Kalera AS (OTCPK:KSLLF) Q2 2022 Earnings Conference Call August 19, 2022 9:00 AM ET
Aparna Mehra – Director, Investor Relations
Jim Leighton – President & Chief Executive Officer
Fernando Cornejo – Chief Financial Officer
Austin Martin – Chief Operating Officer
Aric Nissen – Chief Marketing Officer
Conference Call Participants
Good morning, and welcome to the Kalera’s Second Quarter 2022 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode. [Operator Instructions] After today’s presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions via webcast. If you are at your computer, please use the submit a question link in your webcast viewer. Please note, this event is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to Aparna Mehra, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.
Good morning, and thank you for joining us today to discuss Kalera’s financial results for the second quarter of 2022. This morning, we issued our earnings release, which is available in the Investor Relations section of our website at investors. kalera.com.
With me on today’s call are Jim Leighton, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Fernando Cornejo, Chief Financial Officer. We will begin with some remarks and then take your questions.
Before we begin, I would like to remind you that today’s comments will include forward-looking statements under federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are identified by words such as believe, expect, intend, estimate, project, anticipate, will, plan, design, may, should or other comparable words and phrases. Statements other than statements related to historical facts, such as statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, our business strategy and plans, and our objectives for future operations are also forward-looking statements.
Our actual results or performance may vary materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. A discussion of the risk factors that could cause a material difference in our results compared to these forward-looking statements are contained in our SEC filings, including our report on Form 10-Q. Kalera assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after today.
With that, I will now turn the call over to Jim Leighton.
Thank you, Aparna, and good morning, everyone. We appreciate you joining us today on our first earnings call as a publicly traded company in the US and your interest in Kalera. Listing on NASDAQ was an important milestone for Kalera, but it was only one of many milestones we’ve marked in the past 24 months, beginning with the launching of our first farm in Orlando.
With that farm, we were able to attract many blue chip customers, as you can see on slide 4. We continued to grow the business by expanding our regional footprint into Atlanta, Houston and Denver. And through acquisitions, we established global operations in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe. We also acquired Vindara, which gives us an important and unique ability to vertically integrate our business by producing seeds designed specifically for Kalera and other indoor farming operations. We also introduced our full range of leafy greens across multiple channels with plans to continue customizing and expanding our product portfolio based on customer and consumer demand.
Turning to slide 5, another milestone, certainly for me personally was becoming CEO of Kalera in May of this year. The vertical farming industry is expected to grow to $19 billion in five years, and I’m excited by the opportunity to leverage my many years in food and CPG experience to Kalera as we provide fresh, clean, local nutritious greens at price points that are accessible to most everyone. And we’re able to do it in a way, amazingly that uses 95% less water and 99% less land than traditional farming. As I mentioned, Kalera listed on NASDAQ on June 29, marking the beginning of a new phase of growth for our company as a pure-play global vertical farming business with the only national and global footprint.
In the second quarter, we formed an important strategic partnership with US Foods, one of the largest foodservice distributors in the United States, as indicated on Slide 6. Our relationship with US Foods is allowing us to leverage their national footprint, e-commerce capabilities, consumer analytics platform a network of over 70 distribution centers and over 100 cash and carry stores to accelerate our transformation to the CPG platform in the leafy greens category.
Moving to Slide 7. We opened our newest location in Denver, Colorado in April, serving both the retail and foodservice channels. The Denver facility will provide Kalera, additional production capacity of approximately 2 million pounds per year. Production will include both whole head and loose leaf leaves as well as microgreens.
This is our first facility to offer microgreens on a mass scale, which gives us the ability to serve the foodservice as well as retail markets in the Denver area. We are excited and honored to have one of our Board members, Dr. Sonny Perdue, join me at the Denver Farm opening.
In addition to serving on our Board, Dr. Purdue is the 14th Chancellor of the University System of Georgia and served as the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture in 2017 to 2021, and he is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the problems we collectively are trying to solve in the prospects for Kalera.
Continuing on to Slide 8. Our sales grew at triple-digit pace in the second quarter, reflecting new facilities being brought online, while the growth is off a relatively small base, we’re encouraged by the acceptance of Kalera products in both retail and foodservice channels with more channels to come.
Before we get into the financials with Fernando, I want to spend just a few minutes on Slide 9, talking about our strategy, our goals and our priorities. It has become clear to me that Kalera to become the number one CPG company for leafy greens, which is our goal. We needed to adjust our strategy.
First, we will improve farm profitability to become cash flow positive. We have started this effort by focusing farm by farm to bring at least one farm to cash flow positive as soon as possible. Importantly, we will reduce our cash burn by allocating capital only to existing projects and customers before opening additional farms. This will accelerate our transition to positive cash flows. However, it will slow our expansion. Profitability is our number one priority.
Second, we will focus on customer-centric branded CPG platform by boosting marketing efforts, branding and product development to increase sales, distribution, velocities, profitability as well as market share. We will be very selective about our capital spending to increase production capabilities in existing farms and quickly tap into markets that have the potential to significantly increase current volumes and improve our mix.
And finally, we will conserve our capital and reallocate strategically only where necessary. We will complete the build-out of US firms required under our agreement with US Foods, by finishing construction of our Singapore facility, which is our fully automated multi-product farm of the future.
We are materially reducing operating expenses to minimize levels at our headquarters in both the US as well as Germany until profitability and cash flow milestones are achieved. This includes temporarily suspending construction of additional farms. While these measures may be difficult in the short-term, they are necessary to achieve our long-term goals and maximize shareholder value.
I’ll now turn the call over to Fernando for the financials.
Thank you, Jim. I’ll begin with a summary of the second quarter results. On slide 11, total revenue increased to $1.3 million or 164% compared to the second quarter last year. The revenue increase reflects the contribution of our new farming facilities opened during the last 12 months.
Total revenue included credits and promotions to new customers of $0.3 million, mainly served under our new Foodservices partnership. Cost of goods sold was $6.3 million compared to $1.7 million in the prior year period. This includes all fixed roughly 86% and variable costs roughly 14% for the Orlando, Atlanta, Houston, Denver, and the Kuwait Farm.
SG&A expenses totaled $24.6 million that compared to $6 million in the quarter a year ago. The increase was primarily driven by transaction expenses of $7.5 million related to the Agrico business combination.
One-time non-cash stock option expense of $8 million, mainly due to the cancellation of the previous Kalera stock option program. And also, an increase in corporate expenses related to operating three additional farms and international operations acquired during the fourth quarter of 2021.
During the second quarter, Kalera owned and operated farms in Orlando, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, and Kuwait. This compares to just two operating farms, Orlando and Atlanta in the second quarter of last year.
Operating loss for the second quarter was of $96.8 million, mainly as a result of one-time non-operating items. This one-time extraordinary items include a non-cash $64.3 million impairment loss, one-time non-cash stock option expense of $8 million, and a one-time cash expense of $7.5 million for transaction-related expenses in connection with Agrico transaction and NASDAQ listing.
Net loss for the second quarter was $78.7 million or a loss of $3.92 per diluted share, which includes $17.3 million gain for the change in fair market value of earn-out liabilities to Kalera SA shareholders, also as a result of the Agrico business combination.
Net loss in the quarter a year ago was $7.7 million or a loss of $0.51 per diluted share. Adjusted EBITDA for Q2 2022 was negative $14.1 million, in line with estimates. That compared to negative $6.4 million during the second quarter of 2021.
Turning to slide 12. We saw sales growth in both Retail and Foodservice during the second quarter, with whole head products representing more than 90% of revenue. Second quarter Foodservice net revenue increased by $0.6 million to $0.8 million. Retail net revenue increased by $0.2 million to $0.5 million versus the second quarter last year.
For the first half of 2022, total revenue increased 234% and to $2.8 million. We saw strong growth in both segments, with Foodservice net revenue increasing by $1.1 million to $1.4 million and retail net revenue increasing by $856,000 to $1.4 million.
Turning on to Slide 13 and as already summarized on slide 11. We had a number of extraordinary non-operating items during the second quarter of 2022. We had additional expenses of $7.5 million in connection with Agrico transaction and NASDAQ listing.
We also had several one-time non-operating items, including a non-cash stock option expense of $8 million, which is mainly due to the cancellation of the previous Kaleyra stock options program.
A non-cash $64.3 million impairment loss that was driven by Kaleyra’s market capitalization as of June 30, 2022, was below the book value of our long-lived assets and goodwill. And a $17.3 million in income from the change in fair value related to the earn-out liabilities under the contingent value rights for Kaleyra SA shareholders.
Moving on to cash flow and the balance sheet on slide 14. For the first six months of 2022, cash used in operating activities was $32.4 million, including business combination expenses. The use of cash was mainly driven by operations at the Orlando, Atlanta, Houston, Denver and Kuwait facilities, in addition to the headquarters.
Recall, during the first half of last year, Kaleyra was only operating the Orlando and Atlanta farms, in addition to the Kaleyra US headquarters. Cash used in investing activities in the first half of 2022 was $20.9 million and was primarily concentrated on investments in the Denver, Seattle, San Paul and Singapore facilities. That compared to $37 million that was invested in the Houston, Atlanta and Denver farms during the first half of 2021 and also $14.2 million related to acquisitions that we performed during the first half of 2021. Cash from financing activities was $39.6 million in the first half of 2022 versus $29.2 million during the same period of last year. This resulted in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, 2022 of $3.3 million.
Turning to slide 15, we added non-dilutive financing to our balance sheet. During the second quarter, we enter into a secure, 10-year, $30 million senior secured credit facility with Farm Credit of Central Florida to support capital expenditures and our working capital needs. The facility provides $20 million in available funds for capital expenditures on the term loan and $10 million to support general, corporate and working capital purposes under our revolving loan.
We also completed the Agrico business combination in the second quarter is resulted in 0.3 million in proceeds to Kalera. Subsequent to the close of the quarter, we executed a private placement in the amount of $10 million. Going forward, the company is currently in discussions for a sale lease back transaction with a third party lender, an additional equipment financing that could bring up to $22 million for future capital expenditures.
In addition, Kalera continues to execute on financing and structures including its capital light business model. We expect the amount of cash raised from these financing activities to grow during the third quarter of 2022 to support our priorities of bringing our operating firms to cash flow positive.
And now I will turn the call back to Jim.
Thank you, Fernando. I’d like to look ahead to 2023 and outline our priorities. First, as I mentioned previously, we will improve profitability and become cash flow positive farm by farm in 2023. In order to achieve this, we are delaying the opening of the Hawaii, Columbus and new Central Florida facilities to ensure we have a solid basis for the optimal design and profitability of all of our facilities.
Second, we need to grow, but pragmatically by investing and announced farms and deploying capital into new farms only after existing farms are profitable, as well as other international capital light expansion opportunities that have been brought to us. Third, we’ll expand our product portfolio and customer base for both the retail and foodservice channels to increase revenue ramp up, optimize mix and capture additional revenue and market share.
And finally, we will continue exploring strategic partnerships like the one with US Foods that create shareholder value through business, technology and marketing synergies. Before we go to Q and A, I’d like to draw your attention to two additional items. First, Kalera published our inaugural ESG report on August 3, which highlights our sustainability framework, our achievements and our vision for 2030.
We are aligned with 13 UN sustainable development goals grouped in four focus areas. One, water stewardship. Two, climate change. Three, nutrition and health in developing 21st century farmers. We have committed to developing robust tracking and reporting systems and processes and we’re committed to publishing our ESG report annually.
And finally, we’re planning to hold an investor event sometime in September and we’ll be providing you with more details in the near future. That concludes our prepared remarks. Now, Fernando myself and the executive team will answer any questions that you might have.
A – Aparna Mehra
[Operator Instructions]. Okay, great. We’ll start with our first question. This is for Jim. Can you talk more about some of your shift in strategic priorities? Are you concerned that by slowing your expansion plans, you could lose first mover advantage in certain locations?
Yeah, that’s a great question. I really appreciate that. As I stated in my remarks, really an improvement in profitability, which is priority one. And what I mean by that is become cash flow positive for each one of our farms in 2023. The second thing that I mentioned in my remarks is, we will be focusing on just pragmatic growth. So, in other words, before we move forward with any additional farms, we have to reach the financial milestones as required and set forth in our plan. So that’s really important.
Relative to the situation and my concern or should I be concerned or should we be concerned relative to first mover? I’m not concerned at all. And the reason is because our position where we are domestically, we have more farms in the United States strategically placed than any other competitor. So, we are in really good shape there. And I think the food service relationship that we have with them and one of the many they select declare is because we have that as well as I mentioned, the only global player. So, I’m not concerned with that at all. Thanks for the question.
Great. Thank you. Jim, I’m going to ask two questions that are related. Can you say anything about why revenue has been on the same level as Q1, 2022 and Q4 2021? Is there not produced to sell or is it produced and not sold? And the second question, can you speak as to why Q2 revenue decreased compared to Q1, even with the added relationship of US Foods?
Yeah, I’d be happy to. Let me start with that and then maybe I could turn it over to Aric relative to the question relative to Q1 and Q2. But I was just saying in general, in my experience, when you’re building out relationships with retailers and food service, typically what happens is the difference between gross and net sometimes you — which is what we’re reflecting by the way in those numbers. Sometimes you do realize in your financials that you’re going to make an investment in the expansion of that distribution. Aric more color on that.
Yeah. Good morning. Aric Nissen, Chief Marketing Officer. Thank you for the question. If you look at the historicals in Q4, ’21 our revenues were 1.2 million. In Q1 of ’22 our revenues were 1.5 million for 25% increase. Now if you look at page 12 of the deck, you can see that our gross sales in Q2 of ’22 were actually higher than both of those numbers. But due to the discounts that Jim mentioned in foodservice, the net sales were on par. Now, I also point out in the deck that, our foodservice sales year-over-year reflect a 489% improvement due to the relationship with US Foods.
Okay. Thanks, Aric. So our next question is around climate change. So, how are climate change conditions driving demand?
That’s a great question. Matter of fact, I was watching Lester Holt last night. And I think for the last 3 nights, it happens to be the new show I happened to watch. There’s a segment on climate change and the dramatic impact it’s having around the world, which speaks exactly to why we’re doing, what we’re doing and why there’s so much interest in controlled environment ag.
So again, it just highlights how important what Kalera and other companies are doing to address the major issues that are hitting us here, both domestically and around the world. As most people know that are probably on this call, 90% or so they the produce the products that we sell are conventionally produced in two different states, and they’re harvested once a year, and they’re shipped around the country.
So when drought hits those areas and drought is hitting those areas, it can interrupt that supply chain, where it doesn’t interrupt our supply chain at all. So what that does is it drives down supply, it drives up costs, and we’re seeing that across the board and a lot of having inflation impact food in a lot of other areas. But it also allows us as we decrease our cost of production to become more price parity – price parity with our competition just for traditional ag. Great question.
Great. Thank you, Jim. Our next question, what are the milestones that will lead to the 5% share distributions mentioned prior to the NASDAQ conversion?
Yeah. Let me start with that, and Fernando, perhaps I can turn it over to you. We’re a publicly traded company on the Oslo Exchange, and Fernando will get maybe a little more into that. And then as we move to Luxembourg, and then to NASDAQ, it was a fairly complicated path to get there. And the transaction was quite complicated and so forth. And so Fernando, do you want to go a little deeper on that as to – in answering that question.
Yes. Thank you, Jim. So this is in reference to the CVRs or the Contingent Value Rights. CVRs were issued as a merger consideration to Kalera S.A. shareholders. Shareholders will collectively have the right to receive – this is an aggregate of up to 10%. This 10% is basically in two different tranches, the first 5% tranche its hook on the satisfaction of a condition where Kalera shares trade at or over $12.50, this for a period of 20 trading days, within a 30 trading day period.
The second tranche, which is the additional 5% to complete the 10% for Kalera SA shareholders, is when Kalera shares trade at or over $15 per share. The CVRs terminate two years after the closing of the business combination, which is June 28. And if Kalera, it sold during that time, CVR holders will be entitled to the milestone payment, if the equity valuation of the deal exceeds these milestones. In addition, these CVRs are not transferable and will not be listed on any stock exchange. Just to clarify, CVRs will not be linked to its shares, shareholders that hold CVRs. Shareholders will continue to retain the CVRs, even if they sell their shares. It was just at the record at the closing of the business combination.
Great. Thank you, Fernando. The next question is, what are the factors involved in bringing the operating factories to profitable status? And a couple of other related questions. What are the main drivers that will enable positive cash flow for the facilities? And when do you expect the first US farm to turn cash flow positive and why?
Yes, thanks. I think those — I’ll ladder up – all those questions ladder up to the $1 billion- question. When are you going to be cash flow positive? And how are you going to get there? So I really appreciate that question because I think it deserves – it deserves a very specific answer. So I’ll add a little bit more to this after I have Austin, Austin Martin provide some more color on that. So Austin?
There’s really three factors that are going to deliver cash flow positive. As you heard Jim mention in the presentation, we’re targeting 2023, where all current operating farms reached cash flow positive in profitability. The factors are, one, operational excellence, really with stabilized yields in readying the facilities with new post-harvest processes that will allow us to deliver on our second – in transformative Loose-Leaf products.
The launching of Loose-Leaf has already begun with US Foods, and we’ll continue to ramp up with some key launches in retail for the coming weeks and months. That allows us, as you heard in our presentation, 90% of our revenues were generated by full head sales. That allows us to now have products available to address a much larger broader segment of the leafy greens market; and third, the continued development of the US Foods’ strategic partnerships, as we continue the ongoing rollout throughout the remainder of this year to the remaining distribution centers of US Foods as well as we began new product launches within their distribution channel.
Yes. And I would add to that, Austin, the fact that the current farms have stabilized the yields that we’re seeing, so month-over-month over the last two to three months, we’re seeing that we definitely have control of the yields within the farms. That’s number one.
And the other thing is, by 2023, we have worked through most of the commercialization of the additional products we’re providing both retail and food service. So as we ramp up these new capabilities within each farm, obviously, there’s some — what I refer to as start-up costs associated with that. So we will have been through almost all of that by the beginning of 2023. So really appreciate those questions. Thanks.
Great. Thanks, Jim. We have another question around climate change. The extreme drought in the West is hurting availability of field ground produce. Does that create an opportunity for Kalera to increase pricing and/or market share?
Absolutely. It’s a great question. And the entire concept of what Kaleyra represents and the products we produce and how we produced it is exactly for this reason, because the supply chain has been dramatically interrupted by a variety of things, including global climate change.
As I referenced the show that I watched, relative to the news, there was a man standing in the middle of a lettuce field in California and the reporter asking, he said, “So is this your field?” Yes “When will you harvest?” He said, we need a harvest and he goes, and I’m not planning next year. And I just can’t afford to, because we’re expecting a continued drought in this area, and it’s no longer profitable to do so.
So that speaks to — and I think it’s a live example of what’s going on in traditional ag. Now the two need to work together, meaning vertical farming and traditional ag in order to feed the world, but we are well positioned relative to providing the products that we provide, the way we do it, driving down the economic — the cost to produce those, while the price of typical produce produced traditionally, the price of that is going to have to go up. So, again, great — thanks.
Great. Thanks, Jim. So our next question is, can you talk a bit more about the utilization you saw in your farms during the quarter? Where you saw improvements and where you will — you still see room for improvement going forward?
Yes. Austin, why don’t you take that one?
Yes, great question. We’ve seen — as Jim mentioned in response to a previous question, we’ve really seen a stabilization of yields, which has allowed us several things. One, allows us to start reducing the amount of utilization and matching our utilization closer to demand. I will remind you that, as we entered out of Q2 here. We’re still in the final stages of [indiscernible] December 4.
So we will be operating that at a higher utilization as we continue to test and balance the offset. But the other farms — throughout the first half of the year, Houston completed its commissioning process and our yields stabilized well ahead of anticipated schedule.
As we move forward to future farms with our next farm in St. Paul scheduled to open later this year, fact that our commissioning process continued to reduce the amount of time it takes to get to stabilized yields, which all means lower OpEx burn rate and faster breakeven point.
Thanks, Austin. Great question.
Okay. Great. Next question. Can you discuss the retail and foodservice channels? What are you hearing from customers and potential customers in each channel and how you anticipate those two channels evolving?
Yes. Great question. Aric?
Yes. Good morning. Thank you for that question. In the food — let’s talk about foodservice first. Foodservice operators are under extreme pressure right now from cost, mainly driven by inputs, labor, food cost. And so, really, when they look at Kaleyra products, they’re seeing something that doesn’t need to be watched in its high quality and can save on labor efficiency and also give customers what they want. So we’re an interesting solution for the food service channel.
In retail, it’s all about what the consumers want. And there’s been an increasing demand over several years, and it’s continuing into produce that is cleaner, better and fresher. And this is what Kalera delivers. And this is what the new Kalera branding will be all about.
Great. Jim, this question is for you. Can you tell us a bit more about your decision to come to Kalera, and what you have learned in your first month or so with the company?
Yeah, I’d be happy to. As stated by Curtis McWilliams when I joined the company in the public announcement, I’ve been in consumer packaged goods, food and beverage for 42 years in just about every category imaginable in every channel, both domestically as well as international. So what really drew me to this opportunity was the fact that Kalera is right at the intersection between what science technology can deliver and what CPG is currently doing. And I believe, I truly believe there’s a lot of research behind what I’m about to say it’s a growing chasm. So we need to figure out a new way of presenting food and delivering food to consumers and Kalera is doing exactly that.
And the other reason is because in my due diligence for the company, I spent a lot of time talking to people, and I can guarantee you that although we’re a 12-year start-up that opened our first farm just two years ago, and you can see how much — how quickly this business has grown. The people within it, I have found extremely, extremely passionate about solving a huge problem. And that passion also comes with mastery too, the people in Kalera, they know what they’re doing. They have mastery over what they do. And when you put mastery and passion together, you’re going to see great results.
Now are there some pains along the way? Absolutely. Does it require a lot of capital to get there? Yes. But we’re at that inflection point, and I think the answers to a lot of these questions had a point to that. And I would also like to — at this time, I think it’s appropriate to thank the long-term and long-standing shareholders who supported this because they recognize there is a problem. They recognize there is a need. They recognize that Kalera is providing that solution. So we really appreciate it. And that inflection point in my mind is in 2023. So I couldn’t be happier to be part of that team. Thanks.
Thanks Jim. Our next question, how do you define throughput yield?
Throughput yield is the percent of marketable head meets our quality standards for sale to our customers and consumers of the total heads that we attempted to grow.
So that’s a great question. I want to give a little more color on that. And again, it relates back to the old guy on the call being around the food business for so long. The way this works, and it’s very similar to poultry, where I’ve spent many years as President of Perdue over in Australia, Inghams and so forth.
When you’re dealing with live plants or live animals, it can get a little complicated. And there are learning curves as you bring up new facilities. And the point I want to make is the cycle time that we go through is about 12 weeks. The seeds go in and then you harvest in 12 weeks. So having a robust, what I call sales and operations planning or integrated business planning process is critically important. And this company has gone through some learning curves on how you do that. In addition to what Austin talked about is yield. So we’ve basically done two significant things shortly, and we’ve demonstrated it. One is that we have control of our yields. And the yields are meeting what we have in our financial plans. So that’s number one, critically important.
Number two, our waste and loss have gone down significantly, because our ability to forecast demand and supply to that demand without overgrowing or under-growing, which is critically important. And I think this also speaks to the relationship that we both our retailers and foodservice providers because the demand signals for what we grow comes from them. So we work highly collaborative with them.
The third thing that touches upon that is when you have a national footprint, it gives you some flexibility relative to where you can produce things in the mix in which you’re producing it, where if you just have one facility, you’re kind of stuck and don’t have the optionality that Kalera has. So it’s a great question.
Okay. Moving to our next question. What is your breakeven sales percentage at the large US farms? Are unit costs on budget now that yields have stabilized at high levels?
Yes. As I mentioned earlier, we have stabilized yield as it has to the breakeven utilization of the facility, Aric or Austin, do you want to chime in on that?
Yes. Great question. So as we move forward, I mentioned earlier, it’s primarily our business in the past has been focus solely on full heads, 90% of our revenues in the past have been generated full heads. As we launch this new product portfolio, it really changes that breakeven sales point. As we’re able to address both the retail channel and the foodservice channel in different ways with different products that have very well of profitability.
As we optimize our network facilities across the US, you’ll find that each facility has a slightly different breakeven sales percentage, ranging anywhere at the low end from 45% up to 65%, depending upon the channel mix within each of the product mix as well within each of those facilities.
In regards to unit cost, as Jim mentioned, our yields have stabilized, but even through the beginning of the first half of this year, we continue to operate at a higher utilization, as we were working to stabilize our yield, but also to be ready for an anticipated demand and still having two facilities in operational ramp-up in the commission process, which resulted in a significant amount of over production waste, which is reflecting in our cost model, as we bring and align our utilization levels to demand levels and launch these new products begin to see those unit costs come alone. It will be a large contributing factor in the engine driving our farms to cash flow positive in 2023.
Yes. I would also add that our Seattle facility, this is a great example of kind of a shift in strategy back to the earlier — one of our earlier questions. As I said that, we are pausing on the build-out of certain facilities. And specifically, we have paused on Hawaii. We paused on Columbus, we paused on Central Florida until we bring all of the existing farms to cash flow positive. Seattle has been built out. It’s ready to go, but we’re going to be very disciplined in making sure that we have the utilization relative to demand gets that farm to the property utilization before we open it. So that’s definitely a significant shift in strategy that is another reason why we would turn profitable in 2023. So, thanks for the question.
Moving to the next question, what plans are in place to create awareness to the regular retail customer looking for greens in a supermarket to look into buying Kalera versus any other customer? And have you looked into rebranding the packaging?
Yes, I’ll turn that over to Aric Nissen in a second. And by the way, I just realized when I was talking earlier about the growth cycle, I was talking about two different things at the same time. And I said when I referenced 12 weeks, I meant poultry, by the way. So, I apologize for that. Our growth cycles in what we do are between four and six weeks. But as it relates to this question, Aric, do you want to take that?
Yes. Thank you for these questions. There’s actually two. One relates to creating awareness in retail and the other one is related to packaging. So, let me address the awareness in retail first. We’ve all been witnessed the power of social media and how much pull that can generate.
We’re big fans of that because we can outpunch our weight versus competitors that may have more media dollars. We want to be really smart there. We want to leverage influencers to tell our story in a better way than Kalera can tell its own story.
Secondly, there are four to five activities and without revealing them to our competitors here, four to five activities that’s in our go-to-market playbook that drive awareness and trial as we bring on new retailers. And recently, we have a number to bring on. And these tactics are also designed to increase velocity with existing customers, when we launch new products such as the loose leaf.
The second question related, I believe, to new packaging. Our rebranding effort is just hitting the stores now. It’s a significant improvement over what we have. It has attracted more retail buyers and increased our distribution in the retail channel. And I would also say we are continuing to improve that. We have another initiative that is nearing completion and another wave of packaging improvements that will likely hit the market in November.
Thanks Aric. Moving to the next question. You discussed tapping into markets that will provide a six times increase to current volumes. Can you provide some more detail on that? Where are you seeing those opportunities? And what is the level of investment that might be required to reach that increase in volume?
Yes. Again, Aric, I would ask you to address that question.
Let me ask that question again. So, you discussed tapping into markets that will provide a six times increase to current volumes. Can you provide some more detail on that? What are you seeing — where are you seeing those opportunities? And what is the level of investment that might be required to reach that increase in volume?
Yes. So, a couple of factors going on here. One of them is a product base shift. So, we have a pipeline of new products for both channels, both Foodservice, US Foods is our primary customer as well as loose leaf in other products in the retail. So, driving our current growth with current lines and launching those new lines is what we’ll deliver in that six times increase.
Right. And it appears that we have time for maybe one more question.
Sure. So, let me just look here. It sounds like in the near-term, you’re prioritizing marketing spend over development spend. Is that a fair characterization?
Thank you for that question. I would say in the near term, we are prioritizing, as Jim said, the profitability of our farms. So yes, that means customer development versus capacity development, but that is what our near-term priority is to achieve profitability and cash flow positivity.
Great. Thank you, Aric. And that does conclude our call. But I do want to remind everyone that we will be announcing the date in September, where we will have and what we’re referring to Investor Day. So if there are any additional questions, we’d be more than happy to address them at that time. But of course, feel free to reach out to us to our investor center should you have any questions, we would be able to get back to as soon as we possibly can.
So with that, I’d like to thank all of our shareholders and analysts who are on this call. And specifically, as I mentioned earlier, our both short-term and long-term investors and all the support that you provided for Kalera. But I’d also like to provide a big thank you to the Kalera team for your many achievements for which you should be so very proud. I want you to know that — and I want everyone on this call to realize that this team has built a great foundation upon which we’re growing by providing consistent reliable and predictable earnings while growing a better world. So with that, I hope everyone has a wonderful day. Thank you.