Mission Produce COO: Nasdaq listing will accelerate our growth plans
Mission Produce's recent listing on the Nasdaq has been met by employees with a "tremendous amount of pride and excitement" amid expectations that the achievement will open up many new growth opportunities, according to a company executive.
Speaking with FreshFruitPortal.com on listing day last week, COO Mike Browne said it was an "exciting day" and a "really, really big milestone" in the California-based avocado company's 40-year history.
"It means a lot," Browne said. "We've built the largest network of resources for distributing and adding value to our fresh avocados. To be able to go to the public market and be a public company, there's a tremendous amount of pride and excitement amongst friends and family of our over 4,000 employees around the world."
"So from an internal standpoint we're very excited, from a commercial standpoint it's going to unleash a lot of opportunities for us - to continue to do many of the things we've already done but maybe do them in a little bigger scale and to do them with a little brisker timeline."
Asked why the company had chosen to list now, Brown replied that there's been tremendous growth around the world, with the U.S. having seen double-digit growth for many years, driven in large part by millennial and Latinx populations.
"And [the listing] gives us the opportunity to continue our path towards expanding the company, not only here in the Americas, but abroad. We really believe our best opportunities to grow are in Europe and in Asia. Per capita consumption in Europe is roughly 50% of what it is in the United States.
"So we're ready. We know who we are, we know what we do. We're avocado people, we're laser-focused on fresh avocados. There's no confusion when we show up in the morning what we do and who our stakeholders are. So now is a great time to do it."
Going into further detail about the expansion opportunities for Mission Produce, Browne said the listing gives the company the ability to "have great balance sheet discipline", and also "a more accelerated elasticity to our growth plan" - whether that be through acquisitions, organic expansion, or growing its vertically integrated operations.
He added that the company was "extremely optimistic" that the global avocado market would remain in balance despite a likely significant increase in supply over the coming years. He noted that Mission has "great business intelligence" that drives the business forward and an "extremely strong concept for vertical integration".
Estimates for the size of the U.S. avocado market by 2023 range from around US$6.5bn to US$8bn, he said, expecting avocados' health and wellness aspects to pull in new volume over the coming years.