, the latter of which are the only pasture-raised liquid whole eggs in the U.S. market.



 

7


LOGO

The success of our product portfolio and our proprietary consumer surveys confirm our belief that there is significant demand for our brand across a wide spectrum of food categories. Within this broader market, we believe the U.S. refrigerated value-added dairy category represents a total addressable market of $33.6 billion and is the closest adjacency and best near-term opportunity for our brand. We have several products in our innovation pipeline that we believe will be successful in these adjacent markets.

 

Risk Factors Summary

Investing in our Class A common stock involves substantial risks. The risks described in the section titled “Risk Factors” immediately following this summary may cause us to not realize the full benefits of our strengths or to be unable to successfully execute all or part of our strategy. Some of the more significant risks include the following:

 

   

Our recent, rapid growth may not be indicative of our future growth, and if we continue to grow rapidly, we may not be able to effectively manage our growth or evaluate our future prospects. If we fail to effectively manage our future growth or evaluate our future prospects, our business could be adversely affected.

 

   

We are dependent on the market for shell eggs.

 

   

Sales of pasture-raised shell eggs contribute the vast majority of our revenue, and a reduction in these sales would have an adverse effect on our financial condition.

 

   

We have incurred net losses in the past and we may not be able to maintain or increase our profitability in the future.

 

   

Fluctuations in commodity prices and in the availability of feed grains could negatively impact our results of operations and financial condition.



 

8


   

If we fail to effectively expand our processing, manufacturing and production capacity as we continue to grow and scale our business, our business and operating results and our brand reputation could be harmed.

 

   

We are currently expanding Egg Central Station, and we may not successfully complete construction of or commence operations in this expansion, or the expanded facility may not operate in accordance with our expectations.

 

   

If we fail to effectively maintain or expand our network of small family farms, our business, operating results and brand reputation could be harmed.

 

   

Our future business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected by reduced or limited availability of pasture-raised eggs and milk and other raw materials that meet our standards.

 

   

We currently have a limited number of co-manufacturers. Loss of one or more of our co-manufacturers or our failure to timely identify and establish relationships with new co-manufacturers could harm our business and impede our growth.

 

   

We could be adversely affected by a change in consumer preferences, perception and spending habits in the natural food industry and on animal-based products, in particular, and failure to develop or enrich our product offering or gain market acceptance of our new products could have a negative effect on our business.

 

   

We use a limited number of distributors for the substantial majority of our sales, and if we experience the loss of one or more distributors and cannot replace them in a timely manner, our results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

   

We are dependent on hatcheries and pullet farm to supply our network of family farms with laying hens. Any disruption in that supply chain could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

   

We source our shell egg cartons from a sole source supplier and any disruptions may impact our ability to sell our eggs.

 

   

Because we rely on a limited number of third-party vendors to manufacture and store our products, we may not be able to maintain manufacturing and storage capacity at the times and with the capacities necessary to produce and store our products or meet the demand for our products.

 

   

Our brand and reputation may be diminished due to real or perceived quality or food safety issues with our products, which could have an adverse effect on our business, reputation, operating results and financial condition.

 

   

Failure to introduce new products may adversely affect our ability to continue to grow.

 

   

All of our pasture-raised shell eggs are processed at Egg Central Station in Springfield, Missouri. Any damage or disruption at this facility may harm our business.

 

   

Demand for shell eggs is subject to seasonal fluctuations and can adversely impact our results of operations in certain quarters.

 

   

Food safety and food-borne illness incidents or advertising or product mislabeling may materially adversely affect our business by exposing us to lawsuits, product recalls or regulatory enforcement actions, increasing our operating costs and reducing demand for our product offerings.

 

   

Our operations are subject to FDA and USDA federal regulation, and there is no assurance that we will be in compliance with all regulations.

 

   

As a public benefit corporation, our duty to balance a variety of interests may result in actions that do not maximize stockholder value.



 

9


Our Corporate Information

We were founded in 2007, originally incorporated in Texas in July 2009 and reincorporated in Delaware in June 2013, and we became a public benefit corporation in Delaware in October 2017. Our principal executive offices are located at 3601 South Congress Avenue, Suite C100, Austin, Texas 78704, and our telephone number is (877) 455-3063. Our website address is www.vitalfarms.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and you should not consider information on our website to be part of this prospectus or in deciding to purchase our Class A common stock.

Certified B Corporation

While not required by Delaware law or the terms of our certificate of incorporation, we have elected to have our social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency assessed against the proprietary criteria established by B Lab, an independent non-profit organization. As a result of this assessment, in December 2015, we were designated as a “Certified B Corporation.” In order to be designated as a Certified B Corporation, companies are required to take a comprehensive and objective assessment of their positive impact on society and the environment. See the sections titled “Business—Certified B Corporation” and “Description of Capital Stock—Anti-Takeover Provisions—Public Benefit Corporation” for additional information.

Public Benefit Corporation Status

In connection with our Certified B Corporation status and as a demonstration of our long-term commitment to our mission to bring ethically produced food to the table by coordinating a collection of family farms to operate with a well-defined set of organic agricultural practices that include the humane treatment of farm animals as a central tenet, we elected in October 2017 to be treated as a public benefit corporation under Delaware law. As provided in our certificate of incorporation, the public benefits that we promote, and pursuant to which we manage our company, are: (i) bringing ethically produced food to the table; (ii) bringing joy to our customers through products and services; (iii) allowing crew members to thrive in an empowering, fun environment; (iv) fostering lasting partnerships with our farms and suppliers; (v) forging an enduring profitable business; and (vi) being stewards of our animals, land, air and water, and being supportive of our community. Being a public benefit corporation underscores our commitment to our purpose and our stakeholders, including farmers and suppliers, consumers and customers, communities and the environment, crew members and stockholders. See the section titled “Business—Public Benefit Corporation” and “Description of Capital Stock—Anti-Takeover Provisions—Public Benefit Corporation Status” for additional information.

Our Fiscal Year

We report on a 52-53-week fiscal year, ending on the last Sunday in December, effective beginning with the first quarter of 2018. In a 52-53-week fiscal year, each fiscal quarter consists of 13 weeks. The additional week in a 53-week fiscal year is added to the fourth quarter, making such quarter consist of 14 weeks. Our first 53-week fiscal year will be fiscal 2023, which we expect to begin on December 26, 2022 and end on December 31, 2023. See Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional details related to our fiscal calendar.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company

We are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. We may take advantage of certain exemptions from various public company reporting requirements, including not being required to have our internal control over financial reporting audited by our independent registered public accounting firm under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the



 

10


Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements and exemptions from the requirements of holding a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation and any golden parachute payments. We may take advantage of these exemptions for up to five years or until we are no longer an emerging growth company, whichever is earlier. In addition, the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to use the extended transition period under the JOBS Act. Accordingly, our financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of public companies that comply with such new or revised accounting standards.



 

11


THE OFFERING

 

Class A common stock offered by us

                shares

 

Class A common stock offered by the selling stockholders

                shares

 

Option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock offered by us

                shares

 

Option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock offered by the selling stockholders

                shares

 

Class A common stock to be outstanding after this offering

                shares (                shares if the option to purchase additional shares from us and the selling stockholders is exercised in full)

 

Class B common stock to be outstanding after this offering

                Shares (                shares if the option to purchase additional shares from the selling stockholders is exercised in full)

 

Total Class A common stock and Class B common stock to be outstanding after this offering

                shares (                shares if the option to purchase additional shares from us and the selling stockholders is exercised in full)

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that our net proceeds from the sale of our Class A common stock that we are offering will be approximately $            million (or approximately $            million if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us is exercised in full), assuming an initial public offering price of $            per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares of our Class A common stock by the selling stockholders.

 

 

The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our capitalization and financial flexibility, to create a public market for our Class A common stock and to facilitate our future access to the capital markets. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds we receive from this offering. However, we currently intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditures, including our expansion of Egg Central Station. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds we receive from this offering to acquire complementary businesses, products, services or



 

12


 

technologies. However, we do not have agreements or commitments to enter into any acquisitions at this time.

 

  See the section titled “Use of Proceeds” for additional information.

 

Voting rights

Following this offering, we will have two classes of common stock: Class A common stock and Class B common stock. Class A common stock will be entitled to one vote per share and Class B common stock will be entitled to             votes per share.

 

  Holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will generally vote together as a single class, unless otherwise required by law or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering. The holders of our outstanding Class B common stock will hold approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock following this offering and will have the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including the election of our directors and the approval of any change in control transaction. See the sections titled “Principal and Selling Stockholders” and “Description of Capital Stock” for additional information.

 

Selling stockholders; concentration of ownership

            and             are selling an aggregate of             shares of Class A common stock in this offering and have granted the underwriters an option to purchase an additional             shares of Class A common stock. Following this offering, the holders of our outstanding Class B common stock will hold approximately     % of our outstanding capital stock and control approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock, and our executive officers, directors and stockholders holding more than 5% of our outstanding capital stock, together with their affiliates, will hold, in the aggregate, approximately     % of our outstanding capital stock and control approximately     % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock. See the section titled “Principal and Selling Stockholders” for additional information.

 

Risk factors

You should carefully read the section titled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 18 and the other information included in this prospectus for a discussion of facts that you should consider before deciding to invest in shares of our Class A common stock.

 

Proposed trading symbol

“                ”

The number of shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on no shares of Class A common stock outstanding and                  shares of Class B common stock outstanding as of December 29, 2019, and excludes:

 

   

                 shares of Class B common stock issuable on the exercise of outstanding stock options as of December 29, 2019 under our 2013 Incentive Plan, or 2013 Plan, with a weighted-average exercise price of $                 per share;



 

13


   

                 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding stock options issued after December 29, 2019 pursuant to our 2013 Plan with a weighted-average exercise price of $                 per share;

 

   

80,000 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of a common stock warrant that, if not exercised, will expire upon the earlier of June 12, 2020 or the completion of this offering;

 

   

                 shares of Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2020 Equity Incentive Plan, or 2020 Plan, which will become effective immediately prior to the execution of the underwriting agreement related to this offering, as well as any future increases, including annual automatic evergreen increases, in the number of shares of Class A common stock reserved for issuance thereunder, and any shares underlying outstanding stock awards granted under our 2013 Plan that expire or are repurchased, forfeited, cancelled or withheld, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefit Plans”; and

 

   

                 shares of Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our 2020 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or ESPP, which will become effective immediately prior to the execution of the underwriting agreement related to this offering, as well as any future increases, including annual automatic evergreen increases, in the number of shares of Class A common stock reserved for future issuance thereunder.

In addition, unless we specifically state otherwise, the information in this prospectus assumes:

 

   

a                 -for-one stock split of our common stock to be effected prior to the completion of this offering;

 

   

the filing of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and the effectiveness of our amended and restated bylaws, each of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

 

   

the reclassification of our outstanding common stock into an equal number of shares of our Class B common stock and the authorization of our Class A common stock, each of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

 

   

the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of                  shares of Class B common stock, which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

 

   

no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock from us and the selling stockholders in this offering; and

 

   

no exercise of the outstanding stock options described above.



 

14


SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The summary consolidated statements of operations data for the fiscal years ended December 30, 2018 and December 29, 2019 and the summary consolidated balance sheet data as of December 29, 2019 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. You should read the consolidated financial data set forth below in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes and the information in the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for any period in the future.

 

     Fiscal Year Ended  
     December 30, 2018     December 29, 2019  
     (in thousands, except share and per
share data)
 

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

    

Net revenue

   $ 106,713     $                

Cost of goods sold

     71,894    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     34,819    

Operating expenses:

    

Selling and marketing(1)

     9,575    

General and administrative(1)

     9,862    

Shipping and distribution

     8,615    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     28,052    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income from operations

     6,767    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Other expense, net

    

Interest expense, net

     (415  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other expense, net

     (415  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income before income taxes

     6,352    

Provision for income taxes

     723    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income

     5,629    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Less: Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

   $ (168   $    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders, basic and diluted

   $ 5,797     $    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders:(2)

    

Basic

   $ 0.55     $    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted

   $ 0.40     $    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used to compute net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders:(2)

    

Basic

     10,491,737    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted

     14,332,767    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Pro forma net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders:(2)

    

Basic

     $    
    

 

 

 

Diluted

     $    
    

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used to compute pro forma net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders:(2)

    

Basic

    
    

 

 

 

Diluted

    
    

 

 

 


 

15


 

(1)

Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:

 

     Fiscal Year Ended  
     December 30, 2018      December 29, 2019  
     (in thousands)  

Selling and marketing

   $ 35      $            

General and administrative

     565                  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total stock-based compensation expense

   $ 600      $    
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(2)

See Note 16 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for an explanation of the calculations of our basic and diluted earnings per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders, pro forma net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders and the weighted-average number of shares used in the computation of the per share amounts.

 

     As of December 29, 2019  
     Actual      Pro Forma(1)      Pro Forma
As Adjusted(2)(3)
 
     (in thousands)  

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

     

Cash and cash equivalents

   $                $              $          

Working capital(4)

        

Total assets

        

Long-term debt, net of issuance costs, including current portion

        

Contingent consideration, including current portion

        

Total liabilities

        

Convertible preferred stock

        

Total stockholders’ equity

        

 

(1)

The pro forma consolidated balance sheet data gives effect to (a) the reclassification of our outstanding common stock into an equal number of shares of Class B common stock, (b) the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of            shares of Class B common stock and (c) the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, each of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering.

(2)

The pro forma as adjusted consolidated balance sheet data gives effect to (a) the items described in footnote (1) above and (b) our receipt of estimated net proceeds from the sale of shares of Class A common stock that we are offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $            per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

(3)

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) each of cash and cash equivalents, total assets, working capital and total stockholders’ equity by $            million, assuming that the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) each of cash and cash equivalents, total assets, working capital and total stockholders’ equity by $            million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share of Class A common stock remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

(4)

Working capital is defined as current assets less current liabilities.

Non-GAAP Financial Measure—Adjusted EBITDA

 

     Fiscal Year Ended  
     December 30, 2018      December 29, 2019  

Non-GAAP Financial Measure:

     

Adjusted EBITDA(1)(2)

   $ 7,896      $            

 

(1)

We calculate Adjusted EBITDA as net income, adjusted to exclude: (1) depreciation and amortization; (2) provision for income taxes; (3) stock-based compensation expense; (4) interest expense; (5) change in fair value of contingent consideration; (6) interest income; and (7) net litigation settlement gain.



 

16


Adjusted EBITDA is a financial measure that is not required by, or presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA, when taken together with our financial results presented in accordance with GAAP, provides meaningful supplemental information regarding our operating performance and facilitates internal comparisons of our historical operating performance on a more consistent basis by excluding certain items that may not be indicative of our business, results of operations or outlook. In particular, we believe that the use of Adjusted EBITDA is helpful to our investors as it is a measure used by management in assessing the health of our business, determining incentive compensation and evaluating our operating performance, as well as for internal planning and forecasting purposes.

Adjusted EBITDA is presented for supplemental informational purposes only, has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP. Some of the limitations of Adjusted EBITDA include that (i) it does not properly reflect capital commitments to be paid in the future, (ii) although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the underlying assets may need to be replaced and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect these capital expenditures, (iii) it does not consider the impact of stock-based compensation expense, (iv) it does not reflect other non-operating expenses, including interest expense, (v) it does not consider the impact of any contingent consideration liability valuation adjustments and (vi) it does not reflect tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us. In addition, our use of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies because they may not calculate Adjusted EBITDA in the same manner, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure. Because of these limitations, when evaluating our performance, you should consider Adjusted EBITDA alongside other financial measures, including our net income and other results stated in accordance with GAAP.

 

(2)

The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income, the most directly comparable financial measure stated in accordance with GAAP, for each of the periods presented:

 

    Fiscal Year Ended  
    December 30, 2018     December 29, 2019  
    (in thousands)  

Net income

  $ 5,629     $    

Depreciation and amortization

    1,437    

Provision for income taxes

    723    

Stock-based compensation expense

    600    

Interest expense

    424    

Change in fair value of contingent consideration(a)

    92    

Interest income

    (9  

Net litigation settlement gain(b)

    (1,000               
 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

  $ 7,896     $    
 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

  (a)

Amount reflects the change in fair value of a contingent consideration liability in connection with our 2014 acquisition of Heartland Eggs, LLC, or HEC.

  (b)

Amount reflects a gain in connection with a lawsuit settlement in which we were the plaintiff.



 

17


RISK FACTORS

Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the following risk factors, as well as the other information in this prospectus, before deciding whether to invest in shares of our Class A common stock. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. In this case, the trading price of our Class A common stock would likely decline and you might lose part or all your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business, Our Brand, Our Products and Our Industry

Our recent, rapid growth may not be indicative of our future growth and, if we continue to grow rapidly, we may not be able to effectively manage our growth or evaluate our future prospects. If we fail to effectively manage our future growth or evaluate our future prospects, our business could be adversely affected.

We have grown rapidly since inception and anticipate further growth. For example, our net revenue increased from $106.7 million in fiscal 2018 to $             million in fiscal 2019. The number of our full-time crew members increased from 127 at December 30, 2018 to             at December 29, 2019. This growth has placed significant demands on our management, financial, operational, technological and other resources. The anticipated growth and expansion of our business depends on a number of factors, including our ability to:

 

   

increase awareness of our brand and successfully compete with other companies;

 

   

price our products effectively so that we are able to attract new customers and consumers and expand sales to our existing customers and consumers;

 

   

expand distribution to new points of sales with new and existing customers;

 

   

continue to innovate and introduce new products;

 

   

expand our supplier, co-manufacturing, co-packing, cold storage, processing and distribution capacities; and

 

   

maintain quality control over our product offerings.

Such growth and expansion of our business will place significant demands on our management and operations teams and require significant additional resources, financial and otherwise, to meet our needs, which may not be available in a cost-effective manner, or at all. We expect to continue to expend substantial resources on:

 

   

our current and future processing facilities;

 

   

our sales and marketing efforts to increase brand awareness, engage our existing and prospective customers, and drive sales of our products;

 

   

product innovation and development; and

 

   

general administration, including increased finance, legal and accounting expenses associated with being a public company.

These investments may not result in the growth of our business. Even if these investments do result in the growth of our business, if we do not effectively manage our growth, we may not be able to execute on our business plan, respond to competitive pressures, take advantage of market opportunities, satisfy customer requirements or maintain high-quality product offerings, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have incurred net losses in the past and we may not be able to maintain or increase our profitability in the future.

For the years ended December 30, 2018 and December 29, 2019, we generated net income of $5.6 million and $            million, respectively. However, we have experienced net losses in fiscal 2017 and in prior years.

 

18


Our ability to maintain or increase our profitability is subject to various factors, many of which are beyond our control. As we expand our operations, we anticipate that our operating expenses and capital expenditures will increase substantially in the foreseeable future as we continue to invest to increase household penetration, customer base, supplier network, marketing channels and product portfolio, expand and enhance our processing, manufacturing and distribution facilities as needed, and hire additional crew members. Our expansion efforts may prove more expensive than we anticipate (including as a result of increases in equipment prices, which may be due to an actual or threatened trade war), and we may not succeed in increasing our net revenue and margins sufficiently to offset the anticipated higher expenses. We have incurred significant expenses in connection with investing in our egg processing facility, our co-manufacturing and co-packing relationships, and obtaining and storing raw materials, and we will continue to incur significant expenses in developing our innovative products and marketing the products we offer. In addition, many of our expenses, including the costs associated with our existing and any future processing and manufacturing facilities, are fixed. After this offering, we also expect to incur significant additional legal, accounting and other expenses as a public company that we did not incur as a private company. If we fail to continue to grow our revenue at a greater rate than our costs and expenses, we may be unable to maintain or increase our profitability and may incur losses in the future.

We are dependent on the market for shell eggs.

We contract with family farms to purchase all of their egg production for the duration of our contracts. We are contractually obligated to purchase these eggs irrespective of our ability to sell such eggs. Periodically in our industry, including recently, there has been an oversupply of eggs, which has caused egg prices to contract, sometimes substantially so, and as a result we have sold or donated our excess supply at reduced prices or no cost. If we are unable to sell such eggs upon commercially reasonable terms or at all, our gross margins, business, financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected.

We also sell pasture-raised shell eggs to consumers at a premium price point, and when prices for commodity shell eggs fall relative to the price of our pasture-raised shell eggs, price-sensitive consumers may choose to purchase commodity shell eggs offered by our competitors at a greater velocity than, or instead of, our pasture-raised eggs. As a result, low commodity shell egg prices may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We also sell a small percentage of our shell eggs to wholesalers and egg breaking plants at commodity shell egg prices, which fluctuate widely and are outside our control. Small increases in production, or small decreases in demand, can have a large adverse effect on the prices at which these eggs are sold.

Sales of pasture-raised shell eggs contribute the vast majority of our net revenue, and a reduction in these sales would have an adverse effect on our financial condition.

Pasture-raised shell eggs accounted for approximately 89% of our net revenue in fiscal 2018 and    % of our net revenue in fiscal 2019. Pasture-raised shell eggs are our flagship product and have been the focal point of our sales and marketing efforts, and we believe that sales of pasture-raised shell eggs will continue to constitute a significant portion of our net revenue, net income and cash flow for the foreseeable future. We cannot be certain that we will be able to continue to expand sales, processing and distribution of pasture-raised shell eggs, or that consumer and customer demand for our other existing and future products will expand to allow such products to represent a larger percentage of our revenue than they do currently. Accordingly, any factor adversely affecting sales of our pasture-raised shell eggs could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Fluctuations in commodity prices and in the availability of feed grains could negatively impact our results of operations and financial condition.

The price we pay to purchase shell eggs from farmers fluctuates based on pallet weight, and under our buy-sell contracts, which account for 92% of the laying hens in our network of family farms as of December 30,

 

19


2018, the price we pay is also indexed quarterly in arrears for changes in feed cost, which may cause our agreed-upon pricing under these contracts to fluctuate on a quarterly basis. Additionally, for our integrator contracts, which account for the remaining 8% of laying hens in our network, we are directly responsible for purchasing and providing feed supply to the farmer. Therefore, our results of operations and financial condition, including our gross margin and profitability, fluctuate based on the cost and supply of commodities, including corn, soybean meal and other feed ingredients. Although feed ingredients are available from a number of sources, we have little, if any, control over the prices of these ingredients, which are affected by weather, speculators, export restrictions, various supply and demand factors, transportation and storage costs, and agricultural and energy policies in the U.S. and internationally. For example, the severe drought in the summer of 2012 and resulting damage to corn and soybean crops resulted in high and volatile feed costs. We may not be able to increase our product prices enough or in a timely manner to sufficiently offset increased commodity costs due to consumer price sensitivity, or the pricing postures of our competitors and, in many cases, our retailers may not accept a price increase or may require price increases to occur after a specified period of time elapses. In addition, if we increase prices to offset higher costs, we could experience lower demand for our products and lower sales volumes. Over time, if we are unable to price our products to cover increased costs, unable to offset operating cost increases with continuous improvement savings or unsuccessful in any commodity-hedging program, then commodity price volatility or increases could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to effectively expand our processing, manufacturing and production capacity as we continue to grow and scale our business, our business and operating results and our brand reputation could be harmed.

We may in the future need to expand our operations, supply, processing and manufacturing capabilities as we continue to grow and scale our business. For example, we are in the process of expanding Egg Central Station, our shell egg processing facility, to increase our capacity for the distribution of pasture-raised shell eggs. However, there is risk in our ability to effectively scale production and processing and effectively manage our supply chain requirements. We must accurately forecast demand for our products in order to ensure we have adequate available processing and manufacturing capacity. Our forecasts are based on multiple assumptions which may cause our estimates to be inaccurate and affect our ability to obtain adequate processing and manufacturing capacities (whether our own processing and manufacturing capacities or co-processing and co-manufacturing capacities) in order to meet the demand for our products, which could prevent us from meeting increased customer demand. Our brand and our business could be harmed if we are unable to fulfill orders in a timely manner or at all. If we fail to meet demand for our products and, as a result, consumers who have previously purchased our products buy other brands or our retailers allocate shelf space to other brands, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

On the other hand, if we overestimate our demand and overbuild our capacity, we may have significantly underutilized assets and may experience reduced margins. If we do not accurately align our processing and manufacturing capabilities with demand, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

We are currently expanding Egg Central Station, and we may not successfully complete construction of or commence operations in this expansion, or the expanded facility may not operate in accordance with our expectations.

We are currently expanding Egg Central Station, our shell egg processing facility, in order to address our rapid growth and increase our shell egg processing capacity. We commenced design in January 2019 and anticipate that we will complete construction and commence operations in 2021. Any substantial delay in obtaining the necessary permits, completing construction or in bringing this expansion up to full processing capacity on our current schedule may hinder our ability to process all of the pasture-raised eggs needed to meet consumer and customer demand and achieve our expected financial performance. Constructing and opening this facility has required, and will continue to require, significant capital expenditures and the efforts and attention of

 

20


our management and other personnel, which has and will continue to divert resources from our existing business or operations. In addition, we will need to hire and retain more skilled crew members to operate the expanded facility. Even if our expansion is brought up to full processing capacity according to our current schedule, it may not provide us with all of the operational and financial benefits we expect to receive.

If we fail to effectively maintain or expand our network of small family farms, our business, operating results and brand reputation could be harmed.

We source our pasture-raised eggs and milk for our products from our network of small family farms, which is the foundation of our supply chain. If we are unable to maintain and expand this supply chain because of actions taken by farmers or other events outside of our control, we may be unable to timely supply distributors and customers with our products, which could lead to cancellation of purchase orders, damage to our commercial relationships and impairment of our brand. For example, we require these farmers to build and equip their farms to certain specifications, which requires a significant upfront capital investment, and any inability of farmers to obtain adequate financing on acceptable terms would impair their ability to partner with us. If our relationship with these farmers is disrupted, we may not be able to fully recover our investments in birds and feed, which would negatively impact our operating results. There are a number of factors that could impair our relationship with farmers, many of which are outside of our control. For example, while we strive to operate our business in a manner that drives long-term and sustainable benefits for our stakeholders, including farmers, we may make strategic decisions that the farmers do not believe align with their interests or values, which could cause the farmers to terminate their relationships with us. Additionally, our network of small family farms is in a geographic region we refer to as the Pasture Belt, which is located primarily in the Midwest, and the occurrence of a natural disaster in this region could have a significant negative impact on us, the farmers and our supply chain. Any failure to maintain or expand our network of small family farms would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our future business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected by reduced or limited availability of pasture-raised eggs and milk and other raw materials that meet our standards.

Our ability to ensure a continuing supply of pasture-raised eggs and milk and other raw materials for our products at competitive prices depends on many factors beyond our control. In particular, we rely on the farms that supply us with pasture-raised eggs and milk to implement controls and procedures to manage the risk of exposing animals to harmful diseases, but outbreaks may occur despite their efforts. An outbreak of disease could result in increased government restriction on the sale and distribution of our products, and negative publicity could impact customer and consumer perception of our products, even if an outbreak does not directly impact the animals from which we source our products. Additionally, the animals from which our products are sourced, and the pastures on which they are raised, are vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, frosts, earthquakes, hurricanes and pestilence. Disease, adverse weather conditions and natural disasters can adversely impact pasture quantity and quality, leading to reduced egg and milk yields and quality, which in turn could reduce the available supply of, or increase the price of, our raw materials.

We also compete with other food companies in the procurement of pasture-raised eggs and milk, and this competition may increase in the future if consumer demand increases for these items or products containing them or if competitors increasingly offer products in these market sectors. If supplies of pasture-raised eggs and milk that meet our quality standards are reduced or are in greater demand, we may not be able to obtain sufficient supply to meet our needs on favorable terms, or at all.

Our supply may also be affected by the number and size of farms that raise chickens and cows on pasture, changes in U.S. and global economic conditions, and our ability to forecast our raw materials requirements. For example, the farms must meet our standards and in order to meet these standards, we require them to invest in infrastructure at the outset of our relationship. The typical upfront investment for each of the farms is significant and many of the farmers seek financing assistance from local and regional banks as well as federal government

 

21


loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency. Changes in U.S. and global economic conditions or any U.S. government shutdown could significantly decrease loans available to farmers. Many of these farmers also have alternative income opportunities and the relative financial performance of raising chickens and cows on pasture as compared to other potentially more profitable opportunities could affect their interest in working with us. Any of these factors could impact our ability to supply our products to distributors and customers and may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We currently have a limited number of co-manufacturers. Loss of one or more of our co-manufacturers or our failure to timely identify and establish relationships with new co-manufacturers could harm our business and impede our growth.

A significant amount of our revenue is derived from products manufactured at facilities owned and operated by our co-manufacturers. We currently rely on one co-manufacturer for hard-boiled eggs, one co-manufacturer for butter, one co-manufacturer for ghee and one co-manufacturer for liquid eggs. We do not currently have written manufacturing contracts with these co-manufacturers. Because of the absence of such contracts, any of our co-manufacturers could seek to alter or terminate its relationship with us at any time, leaving us with periods during which we have limited or no ability to manufacture our products.

An interruption in, or the loss of operations at, one or more of our co-manufacturing facilities, which may be caused by work stoppages, regulatory issues or noncompliance, disease outbreaks or pandemics, acts of war, terrorism, fire, earthquakes, flooding or other natural disasters, could delay, postpone or reduce production of some of our products, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations until such time as such interruption is resolved or an alternate source of production is secured, especially in times of low inventory.

We believe there are a limited number of competent, high-quality co-manufacturers in our industry that meet our geographical requirements and our strict quality and control standards, and should we seek to obtain additional or alternative co-manufacturing arrangements in the future, there can be no assurance that we would be able to do so on satisfactory terms, in a timely manner, or at all. Therefore, the loss of one or more co-manufacturers, any disruption or delay at a co-manufacturer or any failure to identify and engage co-manufacturers for new products and product extensions could delay, postpone or reduce production of our products, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We could be adversely affected by a change in consumer preferences, perception and spending habits in the natural food industry and on animal-based products, in particular, and failure to develop or enrich our product offering or gain market acceptance of our new products could have a negative effect on our business.

We have positioned our brand to capitalize on growing consumer interest in natural, clean-label, traceable, ethically produced, great-tasting and nutritious foods. The market in which we operate is subject to changes in consumer preference, perception and spending habits. Our performance depends significantly on factors that may affect the level and pattern of consumer spending in the U.S. natural food industry market in which we operate. Such factors include consumer preference, consumer confidence, consumer income, consumer perception of the safety and quality of our products and shifts in the perceived value for our products relative to alternatives. Media coverage regarding the safety or quality of, or diet or health issues relating to, our products or the raw materials, ingredients or processes involved in their manufacturing may damage consumer confidence in our products. A general decline in the consumption of our products could occur as a result of change in consumer preference, perception and spending habits, including an unwillingness to pay a premium, at any time. For example, we and many of our customers face pressure from animal rights groups to require all companies that supply food products to operate their business in a manner that treats animals in conformity with certain standards developed or approved by these animal rights groups. If consumer preferences shift away from animal-based products for these reasons, because of a preference for plant-based products or otherwise, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

22


The success of our products depends on a number of factors including our ability to accurately anticipate changes in market demand and consumer preferences, our ability to differentiate the quality of our products from those of our competitors, and the effectiveness of our marketing and advertising campaigns for our products. We may not be successful in identifying trends in consumer preferences and developing products that respond to such trends in a timely manner. We also may not be able to effectively promote our products by our marketing and advertising campaigns and gain market acceptance. If our products fail to gain market acceptance, are restricted by regulatory requirements or have quality problems, we may not be able to fully recover costs and expenses incurred in our operation, and our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

We use a limited number of distributors for the substantial majority of our sales, and if we experience the loss of one or more distributors and cannot replace them in a timely manner, our results of operations may be adversely affected.

To distribute our products, we use a broker-distributor-retailer network whereby brokers represent our products to distributors and retailers who in turn sell our products to consumers. We serve the majority of natural channel customers through food distributors, such as United Natural Foods, Inc., or UNFI, and KeHE Distributors, LLC, or KeHE, which purchase, store, sell and deliver our products to retailers, including Whole Foods and Sprouts. In fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, UNFI accounted for 36% and     % of our net revenue, respectively, and KeHE accounted for 10% and     % of our net revenue, respectively. Since these distributors act as intermediaries between us and the retail grocers or foodservice providers, we do not have short-term or long-term commitments or minimum purchase volumes in our contracts with them that ensure future sales of our products. These distributors are able to decide on the products carried, and they may limit the products available for retailers, such as Whole Foods and Sprouts, to purchase. We expect that most of our sales will be made through a core number of distributors for the foreseeable future. If we lose one or more of our significant distributors and cannot replace the distributor in a timely manner or at all, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

We are dependent on hatcheries and pullet farms to supply our network of family farms with laying hens. Any disruption in that supply chain could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Under the terms of our contracts with our network of family farms, while we do not own laying hens, we are generally responsible for coordinating the acquisition and delivery of laying hens to the farmers. In order to meet these obligations, we place orders for chicks directly with hatcheries intended to supply a future year’s production of eggs at least a year in advance. Once the chicks are hatched, they are delivered to a network of pullet farms, who rear the chicks to approximately 16 to 18 weeks of age, at which time they begin laying eggs. The hens are then delivered directly from the pullet farms to our network of family farms, which then place the hens into egg production.

Because it would be inefficient to contract directly with pullet farms to rear the quantity of chicks that we require, we currently work with a sole source supplier that contracts with a network of independent pullet farms. We do not have a long-term supply contract with this third party, and if this supplier were to cease doing business with us for any reason, we may have a difficult time finding and contracting with alternate pullet farms in sufficient scale to meet our needs, if at all. Additionally, any disruption in these supply services for any reason, including bird disease, natural disaster, fire, power interruption, work stoppage or other calamity, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations if we cannot replace these providers in a timely manner on acceptable terms or at all.

 

23


Consolidation of retail customers or the loss of a significant retail customer could negatively impact our sales and profitability.

Our retail customers include natural channel and mainstream channel stores, which have been undergoing a consolidation in recent years. This consolidation has produced larger, more sophisticated organizations with increased negotiating and buying power that are able to resist price increases, as well as operate with lower inventories, decrease the number of brands that they carry and increase their emphasis on private label products, all of which could negatively impact our business. In fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, Kroger accounted for approximately 17% and     % of our net revenue, respectively. With certain of our retail customers, like Whole Foods and Sprouts, we sell our products through distributors. We are not able to precisely attribute our net revenue to a specific retailer for products sold through distributors. We rely on third-party data to calculate the portion of retail sales attributable to retailers, but this data is inherently imprecise because it is based on gross sales generated by our products sold at retailers, without accounting for price concessions, promotional activities or chargebacks, and because it measures retail sales for only the portion of our retailers serviced through distributors. Based on this third-party data and internal analysis, Whole Foods accounted for approximately 37% and    % of our retail sales in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, respectively, and Sprouts accounted for approximately 10% and     % of our retail sales in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, respectively. The loss of Kroger, Whole Foods, Sprouts or any other large retail customer, the reduction of purchasing levels or the cancellation of any business from Kroger, Whole Foods, Sprouts or any other large retail customer for an extended length of time could negatively impact our sales and profitability.

A retailer may take actions that affect us for reasons that we cannot always anticipate or control, such as their financial condition, changes in their business strategy or operations, the introduction of competing products or the perceived quality of our products. Despite operating in different channel segments, our retailers sometimes compete for the same consumers. Because of actual or perceived conflicts resulting from this competition, retailers may take actions that negatively affect us. Consequently, our financial results may fluctuate significantly from period to period based on the actions of one or more significant retailers.

Failure by our transportation providers to pick up raw materials or deliver our products on time, in compliance with applicable governmental regulations or at all, could result in lost sales.

We currently rely upon third-party transportation providers for a significant portion of our raw material transportation and product shipments. Our utilization of pickup and delivery services for shipments is subject to risks, including increases in fuel prices, which would increase our shipping costs, chronic driver shortages, employee strikes, inclement weather and noncompliance by our third-party transportation providers with applicable regulatory requirements, which may impact the ability of providers to provide delivery services that adequately meet our shipping needs. We may change shipping companies, and we could face logistical difficulties with any such change that could adversely affect deliveries. In addition, we could incur costs and expend resources in connection with such change. Moreover, we may not be able to obtain terms as favorable as those we receive from the third-party transportation providers that we currently use, which in turn would increase our costs and thereby adversely affect our operating results.

We source our shell egg cartons from a sole source supplier and any disruptions may impact our ability to sell our eggs.

We obtain packaging for our shell eggs from a sole-source supplier. We do not have guaranteed supply contracts with our supplier, and our supplier could delay shipments, increase prices or cease manufacturing such our shell egg cartons or selling them to us at any time. A disruption in the supply of our shell egg cartons could delay our production and hinder our ability to meet our commitments to customers. If we are unable to obtain a sufficient quantity of our packaging on commercially reasonable terms or in a timely manner, or if we are unable to obtain alternative sources, sales of our products could be delayed or we may be required to redesign our

 

24


products. Any of these events could result in lost sales, reduced gross margins or damage to our customer relationships, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Because we rely on a limited number of third-party vendors to manufacture and store our products, we may not be able to maintain manufacturing and storage capacity at the times and with the capacities necessary to produce and store our products or meet the demand for our products.

We rely on a limited number of co-manufacturers and cold storage providers. We currently rely on one co-manufacturer for hard-boiled eggs, one co-manufacturer for butter, one co-manufacturer for ghee and one co-manufacturer for liquid eggs. Our financial performance depends in large part on our ability to obtain adequate co-manufacturing and cold storage facilities services in a timely manner. We are not assured of continued co-manufacturing and cold storage capacities. Certain of our co-manufacturers or our cold storage providers could discontinue or seek to alter their relationship with us. In addition, we are not assured of sufficient capacities of these providers commensurate with increased product demand. Any disruption in the supply of our final products from these providers would have an adverse effect on our business if we cannot replace these providers in a timely manner or at all.

We may not be able to compete successfully in our highly competitive market.

We operate in a highly competitive environment across each of our product categories. We have numerous competitors of varying sizes, including producers of private-label products, as well as producers of other branded egg and butter products that compete for trade merchandising support and consumer dollars. Numerous brands and products compete for limited retailer shelf space, including in the refrigerated section, foodservice, and customers and consumers. In our market, competition is based on, among other things, product quality and taste, brand recognition and loyalty, product variety, product packaging and package design, shelf space, reputation, price, advertising, promotion and nutritional claims.

We compete with large egg companies such as Cal-Maine, Inc. and large international food companies such as Ornua (Kerrygold). We also compete directly with local and regional egg companies, as well as private-label specialty egg products processed by other egg companies. Each of these competitors may have substantially greater financial and other resources than us and some of whose products are well accepted in the marketplace today. They may also have lower operational costs, and as a result may be able to offer comparable or substitute products to customers at lower costs. This could put pressure on us to lower our prices, resulting in lower profitability or, in the alternative, cause us to lose market share if we fail to lower prices.

Generally, the food industry is dominated by multinational corporations with substantially greater resources and operations than us. We cannot be certain that we will successfully compete with larger competitors that have greater financial, sales and technical resources. Conventional food companies may acquire our competitors or launch their own egg and butter products, including ones that may be pasture-raised, and they may be able to use their resources and scale to respond to competitive pressures and changes in consumer preferences by introducing new products, reducing prices or increasing promotional activities, among other things. Retailers also market competitive products under their own private labels, which are generally sold at lower prices, and may change the merchandising of our products so they have less favorable placement. Competitive pressures or other factors could cause us to lose market share, which may require us to lower prices, increase marketing and advertising expenditures, or increase the use of discounting or promotional campaigns, each of which would adversely affect our margins and could result in a decrease in our operating results and profitability.

 

25


In addition, our ability to compete successfully in our market depends, in large part, on our ability to implement our growth strategy of expanding supply and distribution, improving placement of our products, attracting new consumers to our brand and introducing new products and product extensions. Our ability to implement this growth strategy depends, among other things, on our ability to:

 

   

manage relationships with various suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors, customers and other third parties, and expend time and effort to integrate new suppliers, co-manufacturers and customers into our fulfillment operations;

 

   

secure placement in stores for our products;

 

   

increase our brand recognition;

 

   

expand and maintain brand loyalty; and

 

   

develop new product lines and extensions.

We may not be able to implement our growth strategy successfully. Our sales and operating results will be adversely affected if we fail to implement our growth strategy or if we invest resources in a growth strategy that ultimately proves unsuccessful.

A U.S. federal government shutdown could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.

The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government that began in late 2018 and continued into 2019 adversely impacted many of our family farmers’ ability to access capital, as these farmers receive funding through farm loan programs of the USDA Farm Service Agency. The partial shutdown also impacted our ability to receive governmental approvals for products and labeling of new products. Another U.S. federal government shutdown of similar or greater duration could similarly impact our business, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We have only recently expanded our product offerings beyond pasture-raised eggs, which makes it difficult to forecast our future results of operations.

We have only recently expanded our product offerings beyond pasture-raised eggs. As a result of our limited experience managing multiple product lines, our ability to accurately forecast our future results of operations is limited and subject to a number of uncertainties, including our ability to plan for and model future growth. Our historical revenue growth should not be considered indicative of our future performance. Further, in future periods, our revenue growth could slow or our revenue could decline for a number of reasons, including slowing demand for our products, increasing competition, a decrease in the growth of our overall market, or our failure, for any reason, to continue to take advantage of growth opportunities. If our assumptions regarding these risks and uncertainties and our future revenue growth are incorrect or change, or if we do not address these risks successfully, our operating and financial results could differ materially from our expectations, and our business could suffer.

Failure to introduce new products may adversely affect our ability to continue to grow.

A key element of our growth strategy depends on our ability to develop and market new products that meet our standards for quality and appeal to consumer preferences. The success of our innovation and product development efforts is affected by our ability to anticipate changes in consumer preferences, the technical capability of our innovation staff in developing and testing product prototypes, our ability to comply with applicable governmental regulations, and the success of our management and sales and marketing teams in introducing and marketing new products. Failure to develop and market new products that appeal to consumers may lead to a decrease in our growth, sales and profitability.

 

26


Additionally, the development and introduction of new products requires substantial marketing expenditures, which we may be unable to recoup if the new products do not gain widespread market acceptance. If we are unsuccessful in meeting our objectives with respect to new or improved products, our business could be harmed.

Our brand and reputation may be diminished due to real or perceived quality or food safety issues with our products, which could have an adverse effect on our business, reputation, operating results and financial condition.

We believe our consumers rely on us to provide them with high-quality pasture-raised products. Therefore, real or perceived quality or food safety concerns or failures to comply with applicable food regulations and requirements, whether or not ultimately based on fact and whether or not involving us (such as incidents involving our competitors), could cause negative publicity and reduced confidence in our company, brand or products, which could in turn harm our reputation and sales, and could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

Our products may be subject to contamination by foreign materials or disease-producing organisms or pathogens, such as salmonella and E. coli. These organisms and pathogens are found generally in the environment and there is a risk that one or more could be present in our products, either as a result of food processing or as an inherent risk based on the nature of our products. These organisms and pathogens also can be introduced to our products as a result of improper handling at the further-processing, foodservice or consumer level. These risks may be controlled, but may not be eliminated, by adherence to good manufacturing practices and finished product testing. Shipment of contaminated products, even if inadvertent, could result in a violation of law and lead to increased risk of exposure to product liability claims, product recalls and increased scrutiny by federal and state regulatory agencies, penalties and adverse publicity. In addition, products purchased from other producers could contain contaminants that we might inadvertently redistribute. If our products become contaminated, we might decide or need to recall a product if we or regulators believe it poses a potential health risk. Any product recall could result in a loss of consumer confidence in our products, adversely affect our reputation with existing and potential customers.

We also have no control over our products once purchased by consumers. For example, consumers may store our products under conditions and for periods of time inconsistent with USDA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, and other governmental guidelines, which may adversely affect the quality and safety of our products.

If consumers do not perceive our products to be of high quality or safe, then the value of our brand would be diminished, and our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected. Any loss of confidence on the part of consumers in the quality and safety of our products would be difficult and costly to overcome. Any such adverse effect could be exacerbated by our market positioning as a socially conscious purveyor of high-quality, pasture-raised products and may significantly reduce our brand value. Issues regarding the safety of any of our products, regardless of the cause, may have an adverse effect on our brand, reputation and operating results. Further, the growing use of social and digital media by us, our consumers and third parties increases the speed and extent that information or misinformation and opinions can be shared. Negative publicity about us, our brands or our products on social or digital media could seriously damage our brands and reputation. If we do not maintain the favorable perception of our brands, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

All of our pasture-raised shell eggs are processed at Egg Central Station in Springfield, Missouri. Any damage or disruption at this facility may harm our business.

All of our pasture-raised shell egg processing occurs at our facility in Springfield, Missouri. Any shutdown or period of reduced production at Egg Central Station, our shell egg processing facility, which may be caused by regulatory noncompliance or other issues, as well as other factors beyond our control, such as natural disaster,

 

27


fire, power interruption, work stoppage, equipment failure or delay in raw materials delivery, would significantly disrupt our ability to deliver our products in a timely manner, meet our contractual obligations and operate our business. Further, the processing equipment used for our pasture-raised shell eggs is costly to replace or repair, and if any material amount of our machinery were damaged, we would be unable to predict when, if at all, we could replace or repair such machinery or find co-manufacturers with suitable alterative machinery, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. We have property and business disruption insurance in place for Egg Central Station; however, such insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover all of our potential losses and may not continue to be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.

Failure to leverage our brand value propositions to compete against private label products, especially during economic downturn, may adversely affect our profitability.

In many product categories, we compete not only with other widely advertised branded products, but also with private label products that generally are sold at lower prices. Consumers are more likely to purchase our products if they believe that our products provide a higher quality and greater value than less expensive alternatives. If the difference in perceived value between our brands and private label products narrows, or if there is a perception of such a narrowing, consumers may choose not to buy our products at prices that are profitable for us. We believe that in periods of economic uncertainty consumers may purchase more lower-priced private label or other economy brands. To the extent this occurs, we could experience a reduction in the sales volume of our higher margin products or a shift in our product mix to lower margin offerings. In addition, in times of economic uncertainty, consumers may reduce the amount of food that they consume away from home at our foodservice customers, which in turn may reduce our product sales.

We must expend resources to maintain consumer awareness of our brands, build brand loyalty and generate interest in our products. Our marketing strategies and channels will evolve and our programs may or may not be successful.

In order to remain competitive and expand and keep shelf placement for our products, we may need to increase our marketing and advertising spending to maintain and increase consumer awareness, protect and grow our existing market share or promote new products, which could impact our operating results. Substantial advertising and promotional expenditures may be required to maintain or improve our brand’s market position or to introduce new products to the market, and participants in our industry are increasingly engaging with non-traditional media, including consumer outreach through social media and web-based channels, which may not prove successful. An increase in our marketing and advertising efforts may not maintain our current reputation or lead to increased brand awareness. Further, social media platforms frequently change the algorithms that determine the ranking and display of results of a user’s search and may make other changes to the way results are displayed, or may increase the costs of such advertising, which can negatively affect the placement of our links and, therefore, reduce the number of visits to our website and social media channels or make such marketing cost-prohibitive. In addition, social media platforms typically require compliance with their policies and procedures, which may be subject to change or new interpretation with limited ability to negotiate, which could negatively impact our marketing capabilities. If we are unable to maintain and promote a favorable perception of our brand and products on a cost-effective basis, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

If we fail to develop and maintain our brand, our business could suffer.

We have developed a strong and trusted brand that has contributed significantly to the success of our business, and we believe our continued success depends on our ability to maintain and grow the value of the Vital Farms brand. Maintaining, promoting and positioning our brand and reputation will depend on, among other factors, the success of our product offerings, food safety, quality assurance, marketing and merchandising efforts, our continued focus on animal welfare, the environment and sustainability and our ability to provide a consistent, high-quality consumer and customer experience. Any negative publicity, regardless of its accuracy,

 

28


could have an adverse effect on our business. Brand value is based on perceptions of subjective qualities, and any incident that erodes the loyalty of our consumers, customers, suppliers or co-manufacturers, including adverse publicity or a governmental investigation, litigation or regulatory enforcement action, could significantly reduce the value of our brand and significantly damage our business.

If we fail to cost-effectively acquire new consumers or retain our existing consumers, our business could be adversely affected.

Our success, and our ability to increase revenue and operate profitably, depends in part on our ability to cost-effectively acquire new consumers, retain existing consumers and keep existing consumers engaged so that they continue to purchase our products. While we intend to continue to invest significantly in selling and marketing to educate consumers about our brand, our values and our products, there is no assurance that these efforts will generate further demand for our products or expand our consumer base. Our ability to attract new consumers and retain our existing consumers will depend on the perceived value and quality of our products, consumers’ desire to purchase ethically produced products at a premium, offerings of our competitors, our ability to offer new and relevant products and the effectiveness of our marketing efforts, among other items. For example, because our pasture-raised shell eggs are sold to consumers at a premium price point, when prices for commodity shell eggs fall relative to the price of our pasture-raised shell eggs, we may be unable to entice price-sensitive consumers to try our products. We may also lose loyal consumers to our competitors if we are unable to meet consumer demand in a timely manner. If we are unable to cost-effectively acquire new consumers, retain existing consumers and keep existing consumers engaged, our business, financial condition and operating results would be adversely affected.

Our sales and profits are dependent upon our ability to expand existing customer relationships and acquire new customers.

Our business depends on our ability to increase our household penetration, to expand the number of products sold through existing retail customers, to grow within the foodservice channel and to strengthen our product offerings through innovation in both new and existing categories. Any strategies we employ to pursue this growth are subject to numerous factors outside of our control. For example, retailers continue to aggressively market their private label products, which could reduce demand for our products. The expansion of our business also depends on our ability to obtain customers in additional distribution channels, such as convenience, drugstore, club, military and international markets. Any growth in distribution channels may also affect our existing customer relationships and present additional challenges, including related to pricing strategies. Additionally, we may need to increase or reallocate spending on marketing and promotional activities, such as rebates, temporary price reductions, off-invoice discounts, retailer advertisements, product coupons and other trade activities, and these expenditures are subject to risks, including related to consumer acceptance of our efforts. Our failure to obtain new customers, or expand our business with existing customers, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We may require additional financing to achieve our goals, and a failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed on acceptable terms, or at all, may force us to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product manufacturing and development, and other operations.

We have funded our operations since inception primarily through equity financings and sales of our products. We expect to expend significant resources expanding Egg Central Station. We believe that we will continue to expend substantial resources for the foreseeable future as we expand into additional markets we may choose to pursue. These expenditures are expected to include working capital, costs associated with research and development, manufacturing and supply, as well as marketing and selling existing and new products. In addition, other unanticipated costs may arise.

After giving effect to the anticipated net proceeds from this offering, we expect that our existing cash will be sufficient to fund our planned operating expenses, capital expenditure requirements and debt service payments

 

29


through at least the next 12 months. However, our operating plan may change because of factors currently unknown to us, and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned, through public or private equity or debt financings or other sources, such as strategic collaborations. Such financings may result in dilution to stockholders, imposition of debt covenants and repayment obligations, or other restrictions that may adversely affect our business. In addition, we may seek additional capital due to favorable market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans.

Demand for shell eggs is subject to seasonal fluctuations and can adversely impact our results of operations in certain quarters.

Demand for shell eggs fluctuates in response to seasonal factors. Shell egg demand tends to increase with the start of the school year and is highest prior to holiday periods, particularly Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, and the lowest during the summer months. As a result of these seasonal and quarterly fluctuations, comparisons of our sales and operating results between different quarters within a single fiscal year are not necessarily meaningful comparisons. If we are not correct in predicting our future shell egg demand, we may experience a supply and demand shell egg imbalance. This imbalance between supply and demand can adversely impact our results of operations at certain times of the year.

Packaging costs are volatile and may rise significantly, which may negatively impact the profitability of our business.

We and our co-manufacturers purchase and use significant quantities of cardboard, glass, corrugated fiberboard, kraft paper, flexible plastic, flexible film and paperboard to package our products. Costs of packaging are volatile and can fluctuate due to conditions that are difficult to predict, including global competition for resources, weather conditions, consumer demand and changes in governmental trade. Volatility in the prices of supplies we and our co-manufacturers purchase could increase our cost of sales and reduce our profitability. Moreover, we may not be able to implement price increases for our products to cover any increased costs, and any price increases we do implement may result in lower sales volumes. If we are not successful in managing our packaging costs, if we are unable to increase our prices to cover increased costs or if such price increases reduce our sales volumes, then such increases in costs will adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our net revenue and earnings may fluctuate as a result of price concessions, promotional activities and chargebacks.

Retailers may require price concessions that would negatively impact our margins and our profitability. If we are not able to lower our cost structure adequately in response to customer pricing demands, and if we are not able to attract and retain a profitable customer mix and a profitable product mix, our profitability could continue to be adversely affected.

In addition, we periodically offer sales incentives through various programs to customers and consumers, including rebates, temporary price reductions, off-invoice discounts, retailer advertisements, product coupons and other trade activities. We also periodically provide chargebacks to our customers, which include credits or discounts to customers in the event that products do not conform to customer specifications or expire at a customer’s site. The cost associated with promotions and chargebacks is estimated and recorded as a reduction in net revenue. We anticipate that these price concessions and promotional activities could adversely impact our net revenue and that changes in such activities could adversely impact period-over-period results. If we are not correct in predicting the performance of such promotions, or if we are not correct in estimating chargebacks, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.

 

30


The estimates of market opportunity and forecasts of market growth included in this prospectus may prove to be inaccurate, and even if the market in which we compete achieves the forecasted growth, our business could fail to grow at similar rates, if at all.

Market opportunity estimates and growth forecasts included in this prospectus, including those we have generated ourselves, are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may

not prove to be accurate. The variables that go into the calculation of our market opportunity are subject to change over time, and there is no guarantee that any particular number or percentage of customers covered by our market opportunity estimates will purchase our products at all or generate any particular level of revenue for us. Any expansion in our market depends on a number of factors, including the cost and perceived value associated with our product and those of our competitors. Even if the market in which we compete meets the size estimates and growth forecast in this prospectus, our business could fail to grow at the rate we anticipate, if at all. Our growth is subject to many factors, including our success in implementing our business strategy, which is subject to many risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, the forecasts of market growth included in this prospectus should not be taken as indicative of our future growth.

If we fail to retain and motivate members of our management team or other key crew members, or fail to attract, train and retain additional qualified crew members to support our operations, our business and future growth prospects would be harmed.

Our success and future growth depend largely upon the continued services of our executive officers as well as our other key crew members. These executives and key crew members have been primarily responsible for determining the strategic direction of our business and for executing our growth strategy and are integral to our brand, culture and the reputation we enjoy with suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors, customers and consumers. From time to time, there may be changes in our executive management team or other key crew members resulting from the hiring or departure of these personnel. The loss of one or more of our executive officers, or the failure by our executive team to effectively work with our crew members and lead our company, could harm our business.

In addition, our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, train and retain a sufficient number of crew members who understand and appreciate our culture and can represent our brand effectively and establish credibility with our business partners and consumers. If we are unable to hire and retain crew members capable of meeting our business needs and expectations, our business and brand image may be impaired. For example, in Springfield, Missouri, where Egg Central Station in located, there is a tight labor market. As a result of this tight labor market, we may be unable to attract and retain crew members with the skills we require. Any failure to meet our staffing needs or any material increase in turnover rates of our crew members may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we cannot maintain our company culture or focus on our purpose as we grow, our success and our business and competitive position may be harmed.

We believe our culture and our purpose have been key contributors to our success to date and that the critical nature of the platform that we provide promotes a sense of greater purpose and fulfillment in our crew members. Any failure to preserve our culture or focus on our purpose could negatively affect our ability to retain and recruit personnel, which is critical to our growth, and to effectively focus on and pursue our corporate objectives. As we grow and develop the infrastructure of a public company, we may find it difficult to maintain these important values. If we fail to maintain our company culture or focus on our purpose our business and competitive position may be harmed.

We rely on information technology systems and any inadequacy, failure, interruption or security breaches of those systems may harm our ability to effectively operate our business.

We are dependent on various information technology systems, including, but not limited to, networks, applications and outsourced services in connection with the operation of our business. A failure of our

 

31


information technology systems to perform as we anticipate could disrupt our business and result in transaction errors, processing inefficiencies and loss of sales, causing our business to suffer. In addition, our information technology systems may be vulnerable to damage or interruption from circumstances beyond our control, including fire, natural disasters, systems failures, viruses and security breaches. Any such damage or interruption could have an adverse effect on our business.

A cybersecurity incident or other technology disruptions could negatively impact our business and our relationships with customers.

We use computers in substantially all aspects of our business operations. We also use mobile devices, social networking and other online activities to connect with our crew members, suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors, customers and consumers. Such uses give rise to cybersecurity risks, including security breaches, espionage, system disruption, theft and inadvertent release of information. Our business involves sensitive information and intellectual property, including customers’, distributors’ and suppliers’ information, private information about crew members and financial and strategic information about us and our business partners. Further, as we pursue new initiatives that improve our operations and cost structure, we also intend to expand and improve our information technologies, resulting in a larger technological presence and corresponding exposure to cybersecurity risk. If we fail to assess and identify cybersecurity risks associated with new initiatives, we may become increasingly vulnerable to such risks. Additionally, while we have implemented measures to prevent security breaches and cyber incidents, our preventative measures and incident response efforts may not be entirely effective. The theft, destruction, loss, misappropriation or release of sensitive information or intellectual property, or interference with our information technology systems or the technology systems of third parties on which we rely, could result in business disruption, negative publicity, brand damage, violation of privacy laws, loss of customers and distributors, potential liability and competitive disadvantage all of which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our operations are geographically consolidated. A major tornado or other natural disaster within the region in which we operate could seriously disrupt our entire business.

Egg Central Station, our shell egg processing facility is located in Springfield, Missouri. This facility and our network of small family farms are all located in the geographic region we refer to as the Pasture Belt, which is located primarily in the Midwest. The pasture-raised milk for our butter is sourced from, and the butter is manufactured near, a geographically concentrated network of 65 farms in the Midwest. The impact of natural disasters such as tornadoes, drought or flood within these areas is difficult to predict, but such a natural disaster could seriously disrupt our entire business. Our insurance may not adequately cover our losses and expenses in the event of such a natural disaster. As a result, natural disasters within these areas could lead to substantial losses.

Climate change may negatively affect our business and operations.

Our network of small family farms are all geographically located in a region that provides an environment conducive to year round pasture raising chickens and cows. In addition, the concentration of these farms allows for efficient transportation of pasture-raised eggs to Egg Central Station and of pasture-raised milk to our butter and ghee co-manufacturing facilities. However, there is concern that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have an adverse impact on global temperatures, weather patterns and the frequency and severity of extreme weather and natural disasters. If such climate change has a negative effect on the year-round habitability of the region for chickens and cows, we may be subject to decreased availability or less favorable pricing for pasture-raised eggs and milk. Even if eggs and milk are available from other regions, they may not be pasture-raised due to certain regional weather conditions not being conducive to pasture raising. We may also incur increased transportation, storage and processing costs if we are unable to source pasture-raised eggs and milk within a certain distance from Egg Central Station and co-manufacturing facilities.

 

32


Disruptions in the worldwide economy may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Adverse and uncertain economic conditions may impact distributor, retailer, foodservice and consumer demand for our products. In addition, our ability to manage normal commercial relationships with our suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors, retailers, foodservice consumers and creditors may suffer. Consumers may shift purchases to lower-priced or other perceived value offerings during economic downturns. In particular, consumers may reduce the amount of pasture-raised products that they purchase where there are more affordable products, including caged, cage-free and free-range egg and egg product offerings, which generally have lower retail prices than our pasture-raised eggs. In addition, consumers may choose to purchase private label products rather than branded products because they are generally less expensive. Distributors and customers may become more conservative in response to these conditions and seek to reduce their inventories. Our results of operations depend upon, among other things, our ability to maintain and increase sales volume with our existing distributors, retailer and foodservice customers, our ability to attract new consumers, the financial condition of our consumers and our ability to provide products that appeal to consumers at the right price. Prolonged unfavorable economic conditions may have an adverse effect on our sales and profitability.

We may be subject to significant liability that is not covered by insurance.

Although we believe that the extent of our insurance coverage is consistent with industry practice, any claim under our insurance policies may be subject to certain exceptions, may not be honored fully, in a timely manner, or at all, and we may not have purchased sufficient insurance to cover all losses incurred. If we were to incur substantial liabilities or if our business operations were interrupted for a substantial period of time, we could incur costs and suffer losses. Such inventory and business interruption losses may not be covered by our insurance policies. We also expect that operating as a public company will make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified people to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as executive officers. We do not know, however, if we will be able to maintain existing insurance with adequate levels of coverage. Any significant uninsured liability may require us to pay substantial amounts, which would adversely affect our cash position and results of operations. Additionally, in the future, insurance coverage may not be available to us at commercially acceptable premiums, or at all.

Our inability to maintain our GFSI and SQF Select Site certifications may negatively affect our reputation.

The SQFI administers the SQF Program, which is a third-party auditing program that examines and certifies food producers with respect to certain aspects of the producer’s business, including food safety, quality control and social, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. The SQF Select Site certification is one of a number of available SQF certifications and involves both auditing for food safety issues and unannounced inspections by SQF personnel on an annual basis.

The Global Food Safety Initiative, or GFSI, is a private organization established and managed by an international trade association, The Consumer Goods Forum. GFSI operates a benchmarking scheme whereby certification bodies, such as the SQF Program, are “recognized” as meeting certain criteria maintained by GFSI. GFSI itself does not certify or accredit entities in the food industry.

SQF Select Site certification and the GFSI recognition of the SQF Program do not themselves have any independent legal significance and do not necessarily signal regulatory compliance. As a practice matter, however, certain retailers, including some of our largest customers, require SQF certification or certification by another GFSI-recognized program as a condition for doing business. Loss of SQF Select Site certification could impair our ability to do business with these customers, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

33


The loss of any registered trademark or other intellectual property could enable other companies to compete more effectively with us.

We utilize intellectual property in our business. Our trademarks are valuable assets that reinforce our brand and consumers’ favorable perception of our products. We have invested a significant amount of money in establishing and promoting our trademarked brands. We also rely on unpatented proprietary expertise and copyright protection to develop and maintain our competitive position. Our continued success depends, to a significant degree, upon our ability to protect and preserve our intellectual property, including our trademarks and copyrights.

We rely on confidentiality agreements and trademark and copyright law to protect our intellectual property rights. Our confidentiality agreements with our crew members and certain of our consultants, contract employees, suppliers and independent contractors, including some of our co-manufacturers who use our formulations to manufacture our products, generally require that all information made known to them be kept strictly confidential. Further, some of our formulations have been developed by or with our suppliers and co-manufacturers. As a result, we may not be able to prevent others from using similar formulations.

We cannot assure you that the steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property rights are adequate, that our intellectual property rights can be successfully defended and asserted in the future or that third parties will not infringe upon or misappropriate any such rights. In addition, our trademark rights and related registrations may be challenged in the future and could be canceled or narrowed. Failure to protect our trademark rights could prevent us in the future from challenging third parties who use names and logos similar to our trademarks, which may in turn cause consumer confusion or negatively affect consumers’ perception of our brand and products. Moreover, intellectual property disputes and proceedings and infringement claims may result in a significant distraction for management and significant expense, which may not be recoverable regardless of whether we are successful. Such proceedings may be protracted with no certainty of success, and an adverse outcome could subject us to liabilities, force us to cease use of certain trademarks or other intellectual property or force us to enter into licenses with others. Any one of these occurrences may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If our estimates or judgments relating to our critical accounting policies prove to be incorrect, our results of operations could be adversely affected.

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, as provided in the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates.” The results of these estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets, liabilities and equity, and the amount of revenue and expenses that are not readily apparent from other sources. Significant estimates and judgments involve revenue recognition, contingent consideration and the valuation of our stock-based compensation awards, including the determination of fair value of our common stock, among others. Our results of operations may be adversely affected if our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions, which could cause our results of operations to fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the market price of our Class A common stock.

 

34


Risks Related to Legal and Government Regulation

Food safety and food-borne illness incidents or advertising or product mislabeling may adversely affect our business by exposing us to lawsuits, product recalls or regulatory enforcement actions, increasing our operating costs and reducing demand for our product offerings.

Selling food for human consumption involves inherent legal and other risks, and there is increasing governmental scrutiny of and public awareness regarding food safety. Illness, injury or death related to allergens, food-borne illnesses, foreign material contamination or other food safety incidents caused by our products, or involving our suppliers, could result in the disruption or discontinuance of sales of these products or our relationships with such suppliers, or otherwise result in increased operating costs, regulatory enforcement actions or harm to our reputation. Shipment of adulterated or misbranded products, even if inadvertent, can result in criminal or civil liability. Such incidents could also expose us to product liability, negligence or other lawsuits, including consumer class action lawsuits. Any claims brought against us may exceed or be outside the scope of our existing or future insurance policy coverage or limits. Any judgment against us that is more than our policy limits or not covered by our policies or not subject to insurance would have to be paid from our cash reserves, which would reduce our capital resources.

The occurrence of food-borne illnesses or other food safety incidents could also adversely affect the price and availability of affected raw materials, resulting in higher costs, disruptions in supply and a reduction in our sales. Furthermore, any instances of food contamination or regulatory noncompliance, whether or not caused by our actions, could compel us, our suppliers, our distributors or our customers, depending on the circumstances, to conduct a recall in accordance with FDA or USDA regulations and policies, and comparable state laws. Food recalls could result in significant losses due to their costs, the destruction of product inventory, lost sales due to the unavailability of the product for a period of time and potential loss of existing distributors or customers and a potential negative impact on our ability to attract new customers due to negative consumer experiences or because of an adverse impact on our brand and reputation. The costs of a recall could be outside the scope of our existing or future insurance policy coverage or limits.

In addition, food companies have been subject to targeted, large-scale tampering as well as to opportunistic, individual product tampering, and we, like any food company, could be a target for product tampering. Forms of tampering could include the introduction of foreign material, chemical contaminants and pathological organisms into food products, as well as product substitution. Governmental regulations require companies like us to analyze, prepare and implement mitigation strategies specifically to address tampering designed to inflict widespread public health harm. If we do not adequately address the possibility, or any actual instance, of product tampering, we could face possible seizure or recall of our products and the imposition of civil or criminal sanctions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

Our operations are subject to FDA and USDA federal regulation and state regulation, and there is no assurance that we will be in compliance with all regulations.

Our operations are subject to extensive regulation by the FDA, the USDA and other federal, state and local authorities. With respect to eggs in particular, the FDA and the USDA split jurisdiction depending on the type of product involved. While the FDA has primary responsibility for the regulation of shell eggs, the USDA has primary responsibility for the regulation of dried, frozen or liquid eggs and other “egg products,” subject to certain exceptions. Specifically, our shell eggs, butter, hard-boiled eggs and ghee products are subject to the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended, or the FDCA, and regulations promulgated thereunder by the FDA with respect to our shell egg, hard-boiled egg, butter and ghee products. This comprehensive regulatory program governs, among other things, the manufacturing, composition and ingredients, packaging, labeling and safety of most food products. The FDA requires that facilities that manufacture food products comply with a range of requirements, including hazard analysis and preventative controls regulations, current good manufacturing practices, or cGMPs, and supplier verification requirements. Our shell egg operations are further subject to FDA regulatory requirements governing the production, storage

 

35


and transportation of shell eggs for the control of salmonella. FDA-inspected processing facilities are subject to periodic and “for cause” inspection by federal, state and local authorities. In addition, certain of our products, such as our liquid whole egg products, are subject to regulation by the USDA, including facility registration, inspection, manufacturing and labeling requirements. We do not control the manufacturing processes of, and rely upon, our co-manufacturers for compliance with cGMPs and other regulatory requirements for the manufacturing of our products that is conducted by our co-manufacturers. If we or our co-manufacturers cannot successfully manufacture products that conform to our specifications and the strict regulatory requirements of the FDA, the USDA or others, we or they may be subject to adverse inspectional findings or enforcement actions, which could materially impact our ability to market our products, result in our co-manufacturers’ inability to continue manufacturing for us, result in a recall of our products that have already been distributed and result in damage to our brand and reputation. In addition, we rely upon our co-manufacturers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If the FDA, the USDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority determines that we or these co-manufacturers have not complied with the applicable regulatory requirements, our business may be adversely impacted.

Our liquid whole eggs are subject to the requirements of the Egg Products Inspection Act, or EPIA, and regulations promulgated thereunder by the USDA. The USDA has comprehensive regulations in place that apply to establishments that break, dry and process shell eggs into liquid egg products. This regulatory scheme governs the manufacturing, processing, pasteurizations, packaging, labeling and safety of egg products. Under the EPIA and USDA regulations, establishments that manufacture egg products must comply with the USDA’s requirements for sanitation, temperature control, pasteurization and labeling. We also anticipate that our co-manufacturers’ liquid whole egg establishment will be required to implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point and Sanitary Standard Operating Procedure requirements within two years after the USDA finalizes its Egg Products Inspection Rule in the coming months. We do not control the manufacturing processes of, and rely upon, our co-manufacturers for compliance with USDA regulations for the manufacturing of our liquid egg products that is conducted by our co-manufacturers. If we or our co-manufacturers cannot successfully manufacture liquid whole eggs that conform to our specifications and the strict regulatory requirements of the USDA or others, we or they may be subject to adverse inspectional findings or enforcement actions, which could materially impact our ability to market our products, could result in our co-manufacturers’ inability to continue manufacturing for us, or could result in a recall of our product that has already been distributed. In addition, we rely upon our co-manufacturers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If the USDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority determines that we or these co-manufacturers have not complied with the applicable regulatory requirements, our business may be materially impacted.

In addition to regulation pursuant to the FDCA and the EPIA, some of our products are subject to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, or the AMA. The AMA governs voluntary grade claims that appear on some of our products and are administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, or AMS. For instance, our shell eggs, including those handled by our co-manufacturers, are graded for quality by USDA AMS grading personnel. Similarly, our butter product, including those handled by our co-manufacturers, are graded for flavor, body, color and salt content. We do not control the processes in place on our contract farms or with our co-manufacturers (which can affect the assigned grade), and rely upon both to provide us quality, fresh products that meet our stringent quality standards. If we, or our network of family farms and co-manufacturers, cannot successfully manufacture products that confirm with our quality specifications or meet appropriate grading standards under the AMA, we may have difficulty marketing our products or may be required to source our products from other farms and co-manufacturers.

Our products that are labeled as “organic” are subject to the requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act, or OFPA, and the USDA’s National Organic Program, or NOP, regulations. The OFPA is a comprehensive regulatory scheme that mandates certain practices and prohibits other practices pertaining to the raising of animals and handling and processing of food products. We, and our network of family farms and co-manufacturers, contract with NOP-accredited certifying agents to ensure that our organic products are produced in compliance with the OFPA and NOP regulations. We do not control the farms where our products

 

36


are raised and rely on the farms for compliance with the on-farm requirements of the OFPA and NOP regulations. Similarly, we do not control the manufacturing processes of, and we rely upon, our co-manufacturers for compliance with requirements of the OFPA and NOP regulations with respect to organic products handled and manufactured by our co-manufacturers. If we, the farms or the co-manufacturers cannot successfully raise and manufacture products that meet the strict regulatory requirements of the OFPA and the NOP, we or they may be subject to adverse inspectional findings or enforcement actions, which could materially impact our ability to market our products as “organic,” could result in the farms or co-manufacturers’ inability to continue to raise farm products or manufacture food for us, or we, the farms, or the co-manufacturer could lose the right to market products as “organic,” and subject us, the farms, or co-manufacturers to civil monetary penalties. If the USDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority determines that we or these co-manufacturers have not complied with the applicable regulatory requirements, our business may be materially impacted.

We are also subject to state and local regulations, including product requirements, labeling requirements and import restrictions. For example, the State of Iowa requires that grocery stores which participate in the Special Supplement Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, and which sell eggs produced by chickens advertised as being housed in cage-free, free-range or enriched colony cage environments, also sell “conventional” eggs produced by chickens that are not so advertised. That regulation impacted the space allocation for non-caged eggs on the shelves of retailers in Iowa and their willingness to carry our eggs. In addition, one or more states could pass regulations that establish requirements that our products would not satisfy. If our products fail to meet such individual state standards or are restricted from being imported into a state by state regulatory requirements, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

We seek to comply with applicable regulations through a combination of employing internal experience and expert personnel to ensure quality-assurance compliance (i.e., assuring that our products are not adulterated or misbranded) and contracting with third-party laboratories that conduct analyses of products to ensure compliance with nutrition labeling requirements and to identify any potential contaminants before distribution. Failure by us, the farms or the co-manufacturers to comply with applicable laws and regulations or maintain permits, licenses or registrations relating to our or our co-manufacturers’ operations could subject us to civil remedies or penalties, including fines, injunctions, recalls or seizures, warning letters, restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of products, or refusals to permit the import or export of products, as well as potential criminal sanctions, which could result in increased operating costs resulting in a material effect on our operating results and business. See the section titled “Business—Government Regulation.”

Changes in existing laws or regulations, or the adoption of new laws or regulations may increase our costs and otherwise adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The manufacture and marketing of food products is highly regulated. We, our suppliers and co-manufacturers are subject to a variety of laws and regulations. These laws and regulations apply to many aspects of our business, including the manufacture, packaging, labeling, distribution, advertising, sale, quality and safety of our products, as well as the health and safety of our crew members and the protection of the environment.

In the United States, we are subject to regulation by various government agencies, including the FDA, the USDA, the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, and the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, as well as various state and local agencies. We are also regulated outside the United States by various international regulatory bodies. In addition, we are subject to certain standards, such as GFSI standards and review by voluntary organizations, such as the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ National Advertising Division. We could incur costs, including fines, penalties and third-party claims, because of any violations of, or liabilities under, such requirements, including any competitor or consumer challenges relating to compliance with such requirements. For example, in connection with the marketing and advertisement of our products, we could be the target of claims relating to false or deceptive advertising, including under the auspices of the FTC and the consumer protection statutes of some states.

 

37


The regulatory environment in which we operate could change significantly and adversely in the future. Any change in manufacturing, labeling or packaging requirements for our products may lead to an increase in costs or interruptions in production, either of which could adversely affect our operations and financial condition. New or revised government laws and regulations could result in additional compliance costs and, in the event of non-compliance, civil remedies, including fines, injunctions, withdrawals, recalls or seizures and confiscations, as well as potential criminal sanctions, any of which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Failure by our network of family farms, suppliers of raw materials or co-manufacturers to comply with food safety, environmental or other laws and regulations, or with the specifications and requirements of our products, may disrupt our supply of products and adversely affect our business.

If our network of family farms, suppliers or co-manufacturers fail to comply with food safety, environmental, health and safety or other laws and regulations, or face allegations of non-compliance, their operations may be disrupted and our reputation could be harmed. Additionally, the farms and co-manufacturers are required to maintain the quality of our products and to comply with our standards and specifications. In the event of actual or alleged non-compliance, we might be forced to find alternative farms, suppliers or co-manufacturers and we may be subject to lawsuits and/or regulatory enforcement actions related to such non-compliance by the farms, suppliers and co-manufacturers. As a result, our supply of pasture-raised eggs and other raw materials or finished inventory could be disrupted or our costs could increase, which would adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. The failure of any partner farmer or co-manufacturer to produce products that conform to our standards could adversely affect our reputation in the marketplace and result in product recalls, product liability claims, government or third-party actions and economic loss. Additionally, actions we may take to mitigate the impact of any disruption or potential disruption in our supply of pasture-raised eggs and other raw materials or finished inventory, including increasing inventory in anticipation of a potential supply or production interruption, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to stringent environmental regulation and potentially subject to environmental litigation, proceedings, and investigations.

Our business operations and ownership and past and present operation of real property are subject to stringent federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations pertaining to the discharge of materials into the environment and natural resources. Violation of these laws and regulations could lead to substantial liabilities, fines and penalties or to capital expenditures related to pollution control equipment that could have a material adverse effect on our business. We could also experience in the future significant opposition from third parties with respect to our business, including environmental non-governmental organizations, neighborhood groups and municipalities. Additionally, new matters or sites may be identified in the future that will require additional environmental investigation, assessment, or expenditures, which could cause additional capital expenditures. Future discovery of contamination of property underlying or in the vicinity of our present properties or facilities and/or waste disposal sites could require us to incur additional expenses, delays to our business and to our proposed construction. The occurrence of any of these events, the implementation of new laws and regulations, or stricter interpretation of existing laws or regulations, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Legal claims, government investigations or other regulatory enforcement actions could subject us to civil and criminal penalties.

We operate in a highly regulated environment with constantly evolving legal and regulatory frameworks. Consequently, we are subject to a heightened risk of legal claims, government investigations or other regulatory enforcement actions. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with existing laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that our crew members, consultants, independent

 

38


contractors, suppliers, suppliers, co-manufacturers or distributors will not violate our policies and procedures. Moreover, a failure to maintain effective control processes could lead to violations, unintentional or otherwise, of laws and regulations. Legal claims, government investigations or regulatory enforcement actions arising out of our failure or alleged failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to civil and criminal penalties that could materially and adversely affect our product sales, reputation, financial condition and operating results. In addition, the costs and other effects of defending potential and pending litigation and administrative actions against us may be difficult to determine and could adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.

Litigation or legal proceedings could expose us to significant liabilities and have a negative impact on our reputation or business.

From time to time, we may be party to various claims and litigation proceedings. We evaluate these claims and litigation proceedings to assess the likelihood of unfavorable outcomes and to estimate, if possible, the amount of potential losses. Based on these assessments and estimates, we may establish reserves, as appropriate. These assessments and estimates are based on the information available to management at the time and involve a significant amount of management judgment. Actual outcomes or losses may differ materially from our assessments and estimates. We are not currently party to any material litigation.

Even when not merited, the defense of these lawsuits may divert our management’s attention, and we may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits. The results of litigation and other legal proceedings are inherently uncertain, and adverse judgments or settlements in some of these legal disputes may result in adverse monetary damages, penalties or injunctive relief against us, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, cash flows or results of operations. Any claims or litigation, even if fully indemnified or insured, could damage our reputation and make it more difficult to compete effectively or to obtain adequate insurance in the future.

Furthermore, while we maintain insurance for certain potential liabilities, such insurance does not cover all types and amounts of potential liabilities and is subject to various exclusions as well as caps on amounts recoverable. Even if we believe a claim is covered by insurance, insurers may dispute our entitlement to recovery for a variety of potential reasons, which may affect the timing and, if the insurers prevail, the amount of our recovery.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock

Our stock price may be volatile, and the value of our Class A common stock may decline.

The market price of our Class A common stock may be highly volatile and may fluctuate or decline substantially as a result of a variety of factors, some of which are beyond our control, including:

 

   

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our financial condition or results of operations;

 

   

variance in our financial performance from expectations of securities analysts;

 

   

changes in our projected operating and financial results;

 

   

announcements by us or our competitors of significant business developments, acquisitions or new offerings;

 

   

announcements or concerns regarding real or perceived quality or health issues with our products or similar products of our competitors;

 

   

adoption of new regulations applicable to the food industry or the expectations concerning future regulatory developments;

 

   

our involvement in litigation;

 

39


   

future sales of our Class A common stock by us or our stockholders, as well as the anticipation of lock-up releases;

 

   

changes in senior management or key personnel;

 

   

the trading volume of our Class A common stock;

 

   

changes in the anticipated future size and growth rate of our market; and

 

   

general economic and market conditions.

Broad market and industry fluctuations, as well as general economic, political, regulatory and market conditions, may also negatively impact the market price of our Class A common stock.

The dual class structure of our common stock will have the effect of concentrating voting control with our executive officers, directors and their affiliates, which will limit your ability to influence the outcome of important transactions.

Our Class B common stock has             votes per share and our Class A common stock, which is the stock we are offering in this offering, has one vote per share. Our existing stockholders, all of which hold shares of Class B common stock, will collectively beneficially own shares representing approximately    % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock following the completion of this offering. Our executive officers, directors and stockholders holding more than 5% of our outstanding capital stock, together with their affiliates, will collectively hold approximately    % of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock immediately following the completion of this offering, based on the number of shares outstanding as of December 29, 2019, and without giving effect to any purchases that these holders may make in this offering. As a result, the holders of our Class B common stock will be able to exercise considerable influence over matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of our directors and the approval of significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or our assets, even if their stock holdings represent less than 50% of the outstanding number of shares of our capital stock. This concentration of ownership will limit the ability of other stockholders to influence corporate matters and may cause us to make strategic decisions that could involve risks to you or that may not be aligned with your interests. This control may adversely affect the market price of our Class A common stock.

Further, future transfers by holders of our Class B common stock will generally result in those shares converting into shares of our Class A common stock, subject to limited exceptions, such as certain transfers effected for tax or estate planning purposes. The conversion of shares of our Class B common stock into shares of our Class A common stock will have the effect, over time, of increasing the relative voting power of those holders of Class B common stock who retain their shares in the long term.

We cannot predict the impact our dual class structure may have on the market price of our Class A common stock.

We cannot predict whether our dual class structure, combined with the concentrated control of our stockholders who held our capital stock prior to the completion of this offering, including our executive officers, employees and directors and their affiliates, will result in a lower or more volatile market price of our Class A common stock or in adverse publicity or other adverse consequences. For example, certain index providers have announced restrictions on including companies with multiple class share structures in certain of their indexes. In July 2017, FTSE Russell and Standard & Poor’s announced that they would cease to allow most newly public companies utilizing dual or multi-class capital structures to be included in their indices. Under the announced policies, our dual class capital structure would make us ineligible for inclusion in any of these indices. Given the sustained flow of investment funds into passive strategies that seek to track certain indexes, exclusion from stock indexes would likely preclude investment by many of these funds and could make our Class A common stock less attractive to other investors. As a result, the market price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.

 

40


No public market for our Class A common stock currently exists, and an active public trading market may not develop or be sustained following this offering.

No public market for our Class A common stock currently exists. An active public trading market for our Class A common stock may not develop following the completion of this offering or, if developed, may not be sustained. The lack of an active market may impair your ability to sell your shares at the time you wish to sell them or at a price that you consider reasonable. The lack of an active market may also reduce the fair value of your shares. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital to continue to fund operations by selling shares and may impair our ability to acquire other companies by using our shares as consideration.

We will have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds to us from this offering and may not use them effectively.

We will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds that we receive from this offering, including for any of the purposes described in the section titled “Use of Proceeds,” and you will not have the opportunity as part of your investment decision to assess whether the net proceeds are being used appropriately. Because of the number and variability of factors that will determine our use of the net proceeds that we receive from this offering, our ultimate use may vary substantially from our currently intended use. Investors will need to rely upon the judgment of our management with respect to the use of such proceeds. Pending use, we may invest the net proceeds that we receive from this offering in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing securities, such as money market accounts, certificates of deposit, commercial paper, and guaranteed obligations of the U.S. government that may not generate a high yield for our stockholders. If we do not use the net proceeds that we receive in this offering effectively, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be harmed, and the market price of our Class A common stock could decline.

Future sales of our Class A common stock in the public market could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Class A common stock in the public market following the completion of this offering, or the perception that these sales might occur, could depress the market price of our Class A common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. Many of our existing equityholders have substantial unrecognized gains on the value of the equity they hold based upon the price of this offering, and therefore they may take steps to sell their shares or otherwise secure the unrecognized gains on those shares. We are unable to predict the timing of or the effect that such sales may have on the prevailing market price of our Class A common stock.

All of our directors and officers and the holders of substantially all of our capital stock and securities convertible into our capital stock are subject to lock-up agreements that restrict their ability to transfer shares of our capital stock for 180 days from the date of this prospectus, subject to certain exceptions. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC may, in their sole discretion, permit our stockholders who are subject to these lock-up agreements to sell shares prior to the expiration of the lock-up agreements, subject to applicable notice requirements. If not earlier released, all of the shares of Class A common stock sold in this offering will become eligible for sale upon expiration of the 180-day lock-up period, except for any shares held by our affiliates as defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act.

In addition, there were            shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding stock options as of December 29, 2019. We intend to register all of the shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding stock options, or other equity incentives we may grant in the future, for public resale under the Securities Act. The shares of Class A common stock will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent such options are exercised, subject to the lock-up agreements described above and compliance with applicable securities laws.

Further, based on shares outstanding as of December 29, 2019, holders of approximately            shares, or    % of our capital stock after the completion of this offering, will have rights, subject to some conditions, to

 

41


require us to file registration statements covering the sale of their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or other stockholders.

Our issuance of additional capital stock in connection with financings, acquisitions, investments, our equity incentive plans or otherwise will dilute all other stockholders.

We expect to issue additional capital stock in the future that will result in dilution to all other stockholders. We expect to grant equity awards to employees, directors and consultants under our equity incentive plans. We may also raise capital through equity financings in the future. As part of our business strategy, we may acquire or make investments in companies and issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition or investment. Any such issuances of additional capital stock may cause stockholders to experience significant dilution of their ownership interests and the per share value of our Class A common stock to decline.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish unfavorable or inaccurate research about our business, the market price and trading volume of our Class A common stock could decline.

The market price and trading volume of our Class A common stock following the completion of this offering will be heavily influenced by the way analysts interpret our financial information and other disclosures. We do not have control over these analysts. If few securities analysts commence coverage of us, or if industry analysts cease coverage of us, our stock price would be negatively affected. If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, downgrade our Class A common stock, or publish negative reports about our business, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our Class A common stock could decrease, which might cause our stock price to decline and could decrease the trading volume of our Class A common stock.

You will experience immediate and substantial dilution in the net tangible book value of the shares of Class A common stock you purchase in this offering.

The initial public offering price of our Class A common stock is substantially higher than the pro forma net tangible book value per share of our common stock immediately after this offering. If you purchase shares of our Class A common stock in this offering, you will suffer immediate dilution of $            per share, or $            per share if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares from us and the selling stockholders in full, representing the difference between our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after giving effect to the sale of Class A common stock in this offering and the initial public offering price of $            per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. See the section titled “Dilution.”

We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future and, as a result, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our Class A common stock.

While we have previously paid cash dividends on our capital stock, we do not intend to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors. Accordingly, you may need to rely on sales of our Class A common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any future gains on your investment.

We are an “emerging growth company,” and we cannot be certain if the reduced reporting and disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley

 

42


Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. Pursuant to Section 107 of the JOBS Act, as an emerging growth company, we have elected to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. As a result, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of issuers who are required to comply with the effective dates for new or revised accounting standards that are applicable to public companies, which may make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors. In addition, if we cease to be an emerging growth company, we will no longer be able to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards.

We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of: (1) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of this offering; (2) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenue is $1.07 billion or more; (3) the date on which we have, during the previous rolling three-year period, issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt securities; and (4) the last day of the fiscal year in which the market value of our Class A common stock held by non-affiliates exceeded $700 million as of June 30 of such fiscal year.

We cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive if we choose to rely on these exemptions. For example, if we do not adopt a new or revised accounting standard, our future results of operations may not be as comparable to the results of operations of certain other companies in our industry that adopted such standards. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock, and our stock price may be more volatile.

We will incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management will be required to devote substantial time to compliance with our public company responsibilities and corporate governance practices.

As a public company, we will incur significant finance, legal, accounting and other expenses, including director and officer liability insurance, that we did not incur as a private company, which we expect to further increase after we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of             , and other applicable securities rules and regulations impose various requirements on public companies. Our management and other personnel devote a substantial amount of time to compliance with these requirements. Moreover, these rules and regulations will increase our legal and financial compliance costs and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly. We cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we will incur as a public company or the specific timing of such costs.

Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or Section 404, we will be required to furnish a report by management on, among other things, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021. This assessment will need to include disclosure of any material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm will be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in our first annual report required to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, following the date we are no longer an emerging growth company. To prepare for eventual compliance with Section 404, we will be engaged in a costly and challenging process of compiling the system and processing documentation necessary to perform the evaluation needed to comply with Section 404, but we may not be able to complete our evaluation, testing and any required remediation in a timely fashion once initiated. Our compliance with Section 404 will require that we incur substantial expenses and expend significant management efforts. We currently do not have an internal audit group, and we will need to hire additional accounting and financial staff with appropriate public company experience and technical accounting knowledge and compile the system and process documentation necessary to perform the evaluation needed to comply with Section 404.

 

43


We previously identified two material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, and if we are unable to achieve and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting may be adversely affected.

Prior to this offering, we were a private company with limited accounting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal controls and procedures. In connection with the audit of our financial statements for fiscal 2018, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified two material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. A “material weakness” is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. A “significant deficiency” is a deficiency or a combination of deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those responsible for oversight of our financial reporting.

We determined that we had two material weaknesses because (i) we did not maintain a sufficient complement of personnel with an appropriate degree of technical knowledge commensurate with our accounting and reporting requirements and (ii) we did not design our controls sufficiently to completely and accurately record our accrued liabilities and other estimates at period end. As a result, there were certain post-close adjustments that were required that were material to the financial statements. These material weaknesses could result in a misstatement of account balances or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to the annual or interim financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.

To address these material weaknesses, we plan to hire additional accounting personnel and implement process level and management review controls. While we intend to implement a plan to remediate these material weaknesses, we cannot predict the success of such plan or the outcome of our assessment of these plans at this time. If our steps are insufficient to successfully remediate the material weaknesses and otherwise establish and maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, the reliability of our financial reporting, investor confidence in us and the value of our Class A common stock could be materially and adversely affected. We can give no assurance that this implementation will remediate these deficiencies in internal control or that additional material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting will not be identified in the future. Our failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in errors in our financial statements that could result in a restatement of our financial statements, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations.

As a public company, we will be required to further design, document and test our internal controls over financial reporting to comply with Section 404. We cannot be certain that additional material weaknesses and control deficiencies will not be discovered in the future. If material weaknesses or control deficiencies occur in the future, we may be unable to report our financial results accurately on a timely basis or help prevent fraud, which could cause our reported financial results to be materially misstated and result in the loss of investor confidence or delisting and cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline. If we have material weaknesses in the future, it could affect the financial results that we report or create a perception that those financial results do not fairly state our financial position or results of operations. Either of those events could have an adverse effect on the value of our Class A common stock.

Further, even if we conclude that our internal control over financial reporting provides reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with GAAP, because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect fraud or misstatements. Failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, could harm our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our future reporting obligations.

 

44


Our status as a public benefit corporation and a Certified B Corporation may not result in the benefits that we anticipate.

We have elected to be classified as a public benefit corporation under Delaware law. As a public benefit corporation we are required to balance the financial interests of our stockholders with the best interests of those stakeholders materially affected by our conduct, including particularly those affected by the specific benefit purposes set forth in our certificate of incorporation. In addition, there is no assurance that the expected positive impact from being a public benefit corporation will be realized. Accordingly, being a public benefit corporation and complying with our related obligations could negatively impact our ability to provide the highest possible return to our stockholders.

As a public benefit corporation, we are required to publicly disclose a report at least biennially on our overall public benefit performance and on our assessment of our success in achieving our specific public benefit purpose. If we are not timely or are unable to provide this report, or if the report is not viewed favorably by parties doing business with us or regulators or others reviewing our credentials, our reputation and status as a public benefit corporation may be harmed.

While not required by Delaware law or the terms of our certificate of incorporation, we have elected to have our social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency assessed against the proprietary criteria established by an independent non-profit organization. As a result of this assessment, we have been designated as a “Certified B Corporation,” which refers to companies that are certified as meeting certain levels of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. The standards for Certified B Corporation certification are set by an independent organization and may change over time. Our reputation could be harmed if we lose our status as a Certified B Corporation, whether by our choice or by our failure to continue to meet the certification requirements, if that failure or change were to create a perception that we are more focused on financial performance and are no longer as committed to the values shared by Certified B Corporations. Likewise, our reputation could be harmed if our publicly reported Certified B Corporation score declines.

As a public benefit corporation, our duty to balance a variety of interests may result in actions that do not maximize stockholder value.

As a public benefit corporation, our board of directors has a duty to balance (i) the pecuniary interest of our stockholders, (ii) the best interests of those materially affected by our conduct and (iii) specific public benefits identified in our charter documents. While we believe our public benefit designation and obligation will benefit our stockholders, in balancing these interests our board of directors may take actions that do not maximize stockholder value. Any benefits to stockholders resulting from our public benefit purposes may not materialize within the timeframe we expect or at all and may have negative effects. For example:

 

   

we may choose to revise our policies in ways that we believe will be beneficial to our stakeholders, including farmers, suppliers, crew members and local communities, even though the changes may be costly;

 

   

we may take actions, such as building state-of-the-art facilities with technology and quality control mechanisms that exceed the requirements of USDA and the FDA, even though these actions may be more costly than other alternatives;

 

   

we may be influenced to pursue programs and services to demonstrate our commitment to the communities to which we serve and bringing ethically produced food to the table even though there is no immediate return to our stockholders; or

 

   

in responding to a possible proposal to acquire the company, our board of directors may be influenced by the interests of our stakeholders, including farmers, suppliers, crew members and local communities, whose interests may be different from the interests of our stockholders.

 

45


We may be unable or slow to realize the benefits we expect from actions taken to benefit our stakeholders, including farmers, suppliers, crew members and local communities, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, which in turn could cause our stock price to decline.

As a public benefit corporation, we may be subject to increased derivative litigation concerning our duty to balance stockholder and public benefit interests, the occurrence of which may have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

Stockholders of a Delaware public benefit corporation (if they, individually or collectively, own at least 2% of its outstanding capital stock) are entitled to file a derivative lawsuit claiming that its directors failed to balance stockholder and public benefit interests. This potential liability does not exist for traditional corporations. Therefore, we may be subject to the possibility of increased derivative litigation, which would require the attention of management and, as a result, may adversely impact management’s ability to effectively execute our strategy. Any such derivative litigation may be costly and have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management and limit the market price of our Class A common stock.

Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws that will be in effect upon the completion of this offering, and provisions of Delaware law applicable to us as a public benefit corporation, may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws will include provisions that:

 

   

authorize our board of directors to issue, without further action by the stockholders, shares of undesignated preferred stock with terms, rights and preferences determined by our board of directors that may be senior to our Class A common stock;

 

   

require that any action to be taken by our stockholders be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting and not by written consent;

 

   

specify that special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by our board of directors, the chairperson of our board of directors, or our chief executive officer;

 

   

establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our board of directors;

 

   

establish that our board of directors is divided into three classes, with each class serving three-year staggered terms;

 

   

prohibit cumulative voting in the election of directors;

 

   

provide that our directors may be removed for cause only upon the vote of at least 66 2/3% of our outstanding shares of voting stock; and

 

   

provide that vacancies on our board of directors may be filled only by a majority of directors then in office, even though less than a quorum.

These provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our board of directors, which is responsible for appointing the members of our management. In addition, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which generally, subject to certain exceptions, prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with any “interested” stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an “interested” stockholder.

 

46


Also, as a public benefit corporation, our board of directors is required by the Delaware General Corporation Law to manage or direct our business and affairs in a manner that balances the pecuniary interests of our stockholders, the best interests of those materially affected by our conduct, and the specific public benefits identified in our certificate of incorporation. Additionally, Section 363 of the Delaware General Corporation Law provides that, as a public benefit corporation, a vote of at least 66 2/3% of our outstanding shares of voting stock is required to effect a merger involving stock consideration with an entity that is not a public benefit corporation with an identical public benefit to ours. Further, a vote of at least 66 2/3% of our outstanding shares of voting stock is required for matters directly or indirectly amending or removing our public benefit purpose. We believe that our public benefit corporation status will make it more difficult for another party to obtain control of us without maintaining our public benefit corporation status and purpose. Any of the foregoing provisions could limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our Class A common stock, and they could deter potential acquirers of our company, thereby reducing the likelihood that you would receive a premium for your shares of our Class A common stock in an acquisition.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will designate the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and, to the extent enforceable, the federal district courts of the United States of America as the exclusive forums for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which will restrict our stockholders’ ability to choose the judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect upon the completion of this offering will provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware (or, if and only if the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware lacks subject matter jurisdiction, any state court located within the State of Delaware or, if and only if all such state courts lack subject matter jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Delaware) is the exclusive forum for the following types of actions or proceedings under Delaware statutory or common law: any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; any action asserting a breach of a fiduciary duty; any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws; any action as to which the Delaware General Corporation Law confers jurisdiction to the court of Chancery of the State of Delaware; or any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. The provisions would not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act or the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. In addition, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will provide that the federal district courts of the United States of America will be the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act, subject to and contingent upon a final adjudication in the State of Delaware of the enforceability of such exclusive forum provision.

These choice of forum provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees. If a court were to find either choice of forum provision contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions. For example, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware recently determined that the exclusive forum provision of federal district courts of the United States of America for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act is not enforceable. The Chancery Court’s decision has been appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court. If the Delaware Supreme Court reverses the Chancery Court’s decision and holds that such a provision is cognizable under Delaware law, we will enforce the federal district court exclusive forum provision. Until such time as the Delaware courts declare the federal district court exclusive forum provision legally cognizable, we do not intend to enforce that provision of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation.

 

47


SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus contains forward-looking statements about us and our industry that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this prospectus, including statements regarding our future results of operations or financial condition, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will” or “would” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following:

 

   

our expectations regarding our revenue, expenses and other operating results;

 

   

our ability to acquire new customers and successfully retain existing customers;

 

   

our ability to attract and retain our suppliers, distributors and co-manufacturers;

 

   

our ability to sustain or increase our profitability;

 

   

our ability to procure sufficient high quality eggs, butter and other raw materials;

 

   

real or perceived quality with our products or other issues that adversely affect our brand and reputation;

 

   

changes in the tastes and preferences of our consumers;

 

   

the financial condition of, and our relationships with, our suppliers, co-manufacturers, distributors, retailers and foodservice customers;

 

   

real or perceived quality or health issues with our products or other issues that adversely affect our brand and reputation;

 

   

the ability of our suppliers and co-manufacturers to comply with food safety, environmental or other laws or regulations;

 

   

future investments in our business, our anticipated capital expenditures and our estimates regarding our capital requirements;

 

   

the costs and success of our marketing efforts, and our ability to promote our brand;

 

   

our reliance on key personnel and our ability to identify, recruit and retain skilled personnel;

 

   

our ability to effectively manage our growth;

 

   

our focus on a specific public benefit purpose and producing a positive effect for society may negatively influence our financial performance;

 

   

our ability to compete effectively with existing competitors and new market entrants;

 

   

the impact of adverse economic conditions;

 

   

the sufficiency of our cash to meet our liquidity needs and service our indebtedness;

 

   

seasonality; and

 

   

the growth rates of the markets in which we compete.

You should not rely on forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition and operating results. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. Moreover, we

 

48


operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus. The results, events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur, and actual results, events or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.

In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this prospectus. And while we believe that information provides a reasonable basis for these statements, that information may be limited or incomplete. Our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain, and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely on these statements.

The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this prospectus to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments.

 

49


USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately $            million (or approximately $            million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock from us and the selling stockholders in full) based on an assumed initial public offering price of $            per share of Class A common stock, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of Class A common stock in this offering by the selling stockholders.

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share of Class A common stock, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $            million, assuming the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $            million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share of Class A common stock remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our capitalization and financial flexibility, to create a public market for our Class A common stock and to facilitate our future access to the capital markets. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds we receive from this offering. However, we currently intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditures, including our expansion of Egg Central Station. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds we receive from this offering to acquire complementary businesses, products, services or technologies. However, we do not have agreements or commitments to enter into any acquisitions at this time.

We will have broad discretion over how to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering. We intend to invest the net proceeds we receive from this offering that are not used as described above in investment-grade, interest-bearing instruments.

 

50


DIVIDEND POLICY

We declared cash dividends on our common stock in June 2013 totaling approximately $0.3 million. We cannot provide any assurance that we will declare or pay cash dividends on our capital stock in the future. In addition, our ability to pay dividends on our capital stock is subject to restrictions under the terms of our credit facility with PNC Bank, National Association, or the Credit Facility. See Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information on the Credit Facility. We currently intend to retain all available funds and future earnings, if any, to fund the development and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination regarding the declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on then-existing conditions, including our financial condition, operating results, contractual restrictions (including in our then-existing debt arrangements), capital requirements, business prospects and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant.

 

51


CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of December 29, 2019:

 

   

on an actual basis;

 

   

on a pro forma basis, giving effect to (1) the reclassification of our common stock into an equal number of shares of Class B common stock, (2) the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of shares of Class B common stock and (3) the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, each of which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering; and

 

   

on a pro forma as adjusted basis, giving effect to (1) the pro forma adjustments described above and (2) our receipt of estimated net proceeds from the sale of shares of Class A common stock that we are offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $            per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

You should read this table together with the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     December 29, 2019  
     Actual      Pro Forma      Pro Forma
As Adjusted
 
     (in thousands except share and per share amounts)  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $                $                $          
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Convertible preferred stock, $0.0001 par value, 3,330,440 shares authorized,             shares issued and outstanding, actual, and no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

        

Stockholders’ equity:

        

Preferred stock, $0.0001 par value, no shares authorized, issued, and outstanding, actual, and             shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

        

Common stock, $0.0001 par value,             authorized,             shares issued and outstanding, actual, and no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

        

Class A common stock, $0.0001 par value, no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual,             shares authorized and no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma,             shares authorized and             shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

        

Class B common stock, $0.0001 par value, no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual,             shares authorized and             shares issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

        

Treasury stock,             shares, at cost

        

Additional paid-in capital

        

Retained earnings

        
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ equity

   $      $        $    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total capitalization

   $      $        $    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

52


A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share of Class A common stock, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) each of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity and total capitalization by approximately $            million, assuming the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) each of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity and total capitalization by approximately $            million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share of Class A common stock remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expense payable by us.

The number of shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on no shares of Class A common stock outstanding and             shares of Class B common stock outstanding as of December 29, 2019, and excludes:

 

   

             shares of Class B common stock issuable on the exercise of outstanding stock options as of December 29, 2019 under our 2013 Plan with a weighted-average exercise price of $            per share;

 

   

             shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding stock options issued after December 29, 2019 pursuant to our 2013 Plan with a weighted-average exercise price of $             per share;

 

   

80,000 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of a common stock warrant that, if not exercised, will expire upon the earlier of June 12, 2020 or the completion of this offering;

 

   

             shares of Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2020 Plan, which will become effective immediately prior to the execution of the underwriting agreement related to this offering, as well as any future increases, including annual automatic evergreen increases, in the number of shares of Class A common stock reserved for issuance thereunder, and any shares underlying outstanding stock awards granted under our 2013 Plan that expire or are repurchased, forfeited, cancelled or withheld, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefit Plans”; and

 

   

             shares of Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our ESPP, which will become immediately prior to the execution of the underwriting agreement related to this offering, as well as any future increases, including annual automatic evergreen increases, in the number of shares of Class A common stock reserved for future issuance thereunder.

 

53


DILUTION

If you invest in our Class A common stock in this offering, your interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per share of Class A common stock and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share immediately after this offering.

Our pro forma net tangible book value as of December 29, 2019 was $             million, or $             per share of common stock. Our pro forma net tangible book value per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets less our total liabilities, divided by the number of our shares of common stock outstanding as of December 29, 2019, after giving effect to the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of              shares of Class B common stock, which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering.

After giving effect to the sale by us of              shares of Class A common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $            per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of December 29, 2019 would have been $            million, or $            per share. This amount represents an immediate increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value of $            per share to our existing stockholders and an immediate dilution of $            per share to new investors purchasing Class A common stock in this offering. We determine dilution by subtracting the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering from the initial public offering price per share paid by investors purchasing Class A common stock in this offering. The following table illustrates this dilution on a per share basis:

 

Assumed initial public offering price per share

      $          

Historical net tangible book value per share as of December 29, 2019

     

Increase per share attributable to the pro forma adjustments described above

     

Pro forma net tangible book value per share as of December 29, 2019

   $             

Increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share attributable to new investors purchasing shares in this offering

     
     

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after giving effect to this offering

     
     

 

 

 

Dilution per share to new investors in this offering

      $    
     

 

 

 

The dilution information discussed above is illustrative only and may change based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering. A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share of Class A common stock, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by $            per share and increase (decrease) the dilution to new investors by $            per share, in each case assuming the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us would increase our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by approximately $            per share and decrease the dilution to new investors by approximately $            per share, and each decrease of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us would decrease our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by approximately $            per share and increase the dilution to new investors by approximately $            per share, in each case assuming the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share of Class A common stock remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

54


If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock from us and the selling stockholders in full, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value would be $            per share, and the dilution in pro forma net tangible book value per share to new investors in this offering would be $            per share.

The following table summarizes, as of December 29, 2019, on a pro forma as adjusted basis as described above, the number of shares of our common stock, the total consideration and the average price per share (1) paid to us by existing stockholders and (2) to be paid by new investors acquiring our Class A common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $            per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, before deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

     Shares Purchased     Total Consideration     Average Price
Per Share
 
     Number      Percent     Amount      Percent        

Existing stockholders

        %          %    

New investors

                                      
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

Totals

        100.0     $        100.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Sales by the selling stockholders in this offering will cause the number of shares held by existing stockholders to be reduced to             shares, or    % of the total number of shares of our capital stock outstanding following the completion of this offering, and will increase the number of shares held by new investors to             shares, or    % of the total number of shares of our capital stock outstanding following the completion of this offering.

Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the total consideration paid by new investors and total consideration paid by all stockholders by approximately $            million, assuming that the number of shares of Class A common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The number of shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on no shares of Class A common stock and              shares of Class B common stock outstanding as of December 29, 2019, and excludes:

 

   

             shares of Class B common stock issuable on the exercise of outstanding stock options as of December 29, 2019 under our 2013 Plan with a weighted-average exercise price of $            per share;

 

   

             shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding stock options issued after December 29, 2019 pursuant to our 2013 Plan with a weighted-average exercise price of $             per share;

 

   

80,000 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of a common stock warrant that, if not exercised, will expire upon the earlier of June 12, 2020 or the completion of this offering;

 

   

             shares of Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2020 Plan, which will become effective immediately prior to the execution of the underwriting agreement related to this offering, as well as any future increases, including annual automatic evergreen increases, in the number of shares of Class A common stock reserved for issuance thereunder, and any shares underlying outstanding stock awards granted under our 2013 Plan that expire or are repurchased, forfeited, cancelled or withheld, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation—Employee Benefit Plans”; and

 

55


   

             shares of Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our ESPP, which will become effective immediately prior to the execution of the underwriting agreement related to this offering, as well as any future increases, including annual automatic evergreen increases, in the number of shares of Class A common stock reserved for future issuance thereunder.

To the extent that any outstanding stock options are exercised or new stock options are issued under our equity incentive plans, or that we issue additional shares of capital stock in the future, there will be further dilution to investors participating in this offering. If all outstanding stock options under our 2013 Plan as of December 29, 2019 were exercised, then our existing stockholders, including the holders of those stock options, would own     %, and new investors would own     %, of the total number of shares of our capital stock outstanding following the completion of this offering.

 

56


SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The selected consolidated statements of operations data for the fiscal years ended December 30, 2018 and December 29, 2019 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 30, 2018 and December 29, 2019 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. You should read the consolidated financial data set forth below in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes and the information in the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for any period in the future.

 

     Fiscal Year Ended  
     December 30,
2018
     December 29,
2019
 
     (in thousands, except share and
per share data)
 

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

     

Net revenue

   $ 106,713      $            

Cost of goods sold

     71,894     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Gross profit

     34,819     

Operating expenses:

     

Selling and marketing(1)

     9,575     

General and administrative(1)

     9,862     

Shipping and distribution

     8,615     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     28,052     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Income from operations

     6,767     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Other expense, net

     

Interest expense, net

     (415   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total other expense, net

     (415   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income before income taxes

     6,352     

Provision for income taxes

     723     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income

     5,629     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Less: Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

   $ (168    $    
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders, basic and diluted

   $ 5,797      $    
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders:(2)

     

Basic

   $ 0.55      $    
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Diluted

   $ 0.40      $    
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used to compute net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders:(2)

     

Basic

     10,491,737     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Diluted

     14,332,767     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Pro forma net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders:(2)

     

Basic

      $    
     

 

 

 

Diluted

      $    
     

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used to compute pro forma net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders:(2)

     
     

 

 

 

Basic

     
     

 

 

 

Diluted

     
     

 

57


 

(1)

Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:

 

     Fiscal Year Ended  
     December 30,
2018
     December 29,
2019
 
     (in thousands)  

Selling and marketing

   $ 35     
     

General and administrative

     565     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total stock-based compensation expense

   $ 600      $            
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(2)

See Note 16 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for an explanation of the calculations of our basic and diluted earnings per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders, pro forma net income per share attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders and the weighted-average number of shares used in the computation of the per share amounts.

 

     As of the Fiscal Year Ended  
     December 30,
2018
     December 29,
2019
 
     (in thousands)  

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

     

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 11,815      $            

Working capital(1)

     10,289     

Total assets

     49,855     

Long-term debt, net of issuance costs, including current portion

     3,807     

Contingent consideration, including current portion

     991     

Total liabilities

     22,377     

Convertible preferred stock

     23,036     

Total stockholders’ equity

     4,267     

 

(1)

Working capital is defined as current assets less current liabilities.

 

58


MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF

FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the section titled “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed below. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below and in the section titled “Risk Factors.”

Overview

Vital Farms is an ethical food company that is disrupting the U.S. food system. We have developed a framework that challenges the norms of the incumbent food model and allows us to bring high-quality products from our network of small family farms to a national audience. This framework has enabled us to become the leading U.S. brand of pasture-raised eggs and butter and the second largest U.S. egg brand by retail dollar sales. Our ethics are exemplified by the humane treatment of farm animals and sustainable farming practices. We believe these standards produce happy hens with varied diets, which produce better eggs. There is a seismic shift in consumer demand for ethically produced, natural, traceable, clean label, great-tasting and nutritious foods. Supported by a steadfast adherence to the values on which we were founded, we have designed our brand and products to appeal to this consumer movement.

Our purpose is rooted in a commitment to Conscious Capitalism, which prioritizes the long-term benefits of each of our stakeholders (farmers and suppliers, customers and consumers, communities and the environment, crew members and stockholders). Our business decisions consider the impact on all of our stakeholders, in contrast with the factory farming model, which principally emphasizes cost reduction at the expense of animals, farmers, consumers, crew members, communities and the environment. These principles guide our day-to-day operations and, we believe, help us deliver a more sustainable and successful business. Our approach has been validated by our financial performance and our designation as a Certified B Corporation, a certification reserved for businesses that balance profit and purpose to meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.

 

59


Vital Farms was founded in 2008, and our pasture-raised shell eggs were launched at Whole Foods in the same year. Since then, we have expanded our operations and our portfolio of pasture-raised food products as illustrated below:

 

 

LOGO

We source our pasture-raised products from a network of approximately 200 small family farms. We have strategically designed our supply chain to ensure high-production standards and optimal year-round operation. We are motivated by the positive impact we have on rural communities and enjoy a strong relationship and reputation with our network of farmers.

We primarily work with our farms pursuant to buy-sell contracts. Under these arrangements, the farmer is responsible for all of the working capital and investments required to produce the eggs and manage the farm, including purchasing the birds and feed supply. We are contractually obligated to purchase all of the eggs produced by the farmer during the term of the contract at an agreed upon price that depends upon pallet weight and is indexed quarterly in arrears for changes in feed cost.

We believe we are a strategic and valuable partner to retailers. We have continued to command premium prices for our products, including our shell eggs, which sell for as much as three times the price of commodity eggs. Our loyal and growing consumer base has fueled the expansion of our brand from the natural channel to the mainstream channel. We believe the success of our brand demonstrates that consumers are demanding premium products that meet a higher ethical standard of food production. We have a strong presence at Kroger, Sprouts, Target and Whole Foods, and we also sell our pasture-raised products at Albertsons, Publix and Walmart. We offer 21 retail SKUs through a multi-channel retail distribution network. We believe we have significant room for growth within the retail and foodservice channels through growing brand awareness, gaining additional points of distribution and new product innovation.

Our shell eggs are collected from farmers by a third-party freight carrier and placed in cold storage until we pack them for shipping to our customers at our state-of-the-art shell egg processing facility, Egg Central Station. Egg Central Station is approximately 82,000 square feet and utilizes highly automated equipment to grade and

 

60


package our shell egg products. Egg Central Station is capable of packing three million eggs per day and has achieved Safe Quality Food, or SQF, Level 3 certification, the highest level of such certification from the Global Food Safety Initiative. In addition, Egg Central Station, is the only egg facility, and we are one of only five companies, globally to have received the SQF Institute, or SQFI, Select Site certification. To distribute our products, we use a broker-distributor-retailer network whereby brokers represent our products to distributors and retailers who will in turn sell our products to consumers. We serve the majority of natural channel customers through food distributors, such as UNFI and KeHE, which purchase, store, sell and deliver our products to Whole Foods and Sprouts, respectively. In fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, UNFI accounted for 36% and     % of our net revenue and KeHE accounted for 10% and     % of our net revenue, respectively. We serve mainstream retailers by arranging for delivery of our products directly through their distribution centers. We also leverage distributor relationships to fulfill orders for certain independent grocers and other customers.

We have experienced consistent sales growth. We had net revenue of $106.7 million, net income of $5.6 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $7.9 million in the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018. See the section titled “—Non-GAAP Financial Measure—Adjusted EBITDA” below for the definition of Adjusted EBITDA, as well as a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income, the most directly comparable financial measure stated in accordance with GAAP.

Our Fiscal Year

We report on a 52-53-week fiscal year, ending on the last Sunday in December, effective beginning with the first quarter of fiscal 2018. In a 52-53-week fiscal year, each fiscal quarter consists of 13 weeks. The additional week in a 53-week fiscal year is added to the fourth quarter, making such quarter consist of 14 weeks. Our first 53-week fiscal year will be fiscal 2023, which we expect to begin on December 26, 2022 and end on December 31, 2023. See Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional details related to our fiscal calendar.

Key Factors Affecting Our Business

We believe that the growth of our business and our future success are dependent upon many factors. While each of these factors presents significant opportunities for us, they also pose important challenges that we must successfully address to enable us to sustain the growth of our business and improve our results of operations.

Expand Household Penetration

We have positioned our brand to capitalize on growing consumer interest in natural, clean-label, traceable, ethical, great-tasting and nutritious foods. We believe there is substantial opportunity to grow our consumer base and increase the velocity at which households purchase our products. U.S. household penetration for the shell egg category is approximately 95%, while the household penetration for our pasture-raised shell eggs is approximately 2%. We intend to increase household penetration by continuing to invest significantly in selling and marketing to educate consumers about our brand, our values and the premium quality of our products. We believe these efforts will educate consumers on the ethical value and the attractive attributes of pasture-raised food, generate further demand for our products and ultimately expand our consumer base. Our ability to attract new consumers will depend, among other things, on the perceived value and quality of our products, the offerings of our competitors and the effectiveness of our marketing efforts. Our performance depends significantly on factors that may affect the level and pattern of consumer spending in the U.S. natural food market in which we operate. Such factors include consumer preference, consumer confidence, consumer income, consumer perception of the safety and quality of our products and shifts in the perceived value for our products relative to alternatives.

 

61


Grow Within the Retail Channel

We believe that our ability to increase the number of customers that sell our products to consumers is an indicator of our market penetration and our future business opportunities. We define our customers as the entities that sell our products to consumers. With certain of our retail customers, like Whole Foods and Sprouts, we sell our products through distributors. We are not able to precisely attribute our net revenue to a specific retailer for products sold through such channels. We rely on third-party data to calculate the portion of retail sales attributable to such retailers, but this data is inherently imprecise because it is based on gross sales generated by our products sold at retailers, without accounting for price concessions, promotional activities or chargebacks, and because it measures retail sales for only the portion of our retailers serviced through distributors. Based on this third-party data and internal analysis, Whole Foods accounted for approximately 37% and     % of our retail sales in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, respectively, and Sprouts accounted for approximately 10% and     % of our retail sales in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, respectively.

As of November 2019, there are approximately 13,000 stores selling our products. We expect the retail channel to be our largest source of net revenue for the foreseeable future. By capturing greater shelf space, driving higher product velocities and increasing our SKU count, we believe there is meaningful runway for further growth with existing retail customers. Additionally, we believe there is significant opportunity to gain incremental stores from existing customers as well as by adding new retail customers. We also believe there is significant further long-term opportunity in additional distribution channels, including the convenience, drugstore, club, military and international markets. Our ability to execute on this strategy will increase our opportunities for incremental sales to consumers, and we also believe this growth will allow for margin expansion. To accomplish these objectives, we intend to continue leveraging consumer awareness of and demand for our brand, offering targeted sales incentives to our customers and utilizing customer-specific marketing tactics. Our ability to grow within the retail channel will depend on a number of factors, such as our customers’ satisfaction with the sales, product velocities and profitability of our products.

Expand Footprint Across Foodservice

We believe there is a significant opportunity to expand sales of our products in the foodservice channel. In fiscal 2018, the foodservice channel accounted for 2% of our net revenue. Our brand has a differentiated value proposition with consumers, who we believe are increasingly demanding ethically produced ingredients when they eat outside of the home. We believe that more consumers will look for our products on menus, particularly with foodservice partners whose values are aligned with our own, and that on-menu branding of our products as ingredients in popular meals and menu items will drive traffic and purchases in the foodservice channel. We also believe that branded foodservice offerings will further help drive consumer awareness of our brand and purchase rates of our products in the retail channel. One example of our successful foodservice programs is with Tacodeli LLC, a popular chain based in Austin, Texas, which sells breakfast tacos made exclusively with our pasture-raised shell eggs across 11 restaurant locations and more than 100 points of distribution, such as coffee shops and farmers market stands, across Texas. We also believe there is significant additional opportunity in micro-markets, corporate offices, the hospitality industry, and colleges and universities. We intend to continue to invest in relationships with foodservice operators, including to support joint marketing and advertising of our products. Expansion in this channel will depend on our ability to successfully partner with foodservice operators in a manner that leverages and reinforces our value proposition with consumers.

Expand Our Product Offerings

We intend to continue to strengthen our product offerings by investing in innovation in new and existing categories. We launched hard-boiled eggs in 2018 and ghee and liquid whole eggs in 2019, and we believe there is opportunity to expand in the future into the refrigerated value-added dairy category, among others. Eggs generated $99 million, or 93%, of net revenue in fiscal 2018. We expect eggs will be our largest source of net revenue for the foreseeable future. We believe that investments in innovation will contribute to our long-term

 

62


growth, including by reinforcing our efforts to increase household penetration. Our ability to successfully develop, market and sell new products will depend on a variety of factors, including the availability of capital to invest in innovation, as well as changing consumer preferences and demand for food products.

Components of Results of Operations

Net Revenue

We generate net revenue primarily from sales of our products, including pasture-raised eggs, pasture-raised butter and other ethically produced food, to our customers, which include natural retailers, mainstream retailers and foodservice partners. We sell our products to customers on a purchase-order basis. We serve the majority of our natural channel customers and certain independent grocers and other customers through food distributors, which purchase, store, sell and deliver our products to these customers.

We periodically offer sales incentives to our customers, including rebates, temporary price reductions, off-invoice discounts, retailer advertisements, product coupons and other trade activities. We periodically provide chargebacks to our customers, which include credits or discounts to customers in the event that products do not conform to customer expectations upon delivery or expire at a customer’s site. We record a provision for sales incentives at the later of the date at which the related revenue is recognized or when the sales incentive is offered. At the end of each accounting period, we recognize a liability for an estimated promotional allowance reserve. We treat chargebacks and discount offers, when accepted by customers, as a reduction of the sales price of the related transaction. We anticipate that these promotional activities, chargebacks and discount offers could impact our net revenue and that changes in such activities could impact period-over-period results.

Our pasture-raised shell eggs are sold to consumers at a premium price point, and when prices for commodity shell eggs fall relative to the price of our pasture-raised shell eggs, price-sensitive consumers may choose to purchase commodity shell eggs offered by our competitors instead of our pasture-raised eggs. As a result, low commodity shell egg prices may adversely affect our net revenue. Net revenue may also vary from period to period depending on the purchase orders we receive, the volume and mix of our products sold, and the channels through which our products are sold.

Cost of Goods Sold

Cost of goods sold consists primarily of the cost of eggs, butter and other raw materials, product packaging, co-manufacturing fees, direct labor and associated overhead costs, and plant and equipment depreciation and amortization. In addition, our cost of goods sold includes warehousing and transportation of inventory.

We historically contracted with farmers on an integrator basis, under which we purchased the birds required to produce the eggs, and provided the birds and feed supply to the farmer. Our integrator contracts generally have seven-year terms. In 2015, we shifted our focus toward a model in which we enter into buy-sell contracts with new farmers and existing farmers when their contracts expire. Our buy-sell contracts generally have three-year terms. Under these arrangements, the farmer is responsible for all of the working capital and investments required to produce the eggs and manage the farm, including purchasing the birds and feed supply. As of December 30, 2018, approximately 92% of the laying hens in our network of family farms were under buy-sell contracts and the remainder were under integrator contracts. The price we pay to purchase shell eggs from farmers fluctuates based on pallet weight, and under our buy-sell contracts, the price we pay is also indexed quarterly in arrears for changes in feed cost, which may cause our agreed-upon pricing under these contracts to fluctuate on a quarterly basis.

We work with our co-manufacturing partners on a purchase-order basis to produce all non-shell, pasture-raised egg products, including butter, ghee, hard-boiled eggs and liquid whole eggs.

 

63


We expect our cost of goods sold to increase in absolute dollars to support our growth. However, we expect that, over time, cost of goods sold will decrease as a percentage of net revenue, as a result of the scaling of our business and the increased percentage of laying hens under buy-sell contracts as our remaining integrator contracts expire.

Gross Profit and Gross Margin

Gross profit consists of our net revenue less costs of goods sold. Gross profit was $34.8 million and gross margin was 33% in fiscal 2018. Gross profit and gross margin in fiscal 2018 were benefitted by in-sourcing egg processing through Egg Central Station, which was completed in September 2017.

Gross profit and gross margin can be negatively affected by feed costs and commodity shell egg prices. As we continue to expand production, increase processing efficiency, leverage the cost of our fixed production and staff costs, and introduce new egg products to better utilize our existing egg supply, we expect to have the opportunity to increase our gross margins over time.

Operating Expenses

Operating expenses consist of selling and marketing, general and administrative and shipping and distribution expenses.

Selling and Marketing

Selling and marketing expenses consist primarily of personnel costs and broker and contractor fees for selling and marketing functions, consisting of salaries, benefits, bonuses, stock-based compensation expense and sales commissions. Selling and marketing expenses also include advertising and digital media costs, agency fees, travel and entertainment costs, and costs associated with consumer promotions, product samples and sales aids incurred to acquire new customers, retain existing customers and build our brand awareness. We expect selling and marketing expenses to increase in absolute dollars as we increase our expansion efforts to meet our product demand, continue to build brand equity across our product portfolio and add personnel to our selling and marketing organization.

General and Administrative

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of personnel costs and contractor fees for finance, human resources and other administrative functions, consisting of salaries, benefits, bonuses and stock-based compensation expense. General and administrative expenses also include overhead costs for facilities, including associated depreciation and amortization expenses, and information technology-related expenses. We expect general and administrative expenses to increase in absolute dollars when we operate as a public company with increased personnel costs in finance, legal and accounting.

Shipping and Distribution

Shipping and distribution expenses consist primarily of costs related to cold storage and third-party freight for our products. We expect shipping and distribution expenses to increase in absolute dollars as we continue to scale our business.

Other Expense, Net

Other expense, net consists primarily of interest paid on our term loan under our revolving credit, term loan and security agreement, or the Credit Facility. Other expense, net also includes income earned on our money market funds included in cash and cash equivalents.

 

64


Provision for Income Taxes

Provision for income taxes consists of U.S. federal and state income taxes.

Net Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests

In December 2016, we entered into an assignment and assumption agreement with Ovabrite, Inc., or Ovabrite, a technology company focused on developing technologies to detect egg fertility and chick gender. The initial stockholders of Ovabrite are also our stockholders, and the largest stockholder of Ovabrite is Matthew O’Hayer, our founder and executive chairman. In addition, we provide substantially all of the funding for the operations of Ovabrite.

Based upon this and other aspects of Ovabrite’s design and operation, we determined that Ovabrite is a variable interest entity, or VIE, and we are the primary beneficiary as we have (i) the power to direct the activities of Ovabrite that most significantly impact Ovabrite’s economic performance and (ii) the obligation to absorb losses that could potentially be significant to Ovabrite, or the right to receive benefits from Ovabrite that could potentially be significant to Ovabrite. Accordingly, we consolidate the results of Ovabrite and recognize the noncontrolling interests related to the VIE as equity in our consolidated financial statements separate from the parent entity’s equity. Ovabrite’s other stockholders’ share of its earnings or loss is recorded in the consolidated statement of operations as net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests.

Results of Operations

The following table sets forth our results of operations for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018:

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Net revenue

   $ 106,713  

Cost of goods sold

     71,894  
  

 

 

 

Gross profit

     34,819  

Operating expenses:

  

Sales and marketing (1)

     9,575  

General and administrative (1)

     9,862  

Shipping and distribution

     8,615  
  

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     28,052  
  

 

 

 

Income from operations

     6,767  
  

 

 

 

Other expense, net:

  

Interest expense, net

     (415
  

 

 

 

Total other expense, net

     (415
  

 

 

 

Net income before income taxes

     6,352  

Provision for income taxes

     723  
  

 

 

 

Net income

     5,629  

Less: Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

     (168
  

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Vital Farms, Inc. stockholders

   $ 5,797  
  

 

 

 

 

65


 

(1)

Includes stock-based compensation expense as follows:

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Sales and marketing

   $ 35  

General and administrative

     565  
  

 

 

 

Total stock-based compensation expense

   $ 600  
  

 

 

 

The following table sets forth our consolidated statement of operations data expressed as a percentage of net revenue for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018:

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     Amount     % of Net
Revenue
 
     (in thousands)  

Net revenue

   $ 106,713       100

Cost of goods sold

     71,894       67  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross profit

     34,819       33  

Operating expenses:

    

Sales and marketing

     9,575       9  

General and administrative

     9,862       9  

Shipping and distribution

     8,615       8  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     28,052       26  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income from operations

     6,767       6  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Other expense, net:

    

Interest expense, net

     (415     —    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other expense, net

     (415     —    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income before income taxes

     6,352       6  

Provision for income taxes

     723       —    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income

   $ 5,629       5
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 30, 2018

Net Revenue

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Net revenue

   $ 106,713  

Net revenue was $106.7 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, which primarily consisted of gross sales of $113.9 million of eggs, partially offset by $14.9 million of sales incentives offered to our customers during the fiscal year, and $8.7 million of butter, partially offset by $1.0 million of sales incentives. Net revenue from sales through our natural and mainstream channels was $104.6 million and net revenue from sales through our foodservice channel was $2.1 million.

 

66


Cost of Goods Sold

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Cost of goods sold

   $ 71,894  

Percentage of net revenue

     67

Cost of goods sold was $71.9 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, which primarily consisted of $56.2 million attributable to the cost of eggs and $6.3 million attributable to the cost of butter. Of the $56.2 million attributable to the cost of eggs, $3.9 million was attributable to the cost of products sold to a breaker plant. Cost of goods sold also included $4.6 million of warehousing and transportation of inventory costs and $4.7 million of direct labor and overhead costs.

Gross Profit and Gross Margin

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Gross profit

   $ 34,819  

Gross margin

     33

Gross profit was $34.8 million and gross margin was 33% for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018.

Operating Expenses

Selling and Marketing

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Sales and marketing

   $ 9,575  

Percentage of net revenue

     9

Selling and marketing expenses were $9.6 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, which primarily consisted of $2.7 million of personnel costs related to our selling and marketing team, $5.3 million related to our marketing programs and associated expenses and $1.6 million of commission payments made to third parties that sell our products to our customers.

General and Administrative

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

General and administrative

   $ 9,862  

Percentage of net revenue

     9

General and administrative expenses were $9.9 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, which primarily consisted of $5.8 million in employee-related costs, $3.9 million of other general and administrative expenses that primarily consisted of travel and facility related expenses, and $1.2 million in professional fees, partially offset by a gain of $1.0 million in connection with a lawsuit settlement in which we were the plaintiff.

 

67


Shipping and Distribution

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Shipping and distribution

   $ 8,615  

Percentage of net revenue

     8

Shipping and distribution expenses were $8.6 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, which primarily consisted of costs related to cold storage and third-party freight for our products.

Other Expense, Net

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Other expense, net

   $ (415

Percentage of net revenue

     —  

Other expense, net was $0.4 million for fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, which primarily consisted of $0.4 million of interest expense associated with our term loan under our Credit Facility, partially offset by an immaterial amount of interest income associated with our money market funds.

Provision for Income Taxes

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Provision for income taxes

   $ 723  

Percentage of net revenue

     —  

Provision for income taxes was $0.7 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018.

Net Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

   $ (168

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests was $0.2 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, representing the share of Ovabrite’s net loss that is attributable to its other stockholders.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Since inception, we have funded our operations with proceeds from sales of our capital stock, proceeds from borrowings and cash flows from our product sales. We had net income of $5.6 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018 and retained earnings of $2.9 million as of December 30, 2018. We expect that our cash and cash equivalents, together with cash provided by our operating activities and proceeds from borrowings under our existing Credit Facility (as defined below), will be sufficient to fund our operating expenses for at least the next 12 months. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including our pace of new and

 

68


existing customer growth, our investments in innovation, our investments in partnerships and unexplored channels and the final costs associated with completing our expansion of Egg Central Station. We may be required to seek additional equity or debt financing. In the event that we require additional financing, we may not be able to raise such financing on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to raise additional capital or generate cash flows necessary to expand our operations and invest in continued innovation and product expansion, we may not be able to compete successfully, which would harm our business, operations and financial condition.

Credit Facility

Our Credit Facility with PNC Bank, National Association includes a $4.7 million initial term loan, a $10.0 million revolving line of credit and an equipment note with a maximum borrowing capacity of $750,000. The Credit Facility was originally entered into in October 2017 and matures on October 4, 2022.

On April 13, 2018 and April 25, 2018, we entered into amended loan agreements with PNC Bank, which we refer to as the First Amendment Loan and the Second Amendment Loan, respectively. The First Amendment Loan amended the Credit Facility to decrease the maximum borrowings under the equipment note from $1.5 million to $750,000, and to waive existing events of default. The Second Amendment Loan amended the Credit Facility to modify various definitions and terms that were not significant.

Borrowings under the term loan are repayable in monthly installments of principal and interest, followed by a balloon payment of all unpaid principal and accrued and unpaid interest due on October 4, 2022. Interest on borrowings under the term loan accrues at a rate, at our election at the time of borrowing, equal to (i) LIBOR plus 2.75% or (ii) 1.75% plus the sum of the Federal Funds Open Rate plus 50 basis points and the Daily LIBOR Rate plus 100 basis points. As of December 30, 2018, there was $3.9 million outstanding under the term loan and the interest rate applicable to borrowings under the Credit Facility was 6.33%.

The maximum borrowing capacity under the revolving line of credit is $10.0 million. Interest on borrowings under the revolving line of credit, as well as on swing loan advances thereunder, accrues at a rate, at our election at the time of borrowing, equal to (i) LIBOR plus 2.0% or (ii) 1.0% plus the alternate base rate. As of December 30, 2018, there were no outstanding borrowings under the revolving line of credit.

The maximum borrowing capacity under the equipment note is $750,000, subject to certain restrictions. Any borrowings under the equipment note from October 4, 2018 through October 4, 2019 will be due and payable beginning the following month with 36 monthly installments of principal due through October 4, 2022, and all accrued and unpaid interest due October 4, 2022. Interest on borrowings under the equipment note accrue at a rate, at our election at the time of borrowing, equal to (i) LIBOR plus 2.75% or (ii) 1.75% plus the alternate base rate. As of December 30, 2018, there were no outstanding borrowings under the equipment note.

In February 7, 2019, we entered into the Third Amendment to our Credit Facility, which we refer to as the Third Amendment Loan. The Third Amendment Loan amended the Credit Facility to waive existing events of default.

The Credit Facility is secured by all of our assets and requires us to maintain three financial covenants: a fixed charge coverage ratio, a leverage ratio and a minimum EBITDA. The Credit Facility also contains various covenants relating to limitations on indebtedness, investments and acquisitions, sale of properties and liens and capital expenditures. Additionally, the Credit Facility contains other customary covenants, representations and events of default. As of December 30, 2018, we were in compliance with all covenants under the Credit Facility. See Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional details related to our Credit Facility.

 

69


Cash Flows

The following table summarizes our cash flows for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018:

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $ 11,424  

Net cash used in investing activities

     (1,911

Net cash used in financing activities

     (1,509
  

 

 

 

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents during the year

   $ 8,004  
  

 

 

 

Operating Activities

In fiscal 2018, net cash provided by operating activities was $11.4 million resulting primarily from net income of $5.6 million, an increase in accounts payable of $4.9 million, an increase in accrued liabilities of $2.9 million and non-cash charges of $3.1 million, partially offset by an increase in accounts receivable of $3.6 million, an increase in inventory of $1.0 million, and an increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets of $0.5 million. The increases in accounts payable and accrued expenses were primarily due to increases in a payment associated with an over recovery of promotions related to a customer and overall increase to inventory purchases and payroll related costs associated with our continued growth. The increases in accounts receivable were primarily due to new customers and distribution centers, in addition to increased orders from our existing customers, and the increases in prepaid expenses and other current assets were primarily due to our gain contingency in connection with our lawsuit settlement in which we were the plaintiff.

Investing Activities

In fiscal 2018, net cash used in investing activities was $1.9 million, resulting primarily from purchases of property, plant and equipment used in ongoing operations.

Financing Activities

In fiscal 2018, net cash used in financing activities was $1.5 million, primarily consisting of $0.5 million of deferred royalty payments related to our 2014 acquisition of HEC, $0.7 million of principal payments under our Credit Facility and $0.4 million of principal payments under our capital lease obligations.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Adjusted EBITDA

We report our financial results in accordance with GAAP. However, management believes that Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, provides investors with additional useful information in evaluating our performance.

We calculate Adjusted EBITDA as net income, adjusted to exclude: (1) depreciation and amortization; (2) provision for income taxes; (3) stock-based compensation expense; (4) interest expense; (5) interest income; (6) change in fair value of contingent consideration; and (7) net litigation settlement gain.

Adjusted EBITDA is a financial measure that is not required by, or presented in accordance with GAAP. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA, when taken together with our financial results presented in accordance with

 

70


GAAP, provides meaningful supplemental information regarding our operating performance and facilitates internal comparisons of our historical operating performance on a more consistent basis by excluding certain items that may not be indicative of our business, results of operations or outlook. In particular, we believe that the use of Adjusted EBITDA is helpful to our investors as it is a measure used by management in assessing the health of our business, determining incentive compensation and evaluating our operating performance, as well as for internal planning and forecasting purposes.

Adjusted EBITDA is presented for supplemental informational purposes only, has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP. Some of the limitations of Adjusted EBITDA include that (1) it does not properly reflect capital commitments to be paid in the future, (2) although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the underlying assets may need to be replaced and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect these capital expenditures, (3) it does not consider the impact of stock-based compensation expense, (4) it does not reflect other non-operating expenses, including interest expense, (5) it does not consider the impact of any contingent consideration liability valuation adjustments and (6) it does not reflect tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us. In addition, our use of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies because they may not calculate Adjusted EBITDA in the same manner, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure. Because of these limitations, when evaluating our performance, you should consider Adjusted EBITDA alongside other financial measures, including our net income and other results stated in accordance with GAAP.

The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income, the most directly comparable financial measure stated in accordance with GAAP, for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018:

 

     Year Ended
December 30,
2018
 
     (in thousands)  

Net income

   $ 5,629  

Depreciation and amortization

     1,437  

Provision for income tax

     723  

Stock-based compensation expense

     600  

Interest expense

     424  

Change in fair value of contingent consideration (1)

     92  

Interest income

     (9

Net litigation settlement gain (2)

     (1,000
  

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

   $ 7,896  
  

 

 

 

 

(1)

Amount reflects the change in fair value of a contingent consideration liability in connection with our 2014 acquisition of HEC.

(2)

Amount reflects a gain in connection with a lawsuit settlement in which we were the plaintiff.

Contractual Obligations and Commitments

The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of December 30, 2018:

 

     Payments Due by Period  
     Total      Less than
1 Year
     1 to 3
Years
     4 to 5
Years
     More than
5 Years
 
     (in thousands)  

Long-term debt obligations (1)

   $ 4,546      $ 897      $ 1,668      $ 1,981      $ —    

Capital lease obligations

     1,828        498        996        334        —    

Operating lease commitments

     2,727        690        945        497        595  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 9,101      $ 2,085      $ 3,609      $ 2,812      $ 595  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

71


 

(1)

Reflects long-term debt obligations, including accrued interest calculated using an effective interest rate of 6.33%, which is the applicable interest rate at December 30, 2018.

In July 2019, we entered into a third amendment to our office space lease and exercised our expansion option. We agreed to rent an additional 1,962 rentable square feet for monthly minimum lease payments of $19,000. Minimum lease payments are subject to periodic rent increases through April 2026, as a result of this amendment, and are excluded from the table above.

We purchase our inventories under long-term supply contracts with farms. Purchase commitments contained in these arrangements are variable dependent upon the quantity of eggs produced by the farms. As a result, these commitments have been excluded from the contractual obligations disclosed above. In addition, substantially all of the contracts with farms contain components that meet the definition of an operating lease under Leases (Topic 840), with respect to the property, plant and equipment used in the production of eggs. As consideration paid under these arrangements is variable, the lease payments are contingent rentals. The contingent rentals are capitalized into inventory when the related eggs are purchased and are expensed to cost of goods sold upon their sale to customers. As of December 30, 2018, all of the future lease payments associated with these arrangements were contingent rentals and were therefore excluded from the table above.

Seasonality

Demand for shell eggs fluctuates in response to seasonal factors. Shell egg demand tends to increase with the start of the school year and is highest prior to holiday periods, particularly Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter and the lowest during the summer months. As a result of these seasonal and quarterly fluctuations, comparisons of our sales and operating results between different quarters within a single fiscal year are not necessarily meaningful comparisons.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We did not have during the periods presented, and we do not currently have, any off-balance sheet financing arrangements or any relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, including entities sometimes referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities, that were established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other contractually narrow or limited purposes.

Critical Accounting Policies

We believe that the following accounting policies involve a high degree of judgment and complexity. Accordingly, these are the policies we believe are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our consolidated financial condition and results of our operations. See Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for a description of our other significant accounting policies. The preparation of our consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the amounts reported in those financial statements and related notes thereto. Although we believe that the estimates we use are reasonable, due to the inherent uncertainty involved in making those estimates, actual results reported in future periods could differ from those estimates.

Revenue Recognition

Revenue for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018 is presented under Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, 605, Revenue Recognition. Under ASC 605, we recognized revenue when all of the following criteria were met: (1) upon the transfer of title of the product, ownership, and risk of loss to the

 

72


customer, which typically occurs upon delivery and acceptance of the product by customers; (2) collection of the relevant receivable is reasonably assured; (3) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists; and (4) the sales price is fixed or determinable.

We periodically provide sales incentive to our customers, including rebates, temporary price reductions, off-invoice discounts, retailer advertisements, product coupons and other trade activities. We periodically provide chargebacks to our customers, which include credits or discounts to customers in the event that products do not conform to customer specifications or expire at a customer’s site. We record a provision for sales incentives at the later of the date at which the related revenue is recognized or the sales incentive is offered. At the end of each accounting period, we recognize a liability for an estimated promotional allowance reserve. We treat chargebacks and discount offers, when accepted by customers, as a reduction of the sales price of the related transaction. Current discount and inducement offers are presented as a net amount in net revenue and are estimated using our historical experience for similar discounts and inducement offers.

Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities

We consolidate all entities where there exists a controlling financial interest. We have considered our relationship with a certain entity to determine whether we have a variable interest in that entity and, if so, whether we are the primary beneficiary of the relationship. GAAP requires VIEs to be consolidated if an entity’s interest in the VIE is a controlling financial interest. Under the variable interest model, a controlling financial interest is determined based on which entity, if any, has (1) the power to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly impacts the VIEs economic performance and (2) the obligations to absorb losses that could potentially be significant to the VIE or the right to receive benefits from the VIE that could potentially be significant to the VIE.

We perform ongoing reassessments of whether changes in the facts and circumstances regarding our involvement with a VIE would cause our consolidation conclusion to change. The consolidation status of the VIEs with which we are involved may change as a result of such reassessments. Changes in consolidation status are applied in accordance with GAAP.

Goodwill

Goodwill represents the excess of cost over the fair value of the net tangible and identifiable intangible assets acquired in a business combination. Goodwill is not amortized but is tested for impairment annually on October 1 or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset may be impaired. We first assess qualitative factors to determine whether events or circumstances existed that would lead us to conclude it is more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit is below its carrying amount. If we determine that it is more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit is below the carrying amount, a quantitative goodwill assessment is required. In the quantitative evaluation, the fair value of the reporting unit is determined and compared to the carrying value. If the fair value is greater than the carrying value, then the carrying value is deemed to be recoverable and no further action is required. If the fair value estimate is less than the carrying value, goodwill is considered impaired for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value and a charge is reported as impairment of goodwill in our consolidated statement of operations. We did not record any impairment during the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018.

Contingent Consideration

In connection with our 2014 acquisition of HEC, we were required to make royalty payments to prior owners of HEC. The royalty payments are contingent on our future purchase of eggs from supplier contracts that were acquired in the acquisition. These purchases of eggs are contingent because the occurrence of purchases are not guaranteed and the timing and amount of purchases are unknown. Fair value of the contingent consideration liability was determined at the acquisition date using unobservable inputs. These inputs included projected

 

73


financial information, market volatility, risk-adjusted discount rates and timing of contractual payments. Subsequent to the acquisition date, at each reporting date, the contingent consideration liability is remeasured to fair value with changes in fair value recorded within general and administrative expenses in our consolidated statement of operations.

Stock-Based Compensation

We measure stock-based awards granted to employees and directors based on their fair value on the date of the grant and recognize compensation expense for those awards over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period of the respective award. The fair value of each stock option grant is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, which requires inputs based on certain subjective assumptions, including the expected stock price volatility, the expected term of the option, the risk-free interest rate for a period that approximates the expected term of the option and our expected dividend yield. To date, we have issued stock-based awards with only service-based vesting conditions and record the expense for these awards using the straight-line method.

For stock-based awards granted to consultants and non-employees, compensation expense is recognized over the shorter of the vesting period or the period during which services are rendered by such consultants and non-employees until completed. At the end of each financial reporting period prior to completion of the service, the fair value of these awards is re-measured using the then-current fair value of our common stock and updated assumption inputs in the Black-Scholes option-pricing model.

Common Stock Valuations

The fair value of the common stock underlying our stock-based awards has historically been determined by our board of directors, with input from management and contemporaneous third-party valuations. We believe that our board of directors has the relevant experience and expertise to determine the fair value of our common stock. Given the absence of a public trading market of our common stock, and in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Practice Aid, Valuation of Privately-Held Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation, our board of directors exercised reasonable judgment and considered numerous objective and subjective factors to determine the best estimate of the fair value of our common stock at each grant date. These factors include:

 

   

contemporaneous valuations of our common stock performed by independent third-party specialists;

 

   

the prices, rights, preferences and privileges of our redeemable convertible preferred stock relative to those of our common stock;

 

   

the prices of our common and convertible preferred stock sold to third-party investors by us and in secondary transactions or repurchased by us in arm’s-length transactions;

 

   

the lack of marketability of our common stock;

 

   

our actual operating and financial performance;

 

   

current business conditions and projections;

 

   

hiring of key personnel and the experience of our management;

 

   

the history of the company and the introduction of new products;

 

   

our stage of development;

 

   

the likelihood of achieving a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering, or a merger or acquisition of our company given prevailing market conditions;

 

   

the market performance of comparable publicly traded companies; and

 

   

the U.S. and global capital market conditions.

 

74


In valuing our common stock, our board of directors determined the equity value of our business using various valuation methods, including combinations of income and market approaches with input from management. The income approach estimates value based on the expectation of future cash flows that a company will generate. These future cash flows are discounted to their present values using a discount rate derived from an analysis of the cost of capital of comparable publicly traded companies in our industry or similar business operations as of each valuation date and is adjusted to reflect the risks inherent in our cash flows.

For each valuation, the equity value determined by the income and market approaches was then allocated to the common stock using either the option pricing method, or OPM. The option pricing method is based on a binomial lattice model, which allows for the identification of a range of possible future outcomes, each with an associated probability. The OPM is appropriate to use when the range of possible future outcomes is difficult to predict and thus creates highly speculative forecasts.

In addition, we considered any secondary transactions involving our capital stock. In our evaluation of those transactions, we considered the facts and circumstances of each transaction to determine the extent to which they represented a fair value exchange. Factors considered include transaction volume and timing, whether the transactions occurred among willing and unrelated parties, and whether the transactions involved investors with access to our financial information.

Application of these approaches involves the use of estimates, judgment and assumptions that are highly complex and subjective, such as those regarding our expected future net revenue, expenses, future cash flows, discount rates, market multiples, the selection of comparable companies, and the probability of possible future events. Changes in any or all of these estimates and assumptions or the relationships between those assumptions impact our valuations as of each valuation date and may have a material impact on the valuation of our common stock.

For valuations after the completion of this offering, our board of directors will determine the fair value of the common stock underlying our stock-based awards based on the closing price of our common stock on                  as reported on the date of grant. Future expense amounts for any particular period could be affected by changes in our assumptions or market conditions.

Based on an assumed initial public offering price per share of $        , the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, the aggregate intrinsic value of our outstanding stock options as of December 30, 2018 was $        , with $        related to vested stock options.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

See the sections titled “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies—Recently adopted accounting pronouncements” and “—Recently issued accounting pronouncements not yet adopted” in Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional details.

Qualitative and Quantitative Disclosures about Market Risk

We are exposed to market risks in the ordinary course of our business. Market risk represents the risk of loss that may impact our financial position due to adverse changes in financial market prices and rates. Our market risk exposure is primarily the result of fluctuations in raw materials, ingredients, inflation and interest rates.

Raw Materials Pricing Risk

The packaging materials used for our products include cardboard, glass, corrugated fiberboard, kraft paper, flexible plastic, flexible film and paperboard. These raw materials are subject to price fluctuations that may

 

75


create price risk. A hypothetical 10% increase or decrease in the weighted-average cost of these raw materials as of December 30, 2018 would have resulted in an increase or decrease to cost of sales for fiscal 2018 of approximately $0.8 million. We seek to mitigate the impact of raw materials cost increases by negotiating pricing agreements. We strive to offset the impact of raw materials cost increases with a combination of cost savings initiatives and efficiencies and price increases to our customers.

Ingredient Risk

We source our pasture-raised eggs and milk for our products from our network of small family farms. The price we pay to purchase shell eggs from farmers fluctuates based on pallet weight, and under our buy-sell contracts, which account for 92% of the laying hens in our network of family farms as of December 30, 2018, the price we pay is also indexed quarterly in arrears for changes in feed cost, which may cause our agreed-upon pricing under these contracts to fluctuate on a quarterly basis. Under the remainder of our contracts, we are directly responsible for purchasing feed. Either type of contract subjects us to risk of price fluctuations in feed ingredients, primarily consisting of corn and soy. We do not attempt to hedge against fluctuations in the prices of these ingredients by using future, forward, option or other derivative instruments. A hypothetical 10% increase or decrease in the weighted-average cost of these ingredients as of December 30, 2018 would have resulted in an increase or decrease to cost of sales for fiscal 2018 of approximately $2.3 million. We strive to offset the impact of ingredient cost increases with a combination of cost savings initiatives and efficiencies and price increases to our customers.

Inflation Risk

We do not believe that inflation has had a material effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. If our costs were to become subject to significant inflationary pressures, we may not be able to fully offset such higher costs through price increases. Our inability or failure to do so could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Interest Rate Risk

We are subject to interest rate risk in connection with our Credit Facility. See the section titled “—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Credit Facility” above. Based on the average interest rate on the instruments under the Credit Facility during the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018 and to the extent that borrowings were outstanding, we do not believe that a hypothetical 10% change in the interest rate would have a material effect on our results of operations or financial condition for fiscal 2018.

Our interest-earning instruments also carry a degree of interest rate risk. As of December 30, 2018, we had cash and cash equivalents of $11.8 million.

We do not enter into investments for trading or speculative purposes and have not used any derivative financial instruments to manage our interest rate risk exposure.

Foreign Currency Exchange Risk

All of our sales are denominated in U.S. dollars, and therefore our net revenue is not currently subject to significant foreign currency risk. We purchase certain equipment from foreign countries, and the cost related to this equipment is denominated in the currency of the applicable country. Additionally, to the extent our sourcing strategy changes or we commence generating revenue outside of the United States that is denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, our results of operations could be impacted by changes in exchange rates. To date, we have not entered into any hedging arrangements with respect to foreign currency risk or other derivative financial instruments, although we may choose to do so in the future. A hypothetical 10% change in the relative value of the U.S. dollar to other currencies would not have had a material effect on our operating results for fiscal 2018.

 

76


Emerging Growth Company Status

In April 2012, the JOBS Act was enacted. Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an “emerging growth company” may take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. Therefore, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to use the extended transition period under the JOBS Act. Accordingly, our financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of public companies that comply with such new or revised accounting standards.

 

77


LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

In 1980, I purchased a small farm on the outskirts of San Antonio where I kept a small flock of happy hens that roamed freely. Coupled with a varied diet, the environment in which these hens were raised helped them to produce some of the best eggs I had ever eaten. In fact, when we moved back to the city several years later, I could never find eggs that tasted like the ones my “girls” had laid. That got me wondering: Is it possible to produce amazing food in an environmentally responsible and humane manner on a commercial scale? From this question, the Vital Farms story began.

Twenty five years later, my wife Catherine and I founded Vital Farms on a 27-acre plot of land in Austin, Texas. Armed with a bucket of good intentions, 20 Rhode Island Red hens and, later, a thousand baby chicks, we proved that it is possible to produce the highest-quality, humanely raised food at scale. Our first sales came from farmers markets and restaurants in the Austin area. Less than a year later, our delicious eggs were discovered by Whole Foods, who helped transform our backyard passion into a thriving business.

We began with the purpose of bringing ethically produced food to the table. We executed on our purpose by curating a collection of well-supported family farms to operate within a strictly defined set of agricultural practices that includes the humane treatment of farm animals as a central tenet. A decade later, we remain committed to expanding on our purpose and promoting the superior nature of Vital Farms products. We educate consumers to migrate them from their typical food choices and, by doing so, create opportunities for more family farms to benefit from our ethical, humane and sustainable business model.

Through the lens of Conscious Capitalism, taking care of our stakeholders is paramount to what we do. It is the fabric of our brand. With that in mind, we have established deep, sustainable, long-term relationships with approximately 200 small family farms. Our principles resonate with today’s consumers, who increasingly care about animal welfare, environmental responsibility and ethical values. As a result, our brand has grown exceptionally over the last decade to become the market leader with a 73% share of the U.S. pasture-raised retail egg market.

Since our launch in 2007, we have grown to 21 retail SKUs across five product categories, most recently adding butter, hard-boiled eggs, ghee and liquid whole eggs to our portfolio. We offer our products through a multi-channel retail distribution network and have invested over $19 million to create a highly efficient supply chain. Our premium and values-driven positioning engenders trust with consumers and makes Vital Farms a strategic and valuable brand for retailers. And, as we continue to build a trusted brand in eggs and butter, I am optimistic about the categories we could potentially disrupt to offer consumers and other stakeholders better options.

Our brand ethos of humane farming and ethically produced foods, coupled with our balanced focus on our stakeholders, has produced rewarding operational and financial results. Since the beginning of 2014, we have grown net revenue over 250%, entered our second major category, butter, and built our first state-of-the-art shell egg processing facility, Egg Central Station. Year-to-date net revenue through the third quarter of 2019 was up approximately 34%, and we continue to see strong interest from farmers looking to become a part of our attractive supply chain. As we continue to grow and expand, we remain vigilant in upholding our values, which truly do inform every decision that we make.

I am extremely gratified and humbled to be working with a group of amazing stakeholders: the farmers and suppliers, customers and consumers, communities and the environment, crew members and stockholders that have collectively written the Vital Farms story to date. As we move to our next chapter, we will endeavor to continually earn and uphold the trust of all of our stakeholders each and every day – including you.

Matthew O’Hayer

Founder & Executive Chairman

 

78


BUSINESS

Our Company: Bringing Ethically Produced Food to the Table

Vital Farms is an ethical food company that is disrupting the U.S. food system. We have developed a framework that challenges the norms of the incumbent food model and allows us to bring high-quality products from our network of small family farms to a national audience. This framework has enabled us to become the leading U.S. brand of pasture-raised eggs and butter and the second largest U.S. egg brand by retail dollar sales. Our ethics are exemplified by our humane treatment of farm animals and sustainable farming practices. We believe these standards produce happy hens with varied diets, which produce better eggs. There is a seismic shift in consumer demand for ethically produced, natural, traceable, clean-label, great-tasting and nutritious foods. Supported by a steadfast adherence to the values on which we were founded, we have designed our brand and products to appeal to this consumer movement.

Our purpose is rooted in a commitment to Conscious Capitalism, which prioritizes the long-term benefits of each of our stakeholders (farmers and suppliers, customers and consumers, communities and the environment, crew members and stockholders). Our business decisions consider the impact on all of our stakeholders, in contrast with the factory farming model, which principally emphasizes cost reduction at the expense of animals, farmers, consumers, crew members, communities and the environment. These principles guide our day-to-day operations and, we believe, help us deliver a more sustainable and successful business. Our approach has been validated by our financial performance and our designation as a Certified B Corporation, a certification reserved for businesses that balance profit and purpose to meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.

Our Ethical Decision-Making Model

 

 

Stakeholders

 

 

 

Guiding Principles

 

Farmers and Suppliers

 

•  Forming strong relationships with our network of approximately 200 small family farms, who are the foundation of our resilient and reliable supply chain

Customers and Consumers

 

•  Delivering the transparency and quality around food products that today’s consumers demand

Crew Members

 

•  Empowering our crew members by investing in their financial security, development and overall well-being

Community and Environment

 

•  Investing in our community and being conscious stewards of the environment

Stockholders

 

•  Building a sustainable company for the long term by delivering stockholder value

 

 

We have sustainably scaled our brand through our strong relationships with small family farms and deliberate efforts to design and build the infrastructure to bring our products to a national audience. Today, with a network of approximately 200 family farms, we believe our ethically produced pasture-raised products have set the national standard for ethically produced food. We believe the success of our relationships with small family farms and the efficiency of our supply chain provide us with a competitive advantage in the approximately $45

 

79


billion U.S. natural food and beverage industry, in which achieving reliable supply at a national scale can be challenging. In 2017, we opened Egg Central Station, a shell egg processing facility in Springfield, Missouri, which is centrally located within our network of family farms. Egg Central Station is capable of packing three million eggs per day and has achieved Safe Quality Food or SQF, Level 3 certification, the highest level of such certification from the Global Food Safety Initiative, or GFSI. In addition, Egg Central Station is the only egg facility, and we are one of only five companies, globally to have received the SQF Institute, or SQFI, Select Site certification, indicating that the site has voluntarily elected to undergo annual unannounced recertification audits by SQFI, the organization responsible for administering a global food safety and quality program known as the SQF Program. The design of Egg Central Station includes investments in support of each of our stakeholders, from our crew members (daylighting, climate control, slip resistant floors in the egg grading room), to the community and environment (consulting with the community before we built the facility, restoring native vegetation on the property, best-in-class storm water management), to our customers and consumers (food safety and maintenance investments far beyond regulatory requirements). We believe owning and operating this important element of our supply chain is a key differentiator and provides us with a competitive advantage. We have leveraged the scale and efficiency of Egg Central Station to significantly grow both our net revenue and gross margin.

Our loyal and growing consumer base has fueled the expansion of our brand from the natural channel to the mainstream channel and facilitated our entry into the foodservice channel. As of November 2019, we offer 21 retail SKUs through a multi-channel retail distribution network across approximately 13,000 stores. Our products generate stronger velocities and, we believe, greater profitability per unit for our retail customers in key traffic-generating categories as compared to products offered by our competitors. We believe we have significant room for growth within the retail and foodservice channels and can capture this opportunity by growing brand awareness and through new product innovation. We also believe there are incremental growth opportunities in additional distribution channels, including the convenience, drugstore, club, military and international markets, which we may access along with retail growth opportunities to enable us to continue our net revenue growth.

We have built a sustainable company founded on ethically produced products that increasingly resonate with consumers. Our trusted brand and Conscious Capitalism-focused business model have resulted in significant growth. We have increased net revenue from $1.9 million in fiscal 2010 to $106.7 million in fiscal 2018, which represents a 66% CAGR. From fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018, we grew net revenue by 44% and the number of stores carrying our products increased by 11%. Going forward, we expect the consumer movement away from factory farming practices will continue to fuel demand for ethically produced food. According to a 2018 survey of nearly 30,000 international consumers, 62% want brands to have ethical values and demonstrate authenticity in all parts of their business. We believe these demands extend to the food industry and that consumers are recognizing the benefits of pasture-raised egg and dairy products. Management is committed to ensuring our values remain aligned with those of our consumers while delivering stockholder value.

Evidence of our historical success in continuing to scale our business is shown in the graphics below. All dates refer to the year ended December 31, except for 2018, which refers to the fiscal year ended December 30.

 

Number of Stores    Net Revenue    Gross Profit
   $MM    $MM

LOGO

  

LOGO

  

LOGO

 

80


Our History

Matthew O’Hayer and his wife Catherine Stewart founded Vital Farms in 2007 on a 27-acre plot of land in Austin, Texas. Armed with a small flock of hens, they maintained a strong belief that a varied diet and better animal welfare practices would lead to superior eggs. Our first sales came from farmers markets and restaurants around Austin and, less than a year later, our eggs were discovered by Whole Foods. Matt and Catherine saw the opportunity to do something more than sell eggs to a few stores. They chose to build a sustainable company that aligned with the family farming community and was able to profitably deliver quality products to a devoted consumer base. As our business has continued to grow, our model remains rooted in trust and mutual accountability with our farmers, who are and will remain core to our business.

In 2014, our current president and chief executive officer, Russell Diez-Canseco, joined Vital Farms and led the development of our large and scalable network of family farms. In 2015, recognizing the opportunity to elevate our production process and bolster long-term growth and profitability, we began the design process for Egg Central Station, which opened in 2017 in Springfield, Missouri. We meticulously designed Egg Central Station in service of all of our stakeholders by improving on the best practices we observed across numerous world-class facilities. Today, Egg Central Station is capable of packing three million eggs per day and has achieved SQF Level 3 certification, the highest level of such certification from the GFSI. In addition, Egg Central Station is the only egg facility, and we are one of only five companies, globally to have received the SQFI Select Site certification.

Demand for our high-quality products has enabled us to expand our brand beyond the natural channel and into the mainstream channel through relationships with Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Target, Walmart and numerous other national and regional food retailers. As of November 2019, our ethically produced pasture-raised products are sold in approximately 13,000 stores nationwide. Over the course of our journey, our founder, Matthew O’Hayer, has continued to inform our strategic vision and remains intimately involved with the business as our executive chairman, going so far as to personally read and ensure a written response to each email and letter we receive from our loyal consumers.

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to bring ethically produced food to the table. We do this by partnering with family farms that operate within our strictly defined set of ethical food production practices. We are motivated by the influence we have on rural communities through creating impactful, long-term business opportunities for small family farmers. Moreover, we are driven to stand up for sustainable production practices that have been largely cast aside under the factory farming system. In our view, this system has been consistently misguided, focused on producing products at lowest cost rather than driving long-term and sustainable benefits for all stakeholders.

Since inception, our values have been rooted in the principles of Conscious Capitalism. We believe managing our business in the best interest of all of our stakeholders will result in a more successful and sustainable enterprise. A key premise of our business model is our consumer-centric approach, which focuses on identifying consumer needs and developing products that address these needs. While remaining committed to ethical decision-making, we have achieved strong financial performance and earned the Certified B Corporation designation, reflecting our role as a contributor to the global cultural shift toward redefining success in business in order to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. We believe our consumers connect with Vital Farms because they love our products, relate to our values and trust our practices.

 

81


Industry Overview

We operate in the large and growing U.S. natural food and beverage industry that, according to SPINS, LLC data, generated total retail sales of approximately $45.0 billion in 2018 accounting for approximately 10% of total food and beverage sales and grew at an 8% CAGR between 2016 and 2018, outpacing total food and beverage growth of 1% over the same period. Consumer awareness of the negative health, environmental and agricultural impacts of processed food and factory farming standards has resulted in increased consumer demand for ethically produced food. We believe this trend has had a meaningful impact on the growth of the natural food industry, which is increasingly penetrating the broader U.S. food market as mainstream retailers respond to consumer demand. We believe increased demand for natural food and a willingness to pay a premium for brands focused on transparency, sustainability and ethical values will continue to be a catalyst for our growth.

According to SPINS, LLC data, the U.S. shell egg market in 2018 accounted for $6 billion in retail sales and has grown at a CAGR of 6.4% between 2016 and 2018. Our relatively low household penetration of 2%, compared to the shell egg category penetration of 95%, provides a significant long-term growth opportunity for our business. Additionally, we estimate that the U.S. processed egg market in 2018 accounted for $3 billion in retail sales. According to SPINS, LLC data, the U.S. butter market in 2018 accounted for $3 billion in retail sales and has grown at a CAGR of 3.4% between 2016 and 2018. We believe the strength of our platform, coupled with significant investments in our crew members and infrastructure, position us to continue to deliver industry-leading growth across new and existing categories.

Our Strengths

Trusted Brand Aligned with Consumer Demands

We believe consumers have grown to trust our brand because of our adherence to our values and a high level of transparency. We have positioned our brand to capitalize on growing consumer interest in natural, clean-label, traceable, ethical, great-tasting and nutritious foods. Growing public awareness of major issues connected to animal farming, including human health, climate change and resource conservation, is closely aligned with our ethical mission. We believe consumers are increasingly focused on the source of their food and are willing to pay a premium for brands that deliver transparency, sustainability and integrity. As a company focused on driving the success of our stakeholders, our brand resonates with consumers who seek to align themselves with companies that share their values. Through our Vital Times newsletter and social media presence, we cultivate and support our relationship with consumers by communicating our values, building trust and promoting brand loyalty. For example, a survey we conducted in November 2019 found that 31% of our consumers surveyed insist on purchasing our egg brand and would not purchase another in its place.

Strategic and Valuable Brand for Retailers

Our historical performance has demonstrated that we are a strategic and valuable partner to retailers. We have innovated and grown into adjacent food categories while reaching a broad set of consumers through a variety of retail partners, including Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Target and Walmart. As of November 2019, we are the number one or two egg brand by retail dollar sales for branded eggs with key customers such as Kroger, Sprouts and Target. We believe the success of our brand demonstrates that consumers are demanding premium products that meet a higher ethical standard. We have expanded into the mainstream channel while still continuing to command premium prices for our ethically produced products, which sell for as much as three times the price of commodity eggs. We believe that our products are more attractive to retail customers because they help generate growth, deliver strong gross profits and drive strong velocities, as represented by the natural channel velocities depicted below.

 

82


Vital Farms Natural Channel Velocity versus All Other Competitors (1)

 

Refrigerated Eggs (2)    Refrigerated Butter (3)

 

 

LOGO

  

 

 

LOGO

Source: Refrigerated Eggs & Refrigerated Butter - SPINS, LLC Natural Channel, 52 Weeks Ending November 3, 2019

 

(1)

Channel Velocity ($ / Store / Item / Week) is defined as weekly sales per store per item of our products sold in retailers included in the Natural Channel.

(2)

Refrigerated egg competitors represent shell eggs in the Natural Channel.

(3)

Refrigerated butter competitors represent butter brands in the Natural Channel, excluding clotted cream and clarified butter.

Supply Chain Rooted in Commitment to Our Stakeholders

Our ongoing commitment to the social and economic interests of our stakeholders guides our supply chain decisions. We carefully select and partner with family farms in the Pasture Belt, the U.S. region where pasture-raised eggs can be produced year-round. We establish supply contracts that we believe are attractive for all parties, demonstrate our commitment to our network of small family farms through educational programs that transfer critical best practice knowledge, and pay farmers competitive prices for high-quality pasture-raised eggs. We believe our commitment to farmers facilitates more sustainable farm operations and significantly reduces turnover. Our network of small family farms gives us a strategic advantage through a scaled and sustainable supply chain and allows us to go to market with the highest quality pasture-raised premium products.

 

83


Map of the Pasture Belt

 

LOGO

Experienced and Passionate Team

We have an experienced and passionate executive management team that we refer to as the “C-crew,” which has approximately 60 years of combined industry experience and includes our president and chief executive officer, Russell Diez-Canseco, a seasoned food industry expert with over 16 years of relevant experience, including at H-E-B, a privately held supermarket chain. Our C-crew works in partnership with Matthew O’Hayer, our founder and executive chairman, who continues to inform our strategic vision with the entrepreneurial perspective gained through over 40 years of building businesses. We also have a deep bench of talent with strong business and operational experience, and crew members at all levels of our organization are passionate about addressing the needs of our stakeholders. We have leveraged the experience and passion of our C-crew, our founder and executive chairman, and our other crew members to grow net revenue over 250% since the beginning of 2014, enter our second major food category, butter, and build our first shell egg processing facility, Egg Central Station.

Our Growth Strategies

We believe our investments in our brand, our stakeholders and our infrastructure position us to continue delivering industry-leading growth that outpaces both the natural food industry and the overall food industry.

Expand Household Penetration through Greater Consumer Awareness

Critical to the success of our mission is our ability to share the Vital Farms story with a broader audience. By educating consumers about our brand, our values and the premium quality of our products, we intend to increase our household penetration. Our relatively low household penetration of 2% for our pasture-raised shell eggs, compared to the shell egg category penetration of 95%, shows that expanding the national presence of our brand offers a significant runway for future growth.

 

84


We are well positioned to increase household penetration of our products given their alignment with consumer trends and approachability with consumers. We intend to increase the number of consumers who buy our products by using digitally integrated media campaigns, social media tools and other owned media channels. We believe these efforts will educate consumers on our ethical values and the attractive attributes of our pasture-raised products, generate further demand for our products and ultimately expand our consumer base.

Grow Within the Retail Channel

By leveraging greater consumer awareness and demand for our brand, we believe there is significant opportunity to grow volume with existing retail customers. Our products generate stronger velocities and, we believe, greater profitability per unit for our retail customers in the categories in which we compete. By capturing greater shelf space, driving higher product velocities and increasing our SKU count, we believe there is meaningful runway for further growth with existing retail customers. Beyond our existing retail footprint, we believe there is significant opportunity to gain incremental stores from existing retail customers as well as to add new retail customers. We also believe there are significant further long-term opportunities in additional distribution channels, including the convenience, drugstore, club, military and international markets.

Expand Footprint across Foodservice

We believe there is significant demand for our products in the foodservice channel. We see tremendous opportunity for growth in this channel through sales to foodservice operators supported by joint marketing and advertising. Our brand has a differentiated value proposition with consumers, and we believe consumers are increasingly demanding ethically produced ingredients when they eat outside of the home. We believe that more consumers will look for our products on menus, particularly with foodservice partners whose values are aligned with our own, and that on-menu branding of our products as ingredients in popular meals and menu items will drive traffic and purchases in the foodservice channel. An example of our recent foodservice growth initiative is our relationship with Tacodeli, which sells breakfast tacos made exclusively with our pasture-raised shell eggs across 11 restaurant locations and more than 100 points of distribution, such as coffee shops and farmers market stands, across Texas. We believe branded foodservice offerings will further drive consumer awareness of our brand and purchase rates of our products in the retail channel.

Extend Our Product Offering through Innovation

The successes of our core products have confirmed our belief that there is significant demand for pasture-raised and ethically produced food products. We expect to continue to extend our product offerings through innovation in both new and existing categories. In 2018, we launched the only pasture-raised hard-boiled eggs in the U.S. market, and in 2019, we launched both ghee and liquid whole eggs, the latter of which are the only pasture-raised liquid whole eggs in the U.S. market. The success of our product portfolio and our proprietary consumer surveys confirm our belief that there is significant demand for our brand across a wide spectrum of food categories. Within this broader market, we believe the U.S. refrigerated value-added dairy category represents a total addressable market of $33.6 billion and is the closest adjacency and best near-term opportunity for our brand. We have several products in our innovation pipeline that we believe will be successful in these adjacent markets.

 

85


Product Overview

 

We currently produce five pasture-raised products sourced from animals raised on small family farms: shell eggs, butter, hard-boiled eggs, ghee and liquid whole eggs.

 

Our original and core product is pasture-raised shell eggs. We defined the pasture-raised egg category by following European-rooted standards codified by the Certified Humane Program, which require each hen to have at least 108 square feet of land and daily outdoor access. Our pasture-raised shell eggs are ethically produced and our consumers consistently tell us that they provide a richer taste and color than other eggs on the market. The retail varieties of our pasture-raised shell eggs are based on supplemental feed type (certified organic, non-GMO project verified and conventional), egg size (medium, large, extra large and jumbo) and pack size (6, 12 and 18 count).

 

In 2015, we saw an opportunity in the U.S. refrigerated value-added dairy market for premium, pasture-raised butter with artisanal qualities, such as higher butterfat content, sea salt and traditional slow-churn methods. Our consumer research and basket analysis also identified butter as a highly complementary product category to eggs in terms of usage and buyer profile. Today, we offer unsalted and sea salted varieties of our pasture-raised butter, which has 85% butterfat and is sold in two-stick packs.

 

In March 2018, we launched pasture-raised hard-boiled eggs to broaden the appeal of our brand and satisfy an incremental usage occasion – ready-to-eat snacking. That launch was quickly followed by the introduction of our pasture-raised liquid whole eggs in August 2019. We currently provide the only pasture-raised liquid whole egg in the estimated $3 billion U.S. processed egg market, which has seen little innovation in decades and has traditionally been dominated by egg whites.

 

In February 2019, we introduced pasture-raised ghee, followed in August 2019 by the release of a first of its kind ghee in a squeeze bottle format. Our pasture-raised ghee meets the standards consumers expect from the Vital Farms brand, with original and pink Himalayan salt varieties.

 

Motivated by our mission, our success and our customers’ feedback, we continue to innovate and expand our product offering to address growing consumer demand for pasture-raised and ethically produced products.

 

Pasture-Raised

Shell Eggs

 

LOGO

 

Pasture-Raised

Butter

 

LOGO

 

Pasture-Raised
Hard-Boiled Eggs

 

LOGO

 

Pasture-Raised Ghee

 

LOGO

 

Pasture-Raised
Liquid Whole Eggs

 

LOGO

 

86


Innovation

The successes of our core products have confirmed our belief that there is significant demand for pasture-raised and ethically produced food products. We expect to continue to extend our product offerings through innovation in both existing and new categories. We have a dedicated product development team that leverages comprehensive consumer insights and trend data to provide innovative solutions and ideas that meet new consumer needs and usage occasions. We also have a proven innovation model that utilizes a trusted network of partners to bring products to market without requiring significant upfront investment. We are committed to building on the success of our recent product launches and continuing to introduce consumers to our expanding range of ethically produced food products.

 

LOGO

Marketing

Our multi-faceted, consumer-centric marketing strategy has been instrumental in building our brand and driving net revenue. Our marketing strategy is aimed at solidifying our brand’s positioning as a leading provider of ethically produced food. We execute on this strategy by advertising through digitally integrated media campaigns, social media tools and other owned media channels. Our brand’s standout packaging has been a signature communication vehicle since our inception. We maintain a presence across all major social media platforms.

Under the leadership of our chief marketing officer, Scott Marcus, our brand has grown rapidly into a market leader with a 73% share of the U.S. pasture-raised retail egg market. Our brand awareness is represented by a strong social media following, with over 77,000 Instagram followers as of November 2019. Building on prior success, we will continue to invest in the brand through digitally integrated national media campaigns and build customer loyalty through other media formats, including our quirky Vital Times newsletter, now in its tenth year of print, which is placed in each egg carton. During the past two years, we have circulated over 50 million copies of our Vital Times newsletter.

 

87


Building upon a landscape of shifting consumer preferences, we are focused on reaching new consumers to educate them about our ethically focused value proposition. We work continuously to understand our consumers and leverage those insights to develop impactful communication plans and messaging. We remain focused on deploying our sophisticated marketing capabilities and world-class sales team to ensure that both customers and consumers understand the Vital Farms story.

Our Customers

We market our products throughout the United States with the majority of our net revenue coming from our pasture-raised egg products. As of November 2019, we currently distribute through third parties and direct to retailers to reach approximately 13,000 stores. With significant expansion in recent years, our retail sales are evenly distributed between the natural channel and mainstream channel. Because of our brand equity, loyal consumer base and expanding line of high-quality products, we believe there are attractive growth opportunities across these channels, in addition to a sizable opportunity in the foodservice channel. We believe there are also incremental growth opportunities in additional distribution channels, including the convenience, drugstore, club, military and international markets, which we may access, along with retail growth opportunities, to enable us to continue our net revenue growth.

Natural Channel

Natural channel retailers, including Whole Foods and Sprouts, represented approximately 49% and        % of our retail dollar sales in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, respectively.    

Mainstream Channel

Widespread consumer demand for high-quality and traceable foods has driven our expansion into the mainstream channel with national retailers, including Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Target and Walmart. We began selling eggs in select Kroger divisions in 2014. Since that time, Kroger has grown to become our second largest customer, offering our products in over 2,000 stores. We also continue to expand our relationships with Albertsons, Publix, Target and Walmart. The mainstream channel represented approximately 51% and        % of our retail dollar sales in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, respectively.

Foodservice Channel

In addition to our primary natural and mainstream channels, we have a presence in foodservice through the sale of shell eggs to select accounts. We expect our foodservice business to continue to grow through expansive new relationships with broad-line distributors, as well as direct accounts. In fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, the foodservice channel accounted for 2% and        %, respectively, of our net revenue. Our established foodservice relationships help to extend our marketing efforts through unique co-branding opportunities. We plan to continue to capitalize on these opportunities as we work to introduce new products through the foodservice channel.

One example of our successful foodservice programs is Tacodeli, a popular chain based in Austin, Texas with 11 restaurant locations and more than 100 points of distribution, such as coffee shops and farmers market stands, across Texas. In the spring of 2019, Tacodeli committed to exclusively using Vital Farms eggs for its breakfast tacos, branded with our logo on menus and taco wrappers. We have also built a marketing partnership with Tacodeli to demonstrate the quality of our co-branded offering and to increase consumer awareness of our brands via social media, public relations and other events.

 

88


Vital Farms and Tacodeli Co-Branding

 

LOGO

Our products can also currently be found in micro-markets in the Austin, Texas offices of Apple Inc., Facebook, Inc., Google LLC and YETI. We also believe there is significant additional opportunity in the hospitality industry, college and universities, and additional restaurant chains.

Supply Chain

We have strategically designed our supply chain to ensure high-production standards and optimal year-round operation. We are motivated by the positive impact we have on rural communities and enjoy a strong relationship and reputation with our network of approximately 200 small family farms. In order to capitalize on this strong supply network, we built a state-of-the-art shell egg processing facility, Egg Central Station in Springfield, Missouri. Egg Central Station is approximately 82,000 square feet and utilizes highly automated equipment to grade and package our shell egg products. The design of our facility includes investments in support of each of our stakeholders, from our crew members (daylighting, climate control, slip resistant floors in the egg grading room), to the community and environment (consulting with the community before we built the facility, restoring native vegetation on the property, best-in-class storm water management), to our customers and consumers (food safety and maintenance investments far beyond regulatory requirements). Today, Egg Central Station is capable of packing three million eggs per day and has achieved SQF Level 3 certification, the highest level of such certification from the GSFI. In addition, Egg Central Station is the only egg facility, and we are one of only five companies, globally to have received the SQFI Select Site certification, indicating that the site has voluntarily elected to undergo annual unannounced recertification audits by SQFI, the organization responsible for administering a global food safety and quality program known as the SQF Program.

 

89


To facilitate further growth, we have established a plan to double the capacity of Egg Central Station through a mirror-image expansion adjacent to the existing location. We expect the expansion to be operational in 2021. We have estimated the cost of the expansion project to be $23 million.

Our eggs are kept in on-farm coolers using precise equipment specified by us. The eggs are then collected on a regular basis by a third-party freight carrier and placed in cold storage until packing for shipment to customers. Each of our butter, ghee, hard-boiled eggs and liquid whole egg products have a dedicated co-manufacturing partner. To support the growth of our business, we are focused on expanding existing relationships and establishing new co-manufacturing relationships.

Our egg packaging consists of corrugated boxes and egg cartons. Our corrugated boxes are sourced from a supplier in Springfield, Missouri, and our egg cartons are sourced from Canada and Europe from a single-source supplier. Our other products are packaged in jars, bottles, film and cartons that are primarily managed by our co-manufacturing partners. In every case we strive to find the most sustainable and environmentally considered packaging, shipping materials and inks.

Competition

We operate in a highly competitive environment across each of our product categories. We have numerous competitors of varying sizes, including producers of private-label products, as well as producers of other branded egg and butter products that compete for trade merchandising support and consumer dollars. We compete with large egg companies such as Cal-Maine, Inc. and large international food companies such as Ornua (Kerrygold). We also compete directly with local and regional egg companies, as well as private-label specialty egg products processed by other egg companies. In our market, competition is based on, among other things, product quality and taste, brand recognition and loyalty, product variety, product packaging and package design, shelf space, reputation, price, advertising, promotion and nutritional claims.

Shell eggs may be sourced from hens that are caged, cage free, free range or pasture raised. Standards for the minimum square footage allotted to egg laying hens for each of these sources is depicted below.

 

LOGO

 

90


Large egg companies offer commodity eggs sourced from caged hens, and in an attempt to address growing consumer demand for ethically produced and higher quality eggs, they have also grown their cage-free and free-range offerings.

Although we operate in competitive industries, we believe that we have a strong and sustainable competitive advantage based on an ongoing process of values-driven decisions, our fundamental commitment to producing food ethically and humanely, the trust we have developed in our brand, and our ability to provide reliable supply to our distribution partners and customers. We built and operate what we believe is one of the largest sourcing and distribution networks of family farms with strong growth potential. By focusing on the interests of each of our stakeholders, we believe we have created a model that attracts the best family farm partners, produces the highest quality product and creates benefits for all parties. We believe our experience in building this network will provide significant scale and execution advantages as we continue to expand.

Government Regulation

We are subject to laws and regulations administered by various federal, state and local government agencies in the United States, such as the USDA, the FDA, the FTC, the EPA and the OSHA. These laws and regulations apply to the processing, packaging, distribution, sale, marketing, labeling, quality, safety and transportation of our products, as well as our occupational safety and health practices.

Under various federal statutes and implementing regulations, these agencies, among other things, prescribe the requirements and establish the standards for quality and safety and regulate our products and the manufacturing, labeling, marketing, promotion and advertising thereof. With respect to eggs in particular, the FDA and the USDA split jurisdiction depending on the type of product involved. While the FDA has primary responsibility for the regulation of shell eggs, the USDA has primary responsibility for the regulation of dried, frozen or liquid eggs and other “egg products,” subject to certain exceptions.

Among other things, the facilities in which our products are manufactured or processed must register with the FDA and/or the USDA, comply with cGMPs and comply with a range of food safety and labeling requirements established by the FDCA, as amended by the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, the EPIA, the OFPA and the AMA, among other laws implemented by the FDA, the USDA and other regulators. The FDA and the USDA have the authority to inspect these facilities depending on the type of product involved; For example, Egg Central Station, our facility in Springfield, Missouri, has been subject to periodic inspections by the USDA to evaluate compliance with certain applicable requirements, and the FDA may likewise inspect the facility. The FDA and the USDA also require that certain nutrition and product information appear on our product labels and, more generally, that our labels and labeling be truthful and non-misleading. Similarly, the FTC requires that our marketing and advertising be truthful, non-misleading and not deceptive to consumers. We are also restricted from making certain types of claims about our products, including nutrient content claims, health claims, organic claims and claims regarding the effects of our products on any structure or function of the body, whether express or implied, unless we satisfy certain regulatory requirements. We also participate in the USDA’s voluntary egg grading program, which requires compliance with additional labeling and facility requirements.

In addition, our suppliers are subject to numerous regulatory requirements. For example, the farmers who produce our shell eggs may be subject to requirements implemented by the FDA pertaining to pest control, salmonella enteritidis prevention and other requirements.

We are also subject to state and local food safety regulation, including registration and licensing requirements for our facilities, enforcement of standards for our products and facilities by state and local health agencies, and regulation of our trade practices in connection with selling our products.

 

91


We are also subject to labor and employment laws, laws governing advertising, privacy laws, safety regulations and other laws, including consumer protection regulations that regulate retailers or govern the promotion and sale of merchandise. Our operations, and those of our co-manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, are subject to various laws and regulations relating to environmental protection and worker health and safety matters.

Certified B Corporation

While not required by Delaware law or the terms of our certificate of incorporation, we have elected to have our social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency assessed against the proprietary criteria established by B Lab, an independent non-profit organization. As a result of this assessment, in December 2015, we were designated as a Certified B Corporation.

In order to be designated as a Certified B Corporation, companies are required to take a comprehensive and objective assessment of their positive impact on society and the environment. The assessment evaluates how a company’s operations and business model impacts its workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment using a 200-point scale. While the assessment varies depending on a company’s size (number of employees), sector and location, representative indicators in the assessment include payment above a living wage, employee benefits, stakeholder engagement, supporting underserved suppliers and environmental benefits from a company’s products or services. After completing the assessment, B Lab will verify the company’s score to determine if it meets the 80-point minimum bar for certification. The review process includes a phone review, a random selection of indicators for verifying documentation and a random selection of company locations for onsite reviews, including employee interviews and facility tours. Once certified, every Certified B Corporation must make its assessment score transparent on B Lab’s website.

Acceptance as a Certified B Corporation and continued certification is at the sole discretion of B Lab. To maintain our certification, we are required to update our assessment and verify our updated score with B Lab every two years. We will need to update our current certification no later than February 2020 and further update our certification within six months following the completion of this offering.

Public Benefit Corporation Status

In connection with our Certified B Corporation status and as a demonstration of our long-term commitment to our mission to bring ethically produced food to the table by coordinating a network of family farms to operate with a well-defined set of organic agricultural practices that includes the humane treatment of farm animals as a central tenet, we elected in October 2017 to be treated as a public benefit corporation under Delaware law.

Under Delaware law, a public benefit corporation is required to identify in its certificate of incorporation the public benefit or benefits it will promote and its directors have a duty to manage the affairs of the corporation in a manner that balances the pecuniary interests of the corporation’s stockholders, the best interests of those materially affected by the corporation’s conduct, and the specific public benefit or public benefits identified in the public benefit corporation’s certificate of incorporation. Public benefit corporations organized in Delaware are also required to assess their benefit performance internally and to disclose publicly at least biennially a report detailing their success in meeting their benefit objectives.

As provided in our certificate of incorporation, the public benefits that we promote, and pursuant to which we manage our company, are: (i) bringing ethically produced food to the table; (ii) bringing joy to our customers through products and services; (iii) allowing crew members to thrive in an empowering, fun environment; (iv) fostering lasting partnerships with our farms and suppliers; (v) forging an enduring profitable business; and

 

92


(vi) being stewards of our animals, land, air and water, and being supportive of our community. See the section titled “Description of Capital Stock—Anti-Takeover Provisions—Public Benefit Corporation Status” for additional information.

Seasonality

Demand for shell eggs fluctuates in response to seasonal factors. Shell egg demand tends to increase with the start of the school year and is highest prior to holiday periods, particularly Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter and the lowest during the summer months. As a result of these seasonal and quarterly fluctuations, comparisons of our sales and operating results between different quarters within a single fiscal year are not necessarily meaningful comparisons.

Trademarks and Other Intellectual Property

We own trademarks and other proprietary rights that are important to our business, including our principal trademark, Vital Farms. All of our trademarks are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Our trademarks are valuable assets that reinforce the distinctiveness of our brand to our consumers. We believe the protection of our trademarks, copyrights and domain names are important to our success. We aggressively protect our intellectual property rights by relying on trademark and copyright.

Culture and Employees

We take great pride in our culture. We embrace collaboration and creativity and encourage the iteration of ideas to address complex challenges. Transparency and open dialogue are central to how we work, and we aim to ensure that company news reaches our crew members first through internal channels. Despite our sustained growth, we still cherish our roots as an ethically driven food company and wherever possible empower crew members to act on great ideas that support our purpose and values regardless of their role or function within the company. We strive to hire great crew members, with backgrounds and perspectives as diverse as those of our consumers, and value them as stakeholders. We work to provide an environment where these talented people can have fulfilling careers addressing what we believe to be some of the biggest challenges in the food industry. Our crew members are among our best assets and are critical for our continued success. We expect to continue investing in hiring talented crew members and providing competitive compensation programs to our crew members.

As of September 29, 2019, we had approximately 149 full-time crew members, including 98 in operations, 24 in sales and marketing, 11 in finance and 16 in general and administrative functions, all of whom are located in the United States. Of our full-time crew members, three are contract workers. None of our crew members is represented by a labor union. We have never experienced a labor-related work stoppage, and we consider our relations with our crew members to be good.

Facilities

We lease our corporate headquarters located at 3601 South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, where we occupy approximately 9,000 square feet of office space pursuant to a lease that expires in April 2026, with an option to extend this lease for a successive period of five years. We own an approximately 82,000 square foot shell egg processing facility in Springfield, Missouri, which we refer to as Egg Central Station. We are in the process of expanding this facility to a total of approximately 153,000 square feet, and we expect this additional

 

93


capacity to be operational in 2021. We also lease warehouse space for 5,000 rentable pallet spaces in Webb City, Missouri pursuant to a lease that expires in December 2021. We believe that our current facilities are suitable and adequate to meet our current needs.

Legal Proceedings

We are subject to various legal proceedings and claims that arise in the ordinary course of our business. Although the outcome of these and other claims cannot be predicted with certainty, we do not believe the ultimate resolution of the current matters will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

 

94


MANAGEMENT

The following table sets forth information for our executive officers and directors as of December 1, 2019:

 

Name

   Age     

Position

Executive Officers:

     

Matthew O’Hayer

     64      Founder, Executive Chairman and Director

Russell Diez-Canseco

     47      President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

Daniel Jones

     37      Chief Financial Officer

Jason Dale

     48      Chief Operating Officer

Scott Marcus

     44      Chief Marketing Officer

Non-Employee Directors:

     

Anthony Davis

     51      Director

Brent Drever

     47      Director

Elisabeth Foster

     54      Director

Alan Kelley

     51      Director

Kelly Kennedy

     51      Director

Karl Khoury

     50      Director

Denny Marie Post

     62      Director

Steve Young

     48      Director

Executive Officers

Matthew O’Hayer is our founder and has served as a member of our board of directors since inception and as our executive chairman since April 2019. From September 2007 to April 2019, Mr. O’Hayer served as our chief executive officer. Mr. O’Hayer is also the founder and has served as the president of the Organic Egg Farmers of America, an industry association that hosts agricultural conventions on topics related to organic egg production. We believe that Mr. O’Hayer is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his leadership in conceptualizing and developing our brand and business, his deep expertise in the food business, his extensive knowledge of our industry and his 40 years of experience building businesses.

Russell Diez-Canseco has served as our president and chief executive officer since May 2019 and as a member of our board of directors since December 2019. Prior to this, Mr. Diez-Canseco served as our president and chief operating officer from November 2015 to April 2019, as our chief operating officer from October 2014 to October 2015 and as our vice president of operations from January 2014 to September 2014. Prior to joining us, Mr. Diez-Canseco spent several years with McKinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm, H-E-B, a supermarket chain, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Diez-Canseco received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and earned his A.B. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. We believe Mr. Diez-Canseco’s strategic vision for our company and his extensive business experience, including in the food industry, make him qualified to serve on our board of directors.

Daniel Jones has served as our chief financial officer since August 2019. Prior to joining us, Mr. Jones served as chief financial officer of Kemps LLC, a dairy company, from August 2016 to August 2019. Prior to that, Mr. Jones served in a variety of finance roles at Borden Dairy Company, a U.S. dairy processor and distributor, including director of financial planning and analysis, from August 2012 to August 2016. Mr. Jones received his M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University and earned his B.B.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Jason Dale has served as our chief operating officer since August 2019. Prior to this, Mr. Dale served as our chief financial officer from October 2014 to August 2019. Prior to joining us, Mr. Dale held a variety of executive management roles at Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods, Inc., a producer of premium, authentic frozen Italian entrees, including chief financial officer and chief operating officer, from August 2002 to May 2014. Mr. Dale received his B.S.B. in Accounting from the University of Phoenix.

 

95


Scott Marcus has served as our chief marketing officer since May 2019. Prior to this, Mr. Marcus served as our vice president of sales and marketing from July 2018 to April 2019 and as our vice president of marketing from February 2016 to July 2018. Prior to joining us, Mr. Marcus served in various roles at Mondelēz International, Inc. (formerly Kraft Foods), an American multinational confectionery, food and beverage holding company, including marketing director for the Savory brands North America business from January 2015 to December 2015, brand marketing director of the Ritz franchise from June 2014 to January 2015 and senior brand manager of belVita Breakfast United States from August 2012 to June 2014. Mr. Marcus received his M.B.A from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and his B.B.A. in Marketing from The George Washington University.

Non-Employee Directors

Anthony Davis has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2015. Mr. Davis has served as chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Inherent Group LLC, a long-term, value investment firm focused on environmental, social and governance, since August 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Davis served as the co-founder, president and portfolio manager of Anchorage Capital Group, a New York-based registered investment adviser, from 2003 to 2015. Mr. Davis received his M.B.A. from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, his M.A. from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University. We believe that Mr. Davis is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive financial and business experience.

Brent Drever has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2019. Mr. Drever has served as co-founder and chief operating officer of Manna Tree Partners, an asset management firm focused on food supply chain transparency, since 2018. Prior to that, Mr. Drever co-founded Acuity Institute in May 2005, a provider of leadership training, coaching and consulting, where he served as chief executive officer from April 2012 to October 2018 and has served as advisor since October 2018. Since September 2017, Mr. Drever has served as co-founder and board president of Zealous Schools, a micro school. Mr. Drever holds a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. We believe that Mr. Drever is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his diverse business, management and leadership experience across a variety of industries, including food supply.

Elisabeth Foster has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2015. Ms. Foster has served as global vice president, growth and business development of Whole Foods Markets, Inc., a multinational supermarket chain, since April 2007. Ms. Foster has served in various roles at Whole Foods for over 25 years, including as national operations controller, vice president and chief information officer and vice president of purchasing, distribution and private label. Ms. Foster also serves as an assistant secretary at Bowie Strategic Investments, Inc. Ms. Foster received her M.B.A. from the University of Houston and her B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Alabama. We believe that Ms. Foster is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of her experience in the food business and branded consumer goods and leadership of a complex organization.

Alan Kelley has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2013. Mr. Kelley has served as a managing director of SJF Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investing in high-growth, positive impact companies, since September 2006. Prior to joining SJF Ventures, he was a mutual fund manager at Trusco Capital Management, Inc. Mr. Kelley received his M.B.A. from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University and earned his B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University. We believe that Mr. Kelley is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his finance expertise and investment management experience in the consumer and food industries.

Kelly Kennedy has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2019. Ms. Kennedy has served as the chief financial officer of Bartell Drugs, a family-owned pharmacy chain, since September 2018. Ms. Kennedy has also served on the board of directors of Sur La Table, Inc. since September 2018. Prior to that,

 

96


Ms. Kennedy served as the chief financial officer of Sur La Table from June 2015 to September 2018, as the chief financial officer of See’s Candies from January 2014 to June 2015 and as the chief financial officer and treasurer of Annie’s Inc. from August 2011 to November 2013. Ms. Kennedy has also served in various roles at Revolution Foods, Inc., Established Brands, Inc., Serena & Lily Inc., Forklift Brands, Inc., Elephant Pharm, Inc., Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Inc. Ms. Kennedy received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College. We believe that Ms. Kennedy is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of her comprehensive financial expertise and experience with retail and consumer brands, including those in the food space.

Karl Khoury has served as a member of our board of directors since January 2015. Mr. Khoury co-founded and has served as a partner at Arborview Capital Partners LP, a venture capital firm focused on resource efficiency and sustainability, since the firm’s inception in March 2008. Prior to co-founding Arborview Capital, he served as a partner with Columbia Capital, a sector-focused venture capital firm with over $2 billion under management. In addition to Vital Farms, Mr. Khoury is or has been a member of the board of directors of multiple Arborview Capital portfolio companies. Mr. Khoury is on the board of directors of Impact Capital Managers, a network of private capital fund managers in the U.S. and Canada, and he is on the Board of Trustees of the Levine School of Music. Mr. Khoury received his B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University. We believe that Mr. Khoury is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive finance and investment experience.

Denny Marie Post has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2019. Ms. Post has served on the boards of directors of Wyndham Destinations, Inc. (NYSE:WYND) since May 2018. Prior to that Ms. Post served on the board of directors of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (Nasdaq: RRGB), a casual dining restaurant chain, from August 2016 to April 2019 and served in a variety of senior management roles from August 2011 to April 2019, including president, chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief marketing officer. Ms. Post has previously held management positions at Starbucks Corporation, Burger King Worldwide Inc., and KFC USA, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell Canada while at YUM! Brands, Inc. Ms. Post received her certificate in Finance from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Journalism and Social Sciences from Trinity University. We believe that Ms. Post is qualified to serve on our board because of her diverse business, management and leadership experience in the consumer, food and hospitality industries.

Steve Young has served as a member of our board of directors since July 2018. Mr. Young has served as executive vice president and managing director at Sunrise Strategic Partners, LLC, an investment firm focused on emerging brands in the healthy, active and sustainable living space, since 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Young served in a variety of management positions at General Mills, Inc., including vice president of marketing, from 1997 to 2016, leading General Mills’ acquisition of Annie’s Inc. Mr. Young received his M.B.A. from Anderson School of Management at the University of California Los Angeles and earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Montana. We believe that Mr. Young is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his expertise and extensive leadership experience in the natural and organic food and consumer products space.

Family Relationships

There are no family relationships among any of the directors or executive officers.

Composition of Our Board of Directors

Our business and affairs are managed under the direction of our board of directors. We currently have ten directors. All of our directors currently serve on the board of directors pursuant to the voting provisions of a stockholders agreement between us and several of our stockholders. The voting provisions of our stockholders agreement will terminate upon the completion of this offering, after which there will be no further contractual obligations regarding the election or designation of our directors. Our current directors will continue to serve as directors until their resignation, removal or successor is duly elected.

 

97


Our board of directors may establish the authorized number of directors from time to time by resolution. In accordance with our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering, immediately after this offering, our board of directors will be divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms. At each annual meeting of stockholders, the successors to directors whose terms then expire will be elected to serve from the time of election and qualification until the third annual meeting following election. Our directors will be divided among the three classes as follows:

 

   

the Class I directors will be             ,              and             , whose terms will expire at the first annual meeting of stockholders to be held following the completion of this offering;

 

   

the Class II directors will be             ,              and             , whose terms will expire at the second annual meeting of stockholders to be held following the completion of this offering; and

 

   

the Class III directors will be             ,            ,            and             , whose terms will expire at the third annual meeting of stockholders to be held following the completion of this offering.

We expect that any additional directorships resulting from an increase in the number of directors will be distributed among the three classes so that, as nearly as possible, each class will consist of one third of the directors. The division of our board of directors into three classes with staggered three-year terms may delay or prevent a change of our management or a change in control.

Director Independence

Our board of directors has undertaken a review of the independence of each director. Based on information provided by each director concerning her or his background, employment and affiliations, our board of directors has determined that none of our directors, other than Messrs. O’Hayer and Diez-Canseco, has any relationships that would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director and that each of these directors is “independent” as that term is defined under the              listing standards. In making these determinations, our board of directors considered the current and prior relationships that each non-employee director has with our company and all other facts and circumstances our board of directors deemed relevant in determining their independence, including the beneficial ownership of our shares by each non-employee director and the transactions described in the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.”

Committees of Our Board of Directors

Our board of directors has established an audit committee, a compensation committee and a nominating and corporate governance committee. The composition and responsibilities of each of the committees of our board of directors are described below. Members serve on these committees until their resignation or until otherwise determined by our board of directors. Our board of directors may establish other committees as it deems necessary or appropriate from time to time.

Audit Committee

Our audit committee consists of             ,              and             . Our board of directors has determined            that              satisfies the independence requirements under            listing standards and Rule 10A-3(b)(1) of the Exchange Act. The chair of our audit committee is             , who our board of directors has determined is an “audit committee financial expert” within the meaning of SEC regulations. Each member of our audit committee can read and understand fundamental financial statements in accordance with applicable requirements. In arriving at these determinations, our board of directors has examined each audit committee member’s scope of experience and the nature of their employment in the corporate finance sector.

The primary purpose of the audit committee is to discharge the responsibilities of our board of directors with respect to our corporate accounting and financial reporting processes, systems of internal control and

 

98


financial statement audits, and to oversee our independent registered public accounting firm. Specific responsibilities of our audit committee include:

 

   

helping our board of directors oversee our corporate accounting and financial reporting processes;

 

   

managing the selection, engagement, qualifications, independence and performance of a qualified firm to serve as the independent registered public accounting firm to audit our financial statements;

 

   

discussing the scope and results of the audit with the independent registered public accounting firm, and reviewing, with management and the independent accountants, our interim and year-end operating results;

 

   

developing procedures for employees to submit concerns anonymously about questionable accounting or audit matters;

 

   

reviewing related person transactions;

 

   

obtaining and reviewing a report by the independent registered public accounting firm at least annually that describes our internal quality control procedures, any material issues with such procedures and any steps taken to deal with such issues when required by applicable law; and

 

   

approving or, as permitted, pre-approving, audit and permissible non-audit services to be performed by the independent registered public accounting firm.

Our audit committee will operate under a written charter, to be effective prior to the completion of this offering, that satisfies the applicable             listing standards.

Compensation Committee

Our compensation committee consists of             ,             and             . The chair of our compensation committee is             . Our board of directors has determined that each of             ,             and              is independent under the             listing standards, a “non-employee director” as defined in Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act.

The primary purpose of our compensation committee is to discharge the responsibilities of our board of directors in overseeing our compensation policies, plans and programs and to review and determine the compensation to be paid to our executive officers, directors and other senior management, as appropriate. Specific responsibilities of our compensation committee include:

 

   

reviewing and approving the compensation of our chief executive officer, other executive officers and senior management;

 

   

reviewing, evaluating and recommending to our board of directors succession plans for our executive officers;

 

   

reviewing and recommending to our board of directors the compensation paid to our directors;

 

   

administering our equity incentive plans and other benefit programs;

 

   

reviewing, adopting, amending and terminating incentive compensation and equity plans, severance agreements, profit sharing plans, bonus plans, change-of-control protections and any other compensatory arrangements for our executive officers and other senior management; and

 

   

reviewing and establishing general policies relating to compensation and benefits of our employees, including our overall compensation philosophy.

Our compensation committee will operate under a written charter, to be effective prior to the completion of this offering, that satisfies the applicable            listing standards.

 

99


Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Our nominating and corporate governance committee consists of             ,             and             . The chair of our nominating and corporate governance committee is             . Our board of directors has determined that each member of the nominating and corporate governance committee is independent under the             listing standards.

Specific responsibilities of our nominating and corporate governance committee will include:

 

   

identifying and evaluating candidates, including the nomination of incumbent directors for reelection and nominees recommended by stockholders, to serve on our board of directors;

 

   

considering and making recommendations to our board of directors regarding the composition and chairmanship of the committees of our board of directors;

 

   

instituting plans or programs for the continuing education of our board of directors and orientation of new directors;

 

   

developing and making recommendations to our board of directors regarding corporate governance guidelines and matters; and

 

   

overseeing periodic evaluations of the board of directors’ performance, including committees of the board of directors.

Our nominating and corporate governance committee will operate under a written charter, to be effective prior to the completion of this offering, that satisfies the applicable             listing standards.

Code of Conduct

We have adopted a Code of Conduct that applies to all our employees, officers and directors. This includes our principal executive officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. The full text of our Code of Conduct will be posted on our website at www.vitalfarms.com. We intend to disclose on our website any future amendments of our Code of Conduct or waivers that exempt any principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, persons performing similar functions or our directors from provisions in the Code of Conduct. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and you should not consider information on our website to be part of this prospectus.

Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation

None of the members of the compensation committee are currently, or have been at any time, one of our officers or employees. None of our executive officers currently serve, or have served during the last year, as a member of the board of directors or compensation committee of any entity that has one or more executive officers serving as a member of our board of directors or compensation committee.

Non-Employee Director Compensation

Prior to December 2019, we did not pay compensation to any of our non-employee directors. In connection with the appointments of Ms. Kennedy and Ms. Post to our board of directors in December 2019, we granted stock options to each of them and agreed to pay cash compensation to each of them for board and committee service. We also reimburse all of our non-employee directors for their reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in attending board of directors and committee meetings. The compensation of Messrs. O’Hayer and Diez-Canseco as named executive officers is set forth in the section titled “Executive Compensation.”

We intend to adopt a non-employee director compensation policy in connection with this offering and on terms to be determined by our board of directors. Under the non-employee director policy, our non-employee directors will be eligible to receive compensation for service on our board of directors and committees of our board of directors.

 

100


EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

Our named executive officers for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2019, consisting of our principal executive officer and the next two most highly compensated executive officers, were:

 

   

Matthew O’Hayer, who served as our chief executive officer until April 25, 2019 and currently serves as our executive chairman and as a member of our board of directors;

 

   

Russell Diez-Canseco, who served as our president and chief operating officer until April 25, 2019 and currently serves as our president and chief executive officer and as a member of our board of directors;

 

   

            ; and

 

   

            .

Compensation of our named executive officers for 2019 is not yet complete. We intend to continue to evaluate the compensation paid to our executive officers in 2019 to determine who our additional named executive officers are for 2019.

2019 Summary Compensation Table

The following table presents all of the compensation awarded to or earned by or paid to our named executive officers for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2019.

 

Name and Principal Position

   Salary
($)
     Bonus
($)
     Option
Awards

($)(1)
     Non-Equity
Incentive Plan
Compensation

($)
     All Other
Compensation

($)
     Total
($)
 

Matthew O’Hayer

                 

Executive Chairman and Director and Former Chief Executive Officer

                 

Russell Diez-Canseco

                 

President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

                 

 

(1)

Amounts reported represent the aggregate grant date fair value of the stock options granted to our named executive officers during fiscal 2019 under our 2013 Plan, computed in accordance with ASC Topic 718. The assumptions used in calculating the grant date fair value of the stock options reported in this column are set forth in the notes to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. This amount does not reflect the actual economic value that may be realized by the named executive officer.

Narrative to the Summary Compensation Table

Annual Base Salary

Our named executive officers receive a base salary to compensate them for services rendered to us. The base salary payable to each named executive officer is intended to provide a fixed component of compensation reflecting the executive’s skill set, experience, role and responsibilities. None of our named executive officers is currently party to an employment agreement or other agreement or arrangement that provides for automatic or scheduled increases in base salary. The 2019 base salaries for our named executive officers were as follows: (a) $         for Mr. O’Hayer and (b) $         for Mr. Diez-Canseco.

Bonus

Our named executive officers are eligible to receive discretionary annual bonuses of up to a percentage of the applicable executive’s gross base salary based on individual performance, company performance or as otherwise determined appropriate, as determined by our board of directors.

 

101


Equity-Based Incentive Awards

Our equity award program is the primary vehicle for offering long-term incentives to our executives. We believe that equity awards provide our executives with a strong link to our long-term performance, create an ownership culture and help to align the interests of our executives and our stockholders. To date, we have used stock option grants for this purpose because we believe they are an effective means by which to align the long-term interests of our executive officers with those of our stockholders. The use of options also can provide tax and other advantages to our executive officers relative to other forms of equity compensation. We believe that our equity awards are an important retention tool for our executive officers, as well as for our other employees.

We award stock options broadly to our employees, including to our non-executive employees. Grants to our executives and other employees are made at the discretion of our board of directors and are not made at any specific time period during a year.

Prior to this offering, all of the stock options we have granted were made pursuant to our 2013 Plan. Following this offering, we will grant equity incentive awards under the terms of our 2020 Plan. The terms of our equity plans are described under the section titled “—Equity Incentive Plans” below.

Outstanding Equity Awards as of December 29, 2019

The following table presents estimated information regarding outstanding equity awards held by our named executive officers as of December 29, 2019. All awards were granted pursuant to the 2013 Plan. See the section titled “—Equity Incentive Plans—2013 Incentive Plan” below for additional information.

 

   

Option Awards

 

Stock Awards

Name

 

Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options
Exercisable

 

Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options
Unexercisable

 

Option
Exercise
Price

 

Option
Expiration
Date

 

Number of
Shares of
Stock that
Have Not
Vested

 

Market
Value of
Shares that
Have Not
Vested

Matthew O’Hayer

           

Russell Diez-Canseco

           

 

Health and Welfare and Retirement Benefits; Perquisites

All of our current named executive officers are eligible to participate in our employee benefit plans, including our medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance plans, in each case on the same basis as all of our other employees. We generally do not provide perquisites or personal benefits to our named executive officers, except in limited circumstances.

401(k) Plan

Our named executive officers are eligible to participate in a defined contribution retirement plan that provides eligible U.S. employees with an opportunity to save for retirement on a tax advantaged basis. Eligible employees may defer eligible compensation on a pre-tax or after-tax (Roth) basis, up to the statutorily prescribed annual limits on contributions under the Code. Contributions are allocated to each participant’s individual account and are then invested in selected investment alternatives according to the participants’ directions. We currently make matching contributions into the 401(k) plan on behalf of participants equal to 100% on participant contributions up to 3% of their compensation. Participants are immediately and fully vested on all contributions. The 401(k) plan is intended to be qualified under Section 401(a) of the Code with the 401(k) plan’s related trust intended to be tax exempt under Section 501(a) of the Code. As a tax-qualified retirement plan, contributions to the 401(k) plan (except for Roth contributions) and earnings on those contributions are not taxable to the employees until distributed from the 401(k) plan. Our board of directors may elect to adopt qualified or nonqualified benefit plans in the future, if it determines that doing so is in our best interests.

 

102


Equity Incentive Plans

2020 Equity Incentive Plan

We expect that our board of directors will adopt, and our stockholders will approve, prior to the closing of this offering, our 2020 Plan. We do not expect to issue equity awards under our 2020 Plan until after the closing of this offering. Our 2020 Plan will provide for the grant of incentive stock options, or ISOs, within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code to our employees and our parent and subsidiary corporations’ employees, and for the grant of nonstatutory stock options, restricted stock awards, restricted stock unit awards, stock appreciation rights, performance stock awards and other forms of stock compensation to our employees, including officers, consultants and directors. Our 2020 Plan will also provide for the grant of performance cash awards to our employees, consultants and directors.

Authorized Shares. Initially, the maximum number of shares of our Class A common stock that may be issued under our 2020 Plan after it becomes effective will be            shares, which is the sum of (i)            new shares, plus (ii) the number of shares (not to exceed            shares) (1) that remain available for the issuance of awards under our 2013 Plan at the time our 2020 Plan becomes effective, and (2) any shares subject to outstanding stock options or other stock awards that were granted under our 2013 Plan that terminate or expire prior to exercise or settlement; are forfeited because of the failure to vest; or are reacquired or withheld (or not issued) to satisfy a tax withholding obligation or the purchase or exercise price. In addition, the number of shares of our Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our 2020 Plan will automatically increase on January 1 of each calendar year, starting on January 1, 2021 (assuming the 2020 Plan becomes effective in 2020) through January 1, 2030, in an amount equal to    % of the total number of shares of our capital stock outstanding on the last day of the calendar month before the date of each automatic increase, or a lesser number of shares determined by our board of directors. The maximum number of shares of our Class A common stock that may be issued on the exercise of ISOs under our 2020 Plan is            shares.

Shares subject to stock awards granted under our 2020 Plan that expire or terminate without being exercised in full or that are paid out in cash rather than in shares do not reduce the number of shares available for issuance under our 2020 Plan. If any shares of Class A common stock issued pursuant to a stock award are forfeited back to or repurchased or reacquired by us for any reason, the shares that are forfeited or repurchased or reacquired will revert to and again become available for issuance under the 2020 Plan. Any shares reacquired in satisfaction of tax withholding obligations or as consideration for the exercise or purchase price of a stock award will again become available for issuance under the 2020 Plan.

The maximum number of shares of Class A common stock subject to stock awards granted under the 2020 Plan or otherwise during any one calendar year to any non-employee director, taken together with any cash fees paid by us to such non-employee director during such calendar year for service on the board of directors, will not exceed $         in total value (calculating the value of any such stock awards based on the grant date fair value of such stock awards for financial reporting purposes), or, with respect to the calendar year in which a non-employee director is first appointed or elected to our board of directors, $        .

Plan Administration. Our board of directors, or a duly authorized committee or subcommittee of our board of directors, will administer our 2020 Plan and is referred to as the “plan administrator” herein. Our board of directors may also delegate to one or more of our officers the authority to (i) designate employees (other than officers) to receive specified stock awards and (ii) determine the number of shares subject to such stock awards, provided that the officer may not grant any such awards to himself. Our board of directors will specify the total number of shares of our Class A common stock that may be subject to stock awards granted by such officer in this manner. Under our 2020 Plan, our board of directors has the authority to determine award recipients, grant dates, the numbers and types of stock awards to be granted, the applicable fair market value, and the provisions of each stock award, including the period of exercisability and the vesting schedule applicable to a stock award.

Under the 2020 Plan, the board of directors also generally has the authority to effect, with the consent of any adversely affected participant, (i) the reduction of the exercise, purchase, or strike price of any outstanding

 

103


award; (ii) the cancellation of any outstanding award and the grant in substitution therefore of other awards, cash, or other consideration; or (iii) any other action that is treated as a repricing under generally accepted accounting principles. Under the 2020 Plan, our board of directors also has the authority to submit any amendment to the 2020 Plan for stockholder approval.

Stock Options. ISOs and nonstatutory stock options, or NSOs, are granted under stock option agreements adopted by the plan administrator. The plan administrator determines the exercise price for stock options, within the terms and conditions of the 2020 Plan, provided that the exercise price of a stock option generally cannot be less than 100% of the fair market value of our Class A common stock on the date of grant. Options granted under the 2020 Plan vest at the rate specified in the stock option agreement as determined by the plan administrator.

The plan administrator determines the term of stock options granted under the 2020 Plan, up to a maximum of ten years. Unless the terms of an optionholder’s stock option agreement provide otherwise, if an optionholder’s service relationship with us or any of our affiliates ceases for any reason other than disability, death, or cause, the optionholder may generally exercise any vested options for a period of three months following the cessation of service. This period may be extended in the event that exercise of the option is prohibited by applicable securities laws or our insider trading policy. If an optionholder’s service relationship with us or any of our affiliates ceases due to death, or an optionholder dies within a certain period following cessation of service, the optionholder or a beneficiary may generally exercise any vested options for a period of 18 months following the date of death. If an optionholder’s service relationship with us or any of our affiliates ceases due to disability, the optionholder may generally exercise any vested options for a period of 12 months following the cessation of service. In the event of a termination for cause, options generally terminate upon the termination date. In no event may an option be exercised beyond the expiration of its term.

Acceptable consideration for the purchase of Class A common stock issued upon the exercise of a stock option will be determined by the plan administrator and may include: (i) cash, check, bank draft or money order; (ii) a broker- assisted cashless exercise; (iii) the tender of shares of our Class A common stock previously owned by the optionholder; (iv) a net exercise of the option if it is an NSO; or (v) other legal consideration approved by the plan administrator.

Unless the plan administrator provides otherwise, options generally are not transferable except by will or the laws of descent and distribution. Subject to approval of the plan administrator or a duly authorized officer in each case, (i) an option may be transferred pursuant to a domestic relations order, official marital settlement agreement, or other divorce or separation instrument and (ii) an optionholder may designate a beneficiary who may exercise the option following the optionholder’s death.

Tax Limitations on ISOs. The aggregate fair market value, determined at the time of grant, of our Class A common stock with respect to ISOs that are exercisable for the first time by an award holder during any calendar year under all of our stock plans may not exceed $100,000. Options or portions thereof that exceed such limit will generally be treated as NSOs. No ISO may be granted to any person who, at the time of the grant, owns or is deemed to own stock possessing more than 10% of our total combined voting power or that of any of our affiliates unless (i) the option exercise price is at least 110% of the fair market value of the stock subject to the option on the date of grant, and (ii) the term of the ISO does not exceed five years from the date of grant.

Restricted Stock Unit Awards. Restricted stock unit awards are granted under restricted stock unit award agreements adopted by the plan administrator. Restricted stock unit awards may be granted in consideration for any form of legal consideration that may be acceptable to our board of directors and permissible under applicable law. A restricted stock unit award may be settled by cash, delivery of stock, a combination of cash and stock as deemed appropriate by the plan administrator, or in any other form of consideration set forth in the restricted stock unit award agreement. Additionally, dividend equivalents may be credited in respect of shares covered by a restricted stock unit award. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable award agreement or other written agreement, restricted stock unit awards that have not vested will be forfeited once the participant’s continuous service ends for any reason.

 

104


Restricted Stock Awards. Restricted stock awards are granted under restricted stock award agreements adopted by the plan administrator. A restricted stock award may be awarded in consideration for cash, check, bank draft or money order, past or future services to us, or any other form of legal consideration that may be acceptable to our board of directors and permissible under applicable law. The plan administrator determines the terms and conditions of restricted stock awards, including vesting and forfeiture terms. If a participant’s service relationship with us ends for any reason, we may receive any or all of the shares of Class A common stock held by the participant that have not vested as of the date the participant terminates service with us through a forfeiture condition or a repurchase right.

Stock Appreciation Rights. Stock appreciation rights are granted under stock appreciation right agreements adopted by the plan administrator. The plan administrator determines the purchase price or strike price for a stock appreciation right, which generally cannot be less than 100% of the fair market value of our Class A common stock on the date of grant. A stock appreciation right granted under the 2020 Plan vests at the rate specified in the stock appreciation right agreement as determined by the plan administrator. The appreciation distribution may be made in shares of our stock, in cash, in any combination of the two, or in any other form of consideration, as determined by our board of directors and contained in the applicable award agreements.

The plan administrator determines the term of stock appreciation rights granted under the 2020 Plan, up to a maximum of ten years. If a participant’s service relationship with us or any of our affiliates ceases for any reason other than cause, disability, or death, the participant may generally exercise any vested stock appreciation right for a period of three months following the cessation of service, or any other period set by the applicable award agreement, so long as such period complies with applicable law. This period may be further extended in the event that exercise of the stock appreciation right following such a termination of service is prohibited by applicable securities laws or our insider trading policy. If a participant’s service relationship with us, or any of our affiliates, ceases due to disability or death, or a participant dies within a certain period following cessation of service, the participant or a beneficiary may generally exercise any vested stock appreciation right for a period of 12 months in the event of disability and 18 months in the event of death, or any other period set by the applicable award agreement, so long as such period complies with applicable law. In the event of a termination for cause, stock appreciation rights generally terminate immediately upon the occurrence of the event giving rise to the termination of the individual for cause. In no event may a stock appreciation right be exercised beyond the expiration of its term.

Performance Awards. The 2020 Plan permits the grant of performance-based stock and cash awards. Our compensation committee may structure awards so that the shares of our stock, cash, or other property will be issued or paid only following the achievement of certain pre-established performance goals during a designated performance period.

The performance goals that may be selected include one or more of the following: (i) sales; (ii) revenue; (iii) assets; (iv) expenses; (v) market penetration or expansion; (vi) earnings from operations; (vii) earnings before or after deduction for all or any portion of interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, incentives, service fees or extraordinary or special items, whether or not on a continuing operations or an aggregate or per share basis; (viii) net income or net income per common share (basic or diluted); (ix) return on equity, investment, capital or assets; (x) one or more operating ratios; (xi) borrowing levels, leverage ratios or credit rating; (xii) market share; (xiii) capital expenditures; (xiv) cash flow, free cash flow, cash flow return on investment, or net cash provided by operations; (xv) stock price, dividends or total stockholder return; (xvi) development of new technologies or products; (xvii) sales of particular products or services; (xviii) economic value created or added; (xix) operating margin or profit margin; (xx) customer acquisition or retention; (xxi) raising or refinancing of capital; (xxii) successful hiring of key individuals; (xxiii) resolution of significant litigation; (xxiv) acquisitions and divestitures (in whole or in part); (xxv) joint ventures and strategic alliances; (xxvi) spin-offs, split-ups and the like; (xxvii) reorganizations; (xxviii) recapitalizations, restructurings, financings (issuance of debt or equity) or refinancings; (xxix) or strategic business criteria, consisting of one or more objectives based on the following goals: achievement of timely development, design management or enrollment, meeting specified market

 

105


penetration or value added, payor acceptance, patient adherence, peer reviewed publications, issuance of new patents, establishment of or securing of licenses to intellectual property, product development or introduction, geographic business expansion, cost targets, cost reductions or savings, customer satisfaction, operating efficiency, acquisition or retention, employee satisfaction, information technology, corporate development (including, without limitation, licenses, innovation, research or establishment of third-party collaborations), manufacturing or process development, legal compliance or risk reduction, patent application or issuance goals, or goals relating to acquisitions, divestitures or other business combinations (in whole or in part), joint ventures or strategic alliances; and (xxx) other measures of performance selected by the board of directors.

The performance goals may be based on company-wide performance or performance of one or more business units, divisions, affiliates, or business segments, and may be either absolute or relative to the performance of one or more comparable companies or the performance of one or more relevant indices. Our board of directors is authorized at any time in its sole discretion, to adjust or modify the calculation of a performance goal for such performance period in order to prevent the dilution or enlargement of the rights of participants, (i) in the event of, or in anticipation of, any unusual or extraordinary corporate item, transaction, event or development; (ii) in recognition of, or in anticipation of, any other unusual or nonrecurring events affecting us, or our financial statements in response to, or in anticipation of, changes in applicable laws, regulations, accounting principles, or business conditions; or (iii) in view of the board of director’s assessment of our business strategy, performance of comparable organizations, economic and business conditions, and any other circumstances deemed relevant. Specifically, the board of directors is authorized to make adjustment in the method of calculating attainment of performance goals and objectives for a performance period as follows: (1) to exclude the dilutive effects of acquisitions or joint ventures; (2) to assume that any business divested by us achieved performance objectives at targeted levels during the balance of a performance period following such divestiture; and (3) to exclude the effect of any change in the outstanding shares of our common stock by reason of any stock dividend or split, stock repurchase, reorganization, recapitalization, merger, consolidation, spin-off, combination or exchange of shares or other similar corporate change, or any distributions to common stockholders other than regular cash dividends. In addition, the board of directors is authorized to make adjustment in the method of calculating attainment of performance goals and objectives for a performance period as follows: (A) to exclude restructuring and/or other nonrecurring charges; (B) to exclude exchange rate effects, as applicable, for non-U.S. dollar denominated net sales and operating earnings; (C) to exclude the effects of changes to generally accepted accounting standards required by the Financial Accounting Standards Board; (D) to exclude the effects of any items that are “unusual” in nature or occur “infrequently” as determined under generally accepted accounting principles; (E) to exclude the effects to any statutory adjustments to corporate tax rates; and (F) to make other appropriate adjustments selected by the board of directors.

Other Stock Awards. The plan administrator may grant other awards based in whole or in part by reference to our Class A common stock. The plan administrator will set the number of shares under the stock award and all other terms and conditions of such awards.

Changes to Capital Structure. In the event there is a specified type of change in our capital structure, such as a stock split, reverse stock split, or recapitalization, appropriate adjustments will be made to (i) the class(es) and maximum number of shares reserved for issuance under the 2020 Plan; (ii) the class(es) and maximum number of shares by which the share reserve may increase automatically each year; (iii) the class(es) and maximum number of shares that may be issued on the exercise of ISOs; and (iv) the class(es) and number of shares and exercise price, strike price, or purchase price, if applicable, of all outstanding stock awards.

Corporate Transactions. Our 2020 Plan provides that in the event of certain specified significant corporate transactions (or a change in control, as defined below), unless otherwise provided in an award agreement or other written agreement between us and the award holder, the plan administrator may take one or more of the following actions with respect to such stock awards:

 

   

arrange for the assumption, continuation, or substitution of a stock award by a successor corporation;

 

106


   

arrange for the assignment of any reacquisition or repurchase rights held by us to a successor corporation;

 

   

accelerate the vesting, in whole or in part, of the stock award and provide for its termination if not exercised (if applicable) at or before the effective time of the transaction;

 

   

arrange for the lapse, in whole or in part, of any reacquisition or repurchase rights held by us;

 

   

cancel or arrange for the cancellation of the stock award, to the extent not vested or not exercised before the effective time of the transaction, in exchange for a cash payment, if any; or

 

   

make a payment in any form determined by our board of directors equal to the excess, if any, of (A) the value of the property the participant would have received on exercise of the award immediately before the effective time of the transaction, over (B) any exercise price payable by the participant in connection with the exercise.

The plan administrator is not obligated to treat all stock awards or portions of stock awards in the same manner and is not obligated to take the same actions with respect to all participants.

Under the 2020 Plan, a corporate transaction is generally the consummation of: (i) a sale of all or substantially all of our assets; (ii) the sale or disposition of more than 50% of our outstanding securities; (iii) a merger or consolidation where we do not survive the transaction; or (iv) a merger or consolidation where we do survive the transaction but the shares of our Class A common stock outstanding immediately before such transaction are converted or exchanged into other property by virtue of the transaction.

Change in Control. In the event of a change in control, the plan administrator may take any of the above-mentioned actions. Awards granted under the 2020 Plan may be subject to additional acceleration of vesting and exercisability upon or after a change in control as may be provided in the applicable stock award agreement or in any other written agreement between us or any affiliate and the participant, but in the absence of such provision, no such acceleration will automatically occur. Under the 2020 Plan, a change in control is generally: (i) the acquisition by any person or company of more than 50% of the combined voting power of our then outstanding stock (unless made in connection with this offering or to allow us to obtain financing through the issuance of equity securities); (ii) a merger, consolidation or similar transaction in which our stockholders immediately before the transaction do not own, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of the combined voting power of the surviving entity (or the parent of the surviving entity) in substantially the same proportions as their ownership immediately prior to such transaction; (iii) a sale, lease, exclusive license or other disposition of all or substantially all of our assets other than to an entity more than 50% of the combined voting power of which is owned by our stockholders in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of our outstanding voting securities immediately prior to such transaction; (iv) a complete dissolution or liquidation of the company; or (v) when a majority of our board of directors becomes comprised of individuals who were not serving on our board of directors on the date of the underwriting agreement related to this offering, or the incumbent board, or whose nomination, appointment, or election was not approved by a majority of the incumbent board still in office.

Plan Amendment or Termination. Our board of directors has the authority to amend, suspend, or terminate our 2020 Plan, provided that such action does not materially impair the existing rights of any participant without such participant’s written consent. Certain material amendments also require the approval of our stockholders. No ISOs may be granted after the tenth anniversary of the date our board of directors adopts our 2020 Plan. No stock awards may be granted under our 2020 Plan while it is suspended or after it is terminated.

2013 Incentive Plan

General. Our board of directors adopted and our stockholders approved our 2013 Plan in August 2013. We have subsequently amended our 2013 Plan in September 2014, April 2016 and August 2019, the purpose of

 

107


which was to increase the number of shares available for issuance under our 2013 Plan. Our 2013 Plan will be suspended prior to the completion of this offering in connection with our adoption of our 2020 Plan; however, awards outstanding under our 2013 Plan will continue in full effect in accordance with their existing terms.

Share Reserve. The maximum number of shares of our common stock that may be issued under our 2013 Plan is                      shares, plus any shares subject to stock options or other stock awards granted under the 2013 Plan that would have otherwise returned to our 2013 Plan (such as upon the expiration or termination of a stock award prior to vesting). The maximum number of shares that may be issued upon the exercise of ISOs under our 2013 Plan is                      shares. As of December 29, 2019, options to purchase                      shares of common stock, at exercise prices ranging from $         to $         per share, or a weighted-average exercise price of $         per share were outstanding under our 2013 Plan.

Administration. Our board of directors or a duly authorized committee of our board of directors administers our 2013 Plan and the stock awards granted under it. Subject to the terms of our 2013 Plan, our board of directors has full power and authority to establish rules and regulations for the administration of the 2013 Plan and to make such determinations under, and issue such interpretations of, the 2013 Plan and any outstanding stock awards thereunder as it deems necessary or advisable. Our board of directors has the full authority to determine (i) with respect to the option grants, which eligible persons are to receive option grants, the time or times when such option grants are to be made, the number of shares to be covered by each such grant, the status of the granted option as either an ISO or NSO, the time or times at which each option is to become exercisable, the vesting schedule (if any) applicable to the option shares, the maximum term for which the option is to remain outstanding, and any restrictions on transfer of shares received on the exercise of option grants, and (ii) with respect to stock issuances, which eligible persons are to receive stock issuances, the time or times when such issuances are to be made, the number of shares to be issued to each Participant, the vesting schedule (if any) applicable to the issued shares, the consideration to be paid for such shares, and any restrictions on transfer for shares issued thereunder.

Types of Awards. Our 2013 Plan provides for the discretionary grant of stock options, including ISOs or NSOs, and restricted stock awards to our and our affiliates’ employees, members of our board of directors, consultants and other independent advisors. ISOs may be granted only to employees. We do not have any outstanding restricted stock awards under the 2013 Plan.

Options. The exercise price of options granted under our 2013 Plan may not be less than 100% (or 110% in the case of incentive stock options granted to certain stockholders) of the fair market value of our common stock on the grant date. Options expire at the time determined by the administrator, but in no event more than ten years after they are granted, and generally expire earlier if the optionholder’s service terminates.

Corporate Transaction. Unless otherwise provided at the time of grant, in the event of a corporate transaction, the vesting of each outstanding option will automatically accelerate and each option will become fully exercisable immediately prior to the effective date of such corporate transaction, and if not exercised, will terminate immediately following the consummation of the corporate transaction, unless, such option is assumed, replaced or substituted with a comparable equity or cash entitlement. In addition, unless prohibited at the time of grant or assigned to the successor entity, all outstanding repurchase rights will terminate automatically upon a corporate transaction, and the shares subject to such terminated rights will immediately vest in full. Assumed options will be adjusted as appropriate in connection with the corporate transaction. In addition, the plan administrator has the discretion to provide that all or any portion of any options that are assumed or replaced in the corporate transaction and do not otherwise accelerate at that time will be accelerated upon a subsequent termination of the option holder’s service within 12 months following closing, and that the options may remain outstanding through the end of their term or through the one year anniversary of termination of service, or to provide for full acceleration of the options upon consummation of the corporate transaction, regardless of whether they are assumed or replaced.

 

108


In general, a “corporate transaction” means: (i) a merger or consolidation in which the company is not the surviving entity and in which the beneficial owners of the company prior to the transaction own less than 50% of the voting securities of the surviving entity (calculated on a fully diluted basis); (ii) a sale, transfer or other disposition of all or substantially all of our assets; (iii) a complete liquidation or dissolution of the company; (iv) the acquisition by any person or entity, or any group of persons or entities, directly or indirectly, of more than 50% of the issued and outstanding voting securities of the company (calculated on a fully diluted basis) other than in a transaction approved by a majority of the disinterested directors of the company; (v) the election to our board of directors of a majority of directors different from those persons currently serving on our board or nominees of the incumbent directors; or (vi) a public announcement of a tender or exchange offer by any person for 50% or more of the outstanding securities of the company that our board of directors approves or fails to oppose in its statements in Schedule 14D-9 under the Exchange Act unless such tender or exchange offer is approved by a majority of the disinterested directors of the company. A transaction shall not constitute a corporate transaction if its sole purpose is to change the state of the company’s incorporation or to create a holding company that will be beneficially owned in substantially the same proportions by the persons or entities who held the company’s securities immediately before such transaction.

Transferability. A participant may not transfer stock awards under our 2013 Plan other than by will, the laws of descent and distribution, or as otherwise provided under our 2013 Plan.

Plan Amendment or Termination. Our board of directors has the authority to amend or modify our 2013 Plan, provided that such action is approved by our stockholders to the extent stockholder approval is necessary, and provided further that no amendment or modification may be made that adversely affects the rights of a participant with respect to outstanding awards without the participant’s consent. As described above, our 2013 Plan will be suspended upon the effective date of our 2020 Plan.

2020 Employee Stock Purchase Plan

General. We expect that our board of directors will adopt, and our stockholders will approve, prior to the closing of this offering, our ESPP. The ESPP will become effective immediately prior to and contingent upon the date of the underwriting agreement related to this offering. The purpose of the ESPP is to secure the services of new employees, to retain the services of existing employees, and to provide incentives for such individuals to exert maximum efforts toward our success and that of our affiliates. The ESPP is intended to qualify as an “employee stock purchase plan” within the meaning of Section 423 of the Code for U.S. employees. In addition, we may make grants of purchase rights that do not comply with Section 423 of the Code, or Non-423 Grants.

Share Reserve. Following this offering, the ESPP authorizes the issuance of            shares of our common stock under purchase rights granted to our employees or to employees of any of our designated affiliates. The number of shares of our Class A common stock reserved for issuance will automatically increase on January 1 of each calendar year, beginning on January 1, 2021 (assuming the ESPP becomes effective in 2020) through January 1, 2030, by the lesser of (i)            % of the total number of shares of our Class A common stock and our Class B common stock outstanding on the last day of the calendar month before the date of the automatic increase and (ii)            shares of our Class A common stock; provided that before the date of any such increase, our board of directors may determine that such increase will be less than the amount set forth in clauses (i) and (ii). As of the date hereof, no shares of our common stock have been purchased under the ESPP.

Administration. Our board of directors administers the ESPP and may delegate its authority to administer the ESPP to our compensation committee, which may further delegate its authority to administer the ESPP to a subcommittee. The ESPP is implemented through a series of offerings under which eligible employees are granted purchase rights to purchase shares of our Class A common stock on specified dates during such offerings. Under the ESPP, we may specify offerings with durations of not more than 27 months, and may specify shorter purchase periods within each offering. The administrator will establish for each offering, one or more purchase dates on which shares of our Class A common stock will be purchased for employees participating in the offering. An offering under the ESPP may be terminated under certain circumstances.

 

109


Payroll Deductions. Generally, all regular employees, including executive officers, employed by us or by any of our designated affiliates, may participate in the ESPP and may contribute, normally through payroll deductions, up to 15% of their earnings (as defined in the ESPP) for the purchase of our Class A common stock under the ESPP. Unless otherwise determined by our board of directors, Class A common stock will be purchased for the accounts of employees participating in the ESPP at a price per share that is at least the lesser of (i) 85% of the fair market value of a share of our Class A common stock on the first date of an offering or (ii) 85% of the fair market value of a share of our Class A common stock on the date of purchase.

Limitations. Employees may have to satisfy one or more of the following service requirements before participating in the ESPP, as determined by our board of directors, including: (i) being customarily employed for more than 20 hours per week; (ii) being customarily employed for more than five months per calendar year; or (iii) continuous employment with us or one of our affiliates for a period of time (not to exceed two years). No employee may purchase shares under the ESPP at a rate in excess of $25,000 worth of our common stock based on the fair market value per share of our common stock at the beginning of an offering for each calendar year such a purchase right is outstanding. Finally, no employee will be eligible for the grant of any purchase rights under the ESPP if immediately after such rights are granted, such employee has voting power over 5% or more of our outstanding capital stock measured by vote or value under Section 424(d) of the Code. The board of directors may exclude employees from receiving Non-423 Grants if the board of directors determines that these grants would not be practical or advisable.

Changes to Capital Structure. In the event that there occurs a change in our capital structure that affects the shares of our stock subject to the ESPP through such actions as a stock split, merger, consolidation, reorganization, recapitalization, reincorporation, stock dividend, dividend in property other than cash, large nonrecurring cash dividend, liquidating dividend, combination of shares, exchange of shares, change in corporate structure, or similar transaction, the board of directors will make appropriate adjustments to: (i) the class(es) and maximum number of shares reserved under the ESPP; (ii) the class(es) and maximum number of shares by which the share reserve may increase automatically each year; (iii) the class(es) and number of shares subject to and purchase price applicable to outstanding offerings and purchase rights; and (iv) the class(es) and number of shares that are subject to purchase limits under ongoing offerings.

Corporate Transactions. In the event of certain significant corporate transactions, any then-outstanding rights to purchase our stock under the ESPP may be assumed, continued, or substituted for by any surviving or acquiring entity (or its parent company). If the surviving or acquiring entity (or its parent company) elects not to assume, continue, or substitute for such purchase rights, then the participants’ accumulated payroll contributions will be used to purchase shares of our Class A common stock within 10 business days before such corporate transaction, and such purchase rights will terminate immediately.

Under the ESPP, a corporate transaction is generally the consummation of: (i) a sale of all or substantially all of our assets, as determined by the board; (ii) the sale or disposition of more than 50% of our outstanding securities; (iii) a merger or consolidation where we do not survive the transaction; and (iv) a merger or consolidation where we do survive the transaction but the shares of our Class A common stock outstanding immediately before such transaction are converted or exchanged into other property by virtue of the transaction.

Amendment or Termination. Our board of directors has the authority to amend or terminate our ESPP, provided that except in certain circumstances such amendment or termination may not materially impair any outstanding purchase rights without the holder’s consent. We will obtain stockholder approval of any amendment to our ESPP as required by applicable law or listing requirements.

Limitations on Liability and Indemnification Matters

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will contain provisions that limit the liability of our current and former directors for monetary damages to the

 

110


fullest extent permitted by Delaware law. Delaware law provides that directors of a corporation will not be personally liable for monetary damages for any breach of fiduciary duties as directors, except liability for:

 

  (1)

any breach of the director’s duty of loyalty to the corporation or its stockholders;

 

  (2)

any act or omission not in good faith or that involves intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;

 

  (3)

unlawful payments of dividends or unlawful stock repurchases or redemptions; or

 

  (4)

any transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit.

Such limitation of liability does not apply to liabilities arising under federal securities laws and does not affect the availability of equitable remedies such as injunctive relief or rescission.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will authorize us to indemnify our directors, officers, employees and other agents to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law. Our amended and restated bylaws that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will provide that we are required to indemnify our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law and may indemnify our other employees and agents. Our amended and restated bylaws will also provide that, on satisfaction of certain conditions, we will advance expenses incurred by a director or officer in advance of the final disposition of any action or proceeding, and permit us to secure insurance on behalf of any officer, director, employee or other agent for any liability arising out of his or her actions in that capacity regardless of whether we would otherwise be permitted to indemnify him or her under the provisions of Delaware law. We have entered and expect to continue to enter into agreements to indemnify our directors, executive officers and other employees as determined by our board of directors. With certain exceptions, these agreements provide for indemnification for related expenses including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines and settlement amounts incurred by any of these individuals in any action or proceeding. We believe these provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws and these indemnification agreements are necessary to attract and retain qualified persons as directors and officers. We also maintain customary directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.

The limitation of liability and indemnification provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may discourage stockholders from bringing a lawsuit against our directors for breach of their fiduciary duty. They may also reduce the likelihood of derivative litigation against our directors and officers, even though an action, if successful, might benefit us and other stockholders. Further, a stockholder’s investment may be adversely affected to the extent that we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against directors and officers as required by these indemnification provisions.

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted for our directors, executive officers or persons controlling us, we have been informed that, in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.

Rule 10b5-1 Sales Plans

Our directors and officers may adopt written plans, known as Rule 10b5-1 plans, in which they will contract with a broker to buy or sell shares of our Class A common stock or Class B common stock on a periodic basis. Under a Rule 10b5-1 plan, a broker executes trades under parameters established by the director or officer when entering into the plan, without further direction from them. The director or officer may amend a Rule 10b5-1 plan in some circumstances and may terminate a plan at any time. Our directors and executive officers may also buy or sell additional shares outside of a Rule 10b5-1 plan when they do not possess of material nonpublic information, subject to compliance with the terms of our insider trading policy.

 

111


CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

Other than compensation arrangements for our directors and executive officers, which are described elsewhere in this prospectus, below we describe transactions since January 1, 2017 to which we were a party or will be a party, in which:

 

   

the amounts involved exceeded or will exceed $120,000; and

 

   

any of our directors, executive officers or holders of more than 5% of our capital stock, or any member of the immediate family of, or person sharing the household with, the foregoing persons, had or will have a direct or indirect material interest.

Series D Convertible Preferred Stock Financing

In April 2017, we issued and sold an aggregate of 1,219,672 shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock at a purchase price of $9.1053 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of $11.1 million. Each share of our Series D convertible preferred stock will convert automatically convert into one share of our Class B common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering.

The table below sets forth the number of shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock purchased by beneficial owners of more than 5% of our capital stock or their affiliated entities.

 

Stockholder

   Shares of Series D
Convertible
Preferred Stock
     Total Purchase
Price ($)
 

Entities affiliated with Sunrise Strategic Partners, LLC

     1,098,262        10,000,005  

Bowie Strategic Investments, Inc.

     121,410        1,105,475  

Our director Steve Young is executive vice president and managing director at Sunrise Strategic Partners. Our director Elisabeth Foster is an assistant secretary at Bowie Strategic Investments, which is affiliated with our largest retail customer, Whole Foods.

2019 Common Stock Financing

In March and April 2019, we issued and sold an aggregate of 1,144,314 shares of our common stock at a purchase price of $13.1083 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of $15.0 million, to entities associated with Manna Tree Partners. As a result of these transactions, these entities collectively hold more than 5% of our capital stock. Brent Drever, a member of our board of directors, is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Manna Tree Partners.

2019 Stock Buyback

In April and May 2019, we entered into a series of agreements pursuant to which we repurchased an aggregate of 1,159,663 shares of our common stock at a purchase price of $13.1083 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of $15.2 million, from existing investors.

 

112


The table below sets forth the number of shares of common stock repurchased from beneficial owners of more than 5% of our capital stock, our directors, officers or their respective affiliates.

 

Stockholder

   Shares of Common
Stock Repurchased
     Total Repurchase
Price ($)
 

Matthew O’Hayer

     679,223        8,903,459  

Entities affiliated with Jason Jones

     217,169        2,846,716  

Entities affiliated with SJF Ventures

     66,252        868,451  

Entities affiliated with InvestEco Capital Corp.

     58,983        773,167  

Russell Diez-Canseco

     27,165        356,087  

Jason Dale

     16,835        220,678  

Scott Marcus

     4,870        63,837  

Matthew O’Hayer is our founder, executive chairman and a member of our board of directors. Jason Jones is a former member of our board of directors and current board observer. Our director Alan Kelley is a managing director at SJF Ventures, and our former director Andrew Heintzman is managing partner at InvestEco. Russell Diez-Canseco is our president, chief executive officer and a member of our board of directors. Jason Dale and Scott Marcus are our chief operating officer and chief marketing officer, respectively.

2017 Secondary Sales

In June 2017, certain of our stockholders, including Matthew O’Hayer and Jason Jones, sold shares of our common stock at a price of $9.1053 per share to Rose Impact Venture Fund, LLC. Rose Impact Venture Fund, LLC purchased 16,569 shares of our common stock from Mr. O’Hayer for an aggregate purchase price of $150,867, and 2,722 shares of our common stock from Mr. Jones for an aggregate purchase price of $24,789.

2017 Note Issuances

In March 2017, we issued an aggregate of $4.0 million in principal amount of 14% senior subordinated promissory notes, or the 2017 Notes. The table below sets forth the aggregate principal amount of the 2017 Notes issued to beneficial owners of more than 5% of our capital stock, our directors, officers or their respective affiliates.

 

Stockholder

   Total Principal Amount ($)  

Bowie Strategic Investments, Inc.

     2,000,000  

Matthew O’Hayer

     370,000  

Entities affiliated with InvestEco Capital Corp.

     100,000  

Russell Diez-Canseco

     100,000  

Jason Dale

     30,000  

In October 2017, we repaid in full all principal and interest under, and cancelled, the 2017 Notes.

Relationship with Ovabrite, Inc.

In May 2016, we entered into a master joint development and production distribution agreement, or the JDPD Agreement, with Novatrans Group SA, or Novatrans, for the development of certain technology related to determining certain properties of an egg, including fertility.

Pursuant to the JDPD Agreement, in December 2016, we entered into an assignment agreement with Ovabrite, Inc., or Ovabrite, whereby we granted and assigned to Ovabrite all of our rights and obligations under

 

113


the JDPD Agreement. In consideration for the assignment and grant of rights under the JDPD Agreement, Ovabrite issued an unsecured promissory note in a principal amount of $0.4 million, or the First Note, to us that represented the total cash paid by us to Novatrans under the JDPD Agreement. Interest on the First Note accrued at an annual rate of 1.46%, and Ovabrite was required to make semi-annual payments on amounts outstanding under the First Note, including any accrued but unpaid interest, until the First Note matured on December 23, 2021.

Additionally, in December 2016, we extended an unsecured line of credit to Ovabrite to be used for working capital under which Ovabrite’s maximum borrowing capacity was $50,000, or the Ovabrite Line of Credit. Interest on the Ovabrite Line of Credit accrued at an annual rate of 1.46%, and Ovabrite was required to make semi-annual payments on amounts outstanding under the line of credit, including any accrued but unpaid interest, until the Ovabrite Line of Credit matured on December 23, 2021. As of December 29, 2019, Ovabrite’s outstanding borrowings under the Ovabrite Line of Credit were $            , including $            of accrued interest.

In December 2016, we entered into a services agreement with Ovabrite under which we provide certain administrative services to Ovabrite in exchange for a monthly management fee. There were no payments paid by Ovabrite to us in fiscal 2017 or fiscal 2018. Ovabrite paid us $             in fiscal 2019.

In November 2017, Ovabrite modified the First Note and the Ovabrite Line of Credit and issued a 1.45% unsecured convertible promissory note to us in a principal amount of $0.5 million plus previously accrued and unpaid interest of $6,460, or the Ovabrite Convertible Note. In the event of a qualified sale of Ovabrite equity securities to one or more investors resulting in gross proceeds to Ovabrite of at least $1.0 million, all principal and accrued and unpaid interest on the Ovabrite Convertible Note was automatically convertible into a number of shares of Ovabrite’s equity securities issued in such a financing equal to the outstanding principal and accrued but unpaid interest on the Ovabrite Convertible Note, divided by an amount equal to 80% of the lowest price per share of the equity security sold in the financing. In the event of a non-qualified sale of Ovabrite equity securities, or a Nonqualified Financing, all principal and accrued and unpaid interest on the Ovabrite Convertible Note was contingently convertible into a number of shares of Ovabrite’s equity securities issued in such a financing equal to the outstanding principal and accrued but unpaid interest on the Ovabrite Convertible Note, divided by an amount equal to 80% of the lowest price per share of the equity security sold in the financing.

In November 2017, Ovabrite issued 1,065,038 shares of convertible preferred stock, or the Series 2017 Preferred Stock, at $0.14 per share for gross proceeds of $50,000, which constituted a Nonqualified Financing. In April 2018, as a result of the Nonqualified Financing event that occurred in November 2017, we elected to exercise our option to convert the outstanding principal balance of the Ovabrite Convertible Note into 4,459,490 shares of Series 2017 Preferred Stock at a conversion price of $0.112672 per share.

As of the date of this prospectus, we hold approximately             % of the capital stock of Ovabrite. Additionally, as of the date of this prospectus, Matthew O’Hayer holds approximately             % of the capital stock of Ovabrite, and certain of our other directors, officers and holders of more than 5% of our capital stock also hold capital stock of Ovabrite.

Matthew O’Hayer and our director Karl Khoury serve as the directors of Ovabrite. Mr. O’Hayer is the chief executive officer of Ovabrite and Jason Dale is the chief financial officer of Ovabrite.

Relationship with Whole Foods

We serve the majority of our natural channel retail customers through food distributors, such as UNFI, which purchases, stores, sells and delivers our products to Whole Foods. As a result, we are not able to precisely attribute our net revenue to Whole Foods. In fiscal 2017, fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, UNFI accounted for 37%, 36% and             % of our net revenue. We rely on third-party data and internal analysis to calculate the portion of retail sales attributable to Whole Foods. Whole Foods is affiliated with Bowie Strategic Investments, Inc., and

 

114


our director Elisabeth Foster is a global vice president at Whole Foods and an assistant secretary at Bowie Strategic Investments, Inc.

Director Loans

In February 2019, we loaned $3.2 million to Matthew O’Hayer and $800,000 to Jason Jones, which we collectively refer to as the 2019 Director Loans. Each of the 2019 Director Loans was made pursuant to a non-recourse promissory note with interest at a rate per annum calculated at the lower of (i) the maximum applicable non-usurious rate of interest and (ii) the LIBOR rate (as defined in the Credit Facility), as such rate may be in effect from time to time, plus 2%. The initial interest rate on the 2019 Director Loans was 4.78%. Unless a 2019 Director Loan is accelerated in accordance with its terms, we will terminate it upon the earliest to occur of (i) August 7, 2022, (ii) the date of closing of a Liquidity Transaction (as defined in the applicable 2019 Director Loan) and (iii) prior to the time such note would be prohibited by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

In connection with his respective promissory note, Mr. O’Hayer pledged and assigned to us a security interest in 542,373 shares of our common stock held by him, and Mr. Jones pledged and assigned to us a security interest in 135,594 shares of our common stock held by him.

As security for the payment of our obligations under the Credit Facility, in February 2019 we collaterally assigned and granted a security interest in the 2019 Director Loans to PNC Bank, National Association, including all rights to receive payments under the 2019 Director Loans and all proceeds thereof.

Mr. O’Hayer repaid his 2019 Director Loan in full on November 26, 2019. As of December 29, 2019, the balance of the 2019 Director Loan to Mr. Jones was $            , including principal and $            of accrued interest.

Stockholders Agreement

In connection with our convertible preferred stock and common stock financings, we entered into a stockholders agreement, which contains, among other things, registration rights, information rights, voting rights with respect to the election of directors, co-sale rights and rights of first refusal, with certain holders of our capital stock. The parties to the stockholders agreement include: entities affiliated with Arborview Capital Partners LP, where our director Karl Khoury is a partner; entities affiliated with Bowie Strategic Investments, Inc., entities affiliated with Inherent Group, LLC, where our director Anthony Davis is chief executive officer and chief investment officer; entities affiliated with InvestEco Capital Corp; entities affiliated with Manna Tree Partners; entities affiliated with SJF Ventures; and entities affiliated with Sunrise Strategic Partners, LLC.

This stockholders agreement will terminate upon the completion of this offering, except with respect to registration rights, as more fully described in the section titled “Description of Capital Stock—Stockholder Registration Rights.” See also the section titled “Principal and Selling Stockholders” for additional information regarding beneficial ownership of our capital stock.

Right of First Refusal

Pursuant to our bylaws and the stockholders agreement described above, we, our assignees and certain holders of our capital stock (including entities that hold more than 5% of our capital stock and entities that are affiliated with certain of our directors) have a right to purchase shares of our capital stock that our stockholders propose to sell to other parties, subject to certain exceptions. These rights will terminate upon the completion of this offering. Since January 1, 2017, we have waived our right of first refusal in connection with certain sales of shares of our capital stock, including the June 2017 sales by Matthew O’Hayer and Jason Jones, as described above. See the section titled “Principal and Selling Stockholders” for additional information regarding beneficial ownership of our capital stock.

 

115


Liquidity Commitment Agreements

In connection with certain of our sales of capital stock, Matthew O’Hayer entered into agreements with us and certain of our stockholders, including certain beneficial owners of more than 5% of our capital stock and entities affiliated with certain of our directors, to use his commercially reasonable best efforts to cause us to list our common stock on a securities exchange or enter into one or more liquidity transactions. Upon the completion of this offering, these agreements will be satisfied in full.

Equity Grants to Directors and Executive Officers

We have granted stock options to certain of our directors and executive officers. For more information regarding the stock options and stock awards granted to our directors and named executive officers, see the sections titled “Management—Director Compensation” and “Executive Compensation.”

Indemnification Agreements

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will contain provisions limiting the liability of directors, and our amended and restated bylaws that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will provide that we will indemnify each of our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted under Delaware law. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will also provide our board of directors with discretion to indemnify our employees and other agents when determined appropriate by the board. In addition, we have entered into an indemnification agreement with each of our directors and executive officers, which requires us to indemnify them. For more information regarding these agreements, see the section titled “Executive Compensation—Limitations on Liability and Indemnification Matters.”

Policies and Procedures for Transactions with Related Persons

Prior to the completion of this offering, we intend to adopt a policy that our executive officers, directors, nominees for election as a director, beneficial owners of more than 5% of any class of our common stock and any members of the immediate family of any of the foregoing persons are not permitted to enter into a related person transaction with us without the approval or ratification of our board of directors or our audit committee. Any request for us to enter into a transaction with an executive officer, director, nominee for election as a director, beneficial owner of more than 5% of any class of our common stock or any member of the immediate family of any of the foregoing persons, in which the amount involved exceeds $120,000 and such person would have a direct or indirect interest, must be presented to our board of directors or our audit committee for review, consideration and approval. In approving or rejecting any such proposal, our board of directors or our audit committee is to consider the material facts of the transaction, including whether the transaction is on terms no less favorable than terms generally available to an unaffiliated third party under the same or similar circumstances and the extent of the related person’s interest in the transaction.

 

116


PRINCIPAL AND SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

The following table sets forth information with respect to the beneficial ownership of our shares as of December 29, 2019 by:

 

   

each named executive officer;

 

   

each of our directors;

 

   

our directors and executive officers as a group

 

   

each of the selling stockholders; and

 

   

each person or entity known by us to own beneficially more than 5% of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock (by number or by voting power).

We have determined beneficial ownership in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC, and the information is not necessarily indicative of beneficial ownership for any other purpose. Except as indicated by the footnotes below, we believe, based on information furnished to us, that the persons and entities named in the table below have sole voting and sole investment power with respect to all shares that they beneficially own, subject to applicable community property laws.

Applicable percentage ownership before this offering is based on no shares of Class A common stock and            shares of Class B common stock outstanding as of December 29, 2019, assuming the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into            shares of Class B common stock, which will occur immediately prior to the completion of this offering. Applicable percentage ownership after this offering is based on (1)             shares of Class A common stock and (2)             shares of Class B common stock outstanding immediately after the completion of this offering, assuming no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock from us and the selling stockholders. In computing the number of shares beneficially owned by a person and the percentage ownership of such person, we deemed to be outstanding all shares subject to options held by the person that are currently exercisable, or exercisable or would vest based on service-based vesting conditions within 60 days of December 29, 2019. However, except as described above, we did not deem such shares outstanding for the purpose of computing the percentage ownership of any other person.

 

117


Unless otherwise indicated, the address for each beneficial owner listed in the table below is c/o Vital Farms, Inc., 3601 South Congress Avenue, Suite C100, Austin, Texas 78704.

 

     Beneficial Ownership
Before this Offering
     Beneficial Ownership
After this Offering
 
     Class B
Common
Stock
     Number of
Shares
Being
Offered
     % of
Total
Voting
Power
Before
this
Offering
     Class A
Common
Stock
     Class B
Common
Stock
     % of
Total
Voting
Power
After
this
Offering(1)
 

Name of Beneficial Owner

   Shares      %      Shares      Shares      %      Shares      %      Shares  

5% Stockholders:

                          

Arborview Capital Partners LP

                          

Bowie Strategic Investments, Inc.

                          

Entities affiliated with Manna Tree Partners

                          

Entities affiliated with SJF Ventures

                          

Entities affiliated with Sunrise Strategic Partners, LLC

                          

Jason Jones

                          

Directors and Named Executive Officers:

                          

Matthew O’Hayer

                          

Russell Diez-Canseco

                          

Anthony Davis

                          

Brent Drever

                          

Elisabeth Foster

                          

Alan Kelley

                          

Kelly Kennedy

                          

Karl Khoury

                          

Denny Marie Post

                          

Steve Young

                          

All directors and executive officers as a group (13 persons)

                          

Other Selling Stockholders:

                          

                     

                          

 

*

Represents beneficial ownership of less than 1%.

(1)

Percentage of total voting power represents voting power with respect to all shares of our Class A and Class B common stock, as a single class. The holders of our Class B common stock are entitled to            votes per share, and holders of our Class A common stock are entitled to one vote per share. See the section titled “Description of Capital Stock—Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock” for additional information about the voting rights of our Class A and Class B common stock.

 

118


DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

General

The following description of our capital stock and certain provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws are summaries and are qualified by reference to the amended and restated certificate of incorporation and the amended and restated bylaws that will be in effect on the completion of this offering. Copies of these documents have been filed with the SEC as exhibits to our registration statement, of which this prospectus forms a part. The descriptions of our common stock and preferred stock reflect changes to our capital structure that will be in effect on the completion of this offering.

On the completion of this offering, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will provide for two classes of common stock, Class A common stock and Class B common stock, and will authorize shares of undesignated preferred stock, the rights, preferences and privileges of which may be designated from time to time by our board of directors.

Upon the completion of this offering, our authorized capital stock will consist of            shares, all with a par value of $0.0001 per share, of which:

 

   

            shares will be designated Class A common stock;

 

   

            shares will be designated Class B common stock; and

 

   

            shares will be designated preferred stock.

As of December 29, 2019, we had outstanding:

 

   

no shares of Class A common stock; and

 

   

            shares of Class B common stock, which assumes the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into shares of Class B common stock.

Our Class B common stock was held by            stockholders of record as of December 29, 2019. Our board of directors is authorized, without stockholder approval except as required by the listing standards of             , to issue additional shares of our capital stock.

Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock

Voting Rights

The Class A common stock is entitled to one vote per share on any matter that is submitted to a vote of our stockholders. Holders of our Class B common stock are entitled to            votes per share on any matter submitted to our stockholders. Holders of shares of Class B common stock and Class A common stock will vote together as a single class on all matters (including the election of directors) submitted to a vote of stockholders, unless otherwise required by Delaware law.

Under Delaware law, holders of our Class A common stock or Class B common stock would be entitled to vote as a separate class if a proposed amendment to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation would increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares of such class, increase or decrease the par value of the shares of such class, or alter or change the powers, preferences or special rights of the shares of such class so as to affect them adversely. As a result, in these limited instances, the holders of a majority of the Class A common stock could defeat any amendment to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. For example, if a proposed amendment to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provided for the Class A common stock to rank junior to the Class B common stock with respect to (1) any dividend or distribution, (2) the distribution of proceeds were we to be acquired or (3) any other right, Delaware law would require the vote of the Class A common stock as a separate class. In this instance, the holders of a majority of Class A common stock could defeat that amendment to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation.

 

119


Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will not provide for cumulative voting for the election of directors.

Economic Rights

Except as otherwise will be expressly provided in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering or required by applicable law, all shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will have the same rights and privileges and rank equally, share ratably and be identical in all respects for all matters, including those described below.

Dividends and Distributions. Subject to preferences that may apply to any shares of preferred stock outstanding at the time, the holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will be entitled to share equally, identically and ratably, on a per share basis, with respect to any dividend or distribution of cash or property paid or distributed by the company, unless different treatment of the shares of the affected class is approved by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of such affected class, voting separately as a class. See the section titled “Dividend Policy” for additional information.

Liquidation Rights. On our liquidation, dissolution or winding-up, the holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will be entitled to share equally, identically and ratably in all assets remaining after the payment of any liabilities, liquidation preferences, and accrued or declared but unpaid dividends, if any, with respect to any outstanding preferred stock, unless a different treatment is approved by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of such affected class, voting separately as a class.

Change of Control Transactions. The holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will be treated equally and identically with respect to shares of Class A common stock or Class B common stock owned by them, unless different treatment of the shares of each class is approved by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of the class treated differently, voting separately as a class, on (a) the closing of the sale, transfer or other disposition of all or substantially all of our assets, (b) the consummation of a merger, reorganization, consolidation or share transfer which results in our voting securities outstanding immediately before the transaction (or the voting securities issued with respect to our voting securities outstanding immediately before the transaction) representing less than a majority of the combined voting power of the voting securities of the company or the surviving or acquiring entity or (c) the closing of the transfer (whether by merger, consolidation or otherwise), in one transaction or a series of related transactions, to a person or group of affiliated persons of securities of the company if, after closing, the transferee person or group would hold 50% or more of the outstanding voting power of the company (or the surviving or acquiring entity). However, consideration to be paid or received by a holder of common stock in connection with any such assets sale, merger, reorganization, consolidation or share transfer under any employment, consulting, severance or other arrangement will be disregarded for the purposes of determining whether holders of common stock are treated equally and identically.

Subdivisions and Combinations. If we subdivide or combine in any manner outstanding shares of Class A common stock or Class B common stock, the outstanding shares of the other classes will be subdivided or combined in the same manner.

No Preemptive or Similar Rights

Our Class A common stock and Class B common stock are not entitled to preemptive rights, and are not subject to conversion, redemption or sinking fund provisions, except for the conversion provisions with respect to the Class B common stock described below.

Conversion

Each share of Class B common stock is convertible at any time at the option of the holder into one share of Class A common stock. After the completion of this offering, on any transfer of shares of Class B common stock,

 

120


whether or not for value, each such transferred share will automatically convert into one share of Class A common stock, except for certain transfers described in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering, including transfers for tax and estate planning purposes, so long as the transferring holder continues to hold sole voting and dispositive power with respect to the shares transferred.

Any holder’s shares of Class B common stock will convert automatically into shares of Class A common stock, on a one-to-one basis, upon the following: (1) the sale or transfer of such share of Class B common stock; (2) the death of the Class B common stockholder; and (3) the final conversion date, defined as the earlier of (a) the first trading day on or after the date on which the outstanding shares of Class B common stock represent less than    % of the then outstanding Class A and Class B common stock, (b)            the anniversary of this offering or (c) the date specified by vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Class B common stock, voting as a single class.

Once transferred and converted into Class A common stock, the Class B common may not be reissued.

Fully Paid and Non-Assessable

In connection with this offering, our legal counsel will opine that the shares of our Class A common stock to be issued under this offering will be fully paid and non-assessable.

Preferred Stock

As of December 29, 2019, there were            shares of our convertible preferred stock outstanding. Immediately prior to the completion of this offering, each outstanding share of our convertible preferred stock will automatically convert into one share of our Class B common stock.

On the completion of this offering and under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering, our board of directors may, without further action by our stockholders, fix the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of up to an aggregate of            shares of preferred stock in one or more series and authorize their issuance. These rights, preferences and privileges could include dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption, liquidation preferences and the number of shares constituting any series or the designation of such series, any or all of which may be greater than the rights of our Class A common stock or Class B common stock. Any issuance of our preferred stock could adversely affect the voting power of holders of our Class A common stock or Class B common stock, and the likelihood that such holders would receive dividend payments and payments on liquidation. In addition, the issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change of control or other corporate action. On the completion of this offering, no shares of preferred stock will be outstanding. We have no present plan to issue any shares of preferred stock.

Options

As of December 29, 2019,            shares of our Class B common stock were issuable on the exercise of outstanding options to purchase shares of our Class B common stock under our 2013 Plan, with a weighted-average exercise price of $            per share.

Registration Rights

Stockholder Registration Rights

We are party to a stockholders agreement that provides that certain holders of our capital stock, including certain holders of at least 5% of our capital stock and entities affiliated with certain of our directors, have certain

 

121


registration rights, as set forth below. This stockholders agreement was entered into as of March 1, 2019. The registration of shares of our common stock by the exercise of registration rights described below would enable the holders to sell these shares without restriction under the Securities Act when the applicable registration statement is declared effective. We will pay the registration expenses, other than underwriting discounts and commissions, of the shares registered by the demand, piggyback and Form S-3 registrations described below.

Generally, in an underwritten offering, the managing underwriter, if any, has the right, subject to specified conditions, to limit the number of shares such holders may include. The demand, piggyback and Form S-3 registration rights described below will expire upon the earliest to occur of: (a) five years after the first sale of our common stock following the effective date of the registration statement, of which this prospectus is a part; (b) the closing of a Deemed Liquidation Event, as defined in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation; or (c) with respect to any particular stockholder, such time as such stockholder can sell all of its shares under Rule 144 under the Securities Act or another similar exemption during any three-month period.

Demand Registration Rights

The holders of an aggregate of            shares of our Class B common stock will be entitled to certain demand registration rights. At any time beginning 180 days after the effective date of the registration statement, of which this prospectus is a part, such holders are entitled to registration rights under the stockholders agreement, on not more than one occasion, provided that the holders of at least 20% of such shares as are then outstanding request that we register all or a portion of their shares. Such request for registration must cover shares with an anticipated aggregate offering price, net of underwriting discounts and commissions, of at least $15 million.

Piggyback Registration Rights

In connection with this offering, the holders of an aggregate of            shares of our capital stock were entitled to, and the necessary percentage of holders waived, their rights to notice of this offering and to include their shares of registrable securities in this offering. After this offering, in the event that we propose to register any of our securities under the Securities Act, either for our own account or for the account of other security holders, the holders of these shares will be entitled to certain piggyback registration rights allowing such holders to include their shares in such registration, subject to certain marketing and other limitations. As a result, whenever we propose to file a registration statement under the Securities Act, subject to certain exceptions, the holders of these shares are entitled to notice of the registration and have the right to include their shares in the registration, subject to limitations that the underwriters may impose on the number of shares included in the offering.

Form S-3 Registration Rights

The holders of an aggregate of            shares of Class B common stock will be entitled to certain Form S-3 registration rights. If we are eligible to file a registration statement on Form S-3, these holders have the right, upon written request from holders of at least 15% of such shares as are then outstanding, to have such shares registered by us if the anticipated aggregate offering price of such shares, net of underwriting discounts and commissions, is at least $5 million, subject to exceptions set forth in the stockholders agreement.

Anti-Takeover Provisions

Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws

Because our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights, stockholders holding a majority of the voting power of our shares of common stock will be able to elect all of our directors. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will provide for stockholder actions at a duly called meeting of stockholders or, before the date on which

 

122


all shares of common stock convert into a single class, by written consent. A special meeting of stockholders may be called by a majority of our board of directors, the chair of our board of directors, our chief executive officer or our lead independent director. Our amended and restated bylaws to be effective on the completion of this offering will establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our board of directors.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering will further provide for a dual-class common stock structure, which provides our current investors, officers and employees with control over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or its assets.

In accordance with our amended and restated certificate of incorporation that will be in effect on the completion of this offering, immediately after this offering, our board of directors will be divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms.

The foregoing provisions will make it more difficult for another party to obtain control of us by replacing our board of directors. Since our board of directors has the power to retain and discharge our officers, these provisions could also make it more difficult for existing stockholders or another party to effect a change in management. In addition, the authorization of undesignated preferred stock makes it possible for our board of directors to issue preferred stock with voting or other rights or preferences that could impede the success of any attempt to change our control.

These provisions, including the dual-class structure of our common stock, are intended to preserve our existing control structure after completion of this offering, facilitate our continued product innovation and the risk-taking that it requires, permit us to continue to prioritize our long-term goals rather than short-term results, enhance the likelihood of continued stability in the composition of our board of directors and its policies and to discourage certain types of transactions that may involve an actual or threatened acquisition of us. These provisions are also designed to reduce our vulnerability to an unsolicited acquisition proposal and to discourage certain tactics that may be used in proxy fights. However, these provisions could have the effect of discouraging others from making tender offers for our shares and may have the effect of deterring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in our control or management. As a consequence, these provisions may also inhibit fluctuations in the market price of our stock that could result from actual or rumored takeover attempts.

Public Benefit Corporation Status

We are a public benefit corporation under Section 362 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. As a result, we may not, without the approval of the holders of two-thirds of the voting power of our outstanding stock, amend our certificate of incorporation to delete or amend a provision relating to our public benefit corporation status or our public benefit purpose (or effect a merger or consolidation that would result in the deletion or amendment of such a provision).

Additionally, as a public benefit corporation, our board of directors is required by the Delaware General Corporation Law to manage or direct our business and affairs in a manner that balances the pecuniary interests of our stockholders, the best interests of those materially affected by our conduct, and the specific public benefits identified in our certificate of incorporation. Under the Delaware General Corporation Law, our stockholders may bring a derivative suit to enforce this requirement only if they own (individually or collectively), at least 2% of our outstanding shares or, upon the completion of this offering, the lesser of such percentage or shares of at least $2 million in market value.

We believe that our public benefit corporation status will make it more difficult for another party to obtain control of us without maintaining our public benefit corporation status and purpose.

 

123


Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law

When we have a class of voting stock that is either listed on a national securities exchange or held of record by more than 2,000 stockholders, we will be subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any business combination with any interested stockholder for a period of three years after the date that such stockholder became an interested stockholder, subject to certain exceptions.

Choice of Forum

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be effective on the completion of this offering will provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware (or, if and only if the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware lacks subject matter jurisdiction, any state court located within the State of Delaware or, if and only if all such state courts lack subject matter jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Delaware) is the exclusive forum for actions or proceedings brought under Delaware statutory or common law: (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; (2) any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty; (3) any action asserting a claim against us arising under the Delaware General Corporation Law; (4) any action regarding our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws; (5) any action as to which the Delaware General Corporation Law confers jurisdiction to the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware; or (6) any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine.

In addition, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will provide that the federal district courts of the United States of America will be the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act, subject to and contingent upon a final adjudication in the State of Delaware of the enforceability of such exclusive forum provision.

Limitations of Liability and Indemnification

See the section titled “Executive Compensation—Limitations on Liability and Indemnification Matters.”

Exchange Listing

Our Class A common stock is currently not listed on any securities exchange. We intend to apply to have our Class A common stock approved for listing on            under the symbol “            .”

Transfer Agent and Registrar

On the completion of this offering, the transfer agent and registrar for our Class A common stock and Class B common stock will be            . The transfer agent’s address is            .

 

124


SHARES ELIGIBLE FOR FUTURE SALE

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our Class A common stock. Future sales of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock, including shares issued on the exercise of outstanding options, in the public market after this offering, or the possibility of these sales or issuances occurring, could adversely affect the prevailing market price for our Class A common stock or impair our ability to raise equity capital.

Based on our shares outstanding as of December 29, 2019, on the completion of this offering, a total of             shares of Class A common stock and            shares of Class B common stock will be outstanding, assuming the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of            shares of Class B common stock. Of these shares, all of the Class A common stock sold in this offering by us, plus any shares sold by exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional Class A common stock from us and the selling stockholders, will be freely tradable in the public market without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act, unless these shares are held by “affiliates,” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act, or Rule 144.

The remaining shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock will be, and              shares of Class A common stock or Class B common stock subject to stock options will be on issuance, “restricted securities,” as that term is defined in Rule 144. These restricted securities are eligible for public sale only if they are registered under the Securities Act or if they qualify for an exemption from registration under Rule 144 or Rule 701 under the Securities Act, or Rule 701, which are summarized below. Restricted securities may also be sold outside of the United States to non-U.S. persons in accordance with Rule 904 of Regulation S under the Securities Act.

Subject to the lock-up agreements described below and the provisions of Rule 144, Rule 701 or Regulation S under the Securities Act, as well as our insider trading policy, these restricted securities will be available for sale in the public market after the date of this prospectus.

Rule 144

In general, under Rule 144 as currently in effect, once we have been subject to public company reporting requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act for at least 90 days, an eligible stockholder is entitled to sell such shares without complying with the manner of sale, volume limitation or notice provisions of Rule 144, subject to compliance with the public information requirements of Rule 144. To be an eligible stockholder under Rule 144, such stockholder must not be deemed to have been one of our affiliates for purposes of the Securities Act at any time during the 90 days preceding a sale and must have beneficially owned the shares proposed to be sold for at least six months, including the holding period of any prior owner other than our affiliates. If such a person has beneficially owned the shares proposed to be sold for at least one year, including the holding period of any prior owner other than our affiliates, then such person is entitled to sell such shares without complying with any of the requirements of Rule 144, subject to the expiration of the lock-up agreements described below.

In general, under Rule 144, as currently in effect, our affiliates or persons selling shares on behalf of our affiliates are entitled to sell shares on expiration of the lock-up agreements described below, subject, in the case of restricted securities, to such shares having been beneficially owned for at least six months. Beginning 90 days after the date of this prospectus, within any three-month period, such stockholders may sell a number of shares that does not exceed the greater of:

 

   

1% of the number of Class A common stock then outstanding, which will equal approximately            shares immediately after this offering, assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock from us and the selling stockholders; or

 

   

the average weekly trading volume of our Class A common stock on the            during the four calendar weeks preceding the filing of a notice on Form 144 with respect to such sale.

 

125


Sales under Rule 144 by our affiliates or persons selling shares on behalf of our affiliates are also subject to certain manner of sale provisions and notice requirements and to the availability of current public information about us.

Rule 701

Rule 701 generally allows a stockholder who was issued shares under a written compensatory plan or contract and who is not deemed to have been an affiliate of our company during the immediately preceding 90 days, to sell these shares in reliance on Rule 144, but without being required to comply with the public information, holding period, volume limitation or notice provisions of Rule 144. Rule 701 also permits affiliates of our company to sell their Rule 701 shares under Rule 144 without complying with the holding period requirements of Rule 144. All holders of Rule 701 shares, however, are required by that rule to wait until 90 days after the date of this prospectus before selling those shares under Rule 701, subject to the expiration of the lock-up agreements described below.

Form S-8 Registration Statements

We intend to file one or more registration statements on Form S-8 under the Securities Act with the SEC to register the offer and sale of shares of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock to be issued under our 2013 Plan, 2020 Plan and ESPP. These registration statements will become effective immediately on filing. Shares covered by these registration statements will then be eligible for sale in the public markets, subject to vesting restrictions, any applicable lock-up agreements described below, and Rule 144 limitations applicable to affiliates.

Lock-Up Arrangements

We, the selling stockholders, all of our directors, executive officers and the holders of substantially all of our common stock and securities exercisable for or convertible into our Cla