Vital Farms Shares Jump in Debut Trades of Ethical-Food Firm

Shares of Vital Farms, which provides pasture-raised eggs and butter and says it's the No. 2 U.S. egg brand by retail dollar sales, jumped after their IPO.
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Shares of Vital Farms  (VITL) , an ethical-food seller, on Friday jumped in their first day of trading.

The Austin company price 9.3 million shares at $22, above their estimated range of $19 to $21. The stock recently traded at $36.50, up 66%.

Vital Farms bills itself in its prospectus as “the leading U.S. brand of pasture-raised eggs and butter and the second largest U.S. egg brand by retail dollar sales."

The prospectus offers plenty of detail.

“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,” Vital Farms said.

“Our ethics are exemplified by our focus on the humane treatment of farm animals and sustainable farming practices. We believe these standards produce happy hens with varied diets, which produce better eggs.”

Consumers are clamoring “for ethically produced, natural, traceable, clean-label, great-tasting and nutritious foods,” the company said. “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.”

Vital Farms practices “conscious capitalism,” it says. That “prioritizes the long-term benefits of each of our stakeholders (farmers and suppliers, customers and consumers, communities and the environment, crew members and stockholders).”

As for risk factors, “the covid-19 pandemic could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition,” the company said.

In addition, “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.”