10-K 1 frpt20231231_10k.htm FORM 10-K frpt20231231_10k.htm
0001611647 Freshpet INC false --12-31 FY 2023 0.001 0.001 200,000 200,000 48,277 48,263 48,051 48,037 14 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.00 3.00 2 9 4 10 10 3 3 1 4 3 64.05 67.02 155.00 50.4 6.1 1.1 0 0 1 1 1 1 10 1 1 false false false false The carrying amounts presented are net of unamortized debt issuance costs of $9,426 as of December 31, 2023. 00016116472023-01-012023-12-31 iso4217:USD 00016116472023-06-30 xbrli:shares 00016116472024-02-22 thunderdome:item 00016116472023-12-31 00016116472022-12-31 iso4217:USDxbrli:shares 00016116472022-01-012022-12-31 00016116472021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CommonStockMember2020-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2020-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2020-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2020-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:TreasuryStockCommonMember2020-12-31 00016116472020-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CommonStockMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:TreasuryStockCommonMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CommonStockMember2021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:TreasuryStockCommonMember2021-12-31 00016116472021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CommonStockMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:TreasuryStockCommonMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CommonStockMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:TreasuryStockCommonMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CommonStockMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:TreasuryStockCommonMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CommonStockMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:TreasuryStockCommonMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PrivatelyHeldCompanyNotPrimaryBeneficiaryMember2022-12-31 0001611647frpt:March2023NoteMemberfrpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMember2023-12-31 xbrli:pure utr:Y 0001611647frpt:FurnitureAndOfficeEquipmentMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:AutomotiveEquipmentMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:RefrigerationEquipmentMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMembersrt:MinimumMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMembersrt:MaximumMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PlatesAndDiesMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:BuildingAndBuildingImprovementsMembersrt:MinimumMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:BuildingAndBuildingImprovementsMembersrt:MaximumMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember2022-12-31 0001611647frpt:GroceryIncludingOnlineMassAndClubMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:GroceryIncludingOnlineMassAndClubMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647frpt:GroceryIncludingOnlineMassAndClubMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647frpt:PetSpecialtyAndNaturalMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PetSpecialtyAndNaturalMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647frpt:PetSpecialtyAndNaturalMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:ShippingAndHandlingMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:ShippingAndHandlingMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:ShippingAndHandlingMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647frpt:RefrigerationEquipmentMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:LandBuildingsAndImprovementsMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:LandBuildingsAndImprovementsMember2022-12-31 0001611647frpt:FurnitureAndOfficeEquipmentMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:ConstructionInProgressMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:ConstructionInProgressMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfSalesMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfSalesMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfSalesMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMember2021-02-19 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMemberfrpt:DrawTermLoanMember2021-02-19 0001611647us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberfrpt:CreditFacilityMember2021-02-19 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMemberfrpt:DrawTermLoanMember2020-04-17 0001611647us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberfrpt:CreditFacilityMember2020-04-17 0001611647us-gaap:RevolvingCreditFacilityMemberfrpt:CreditFacilityMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMemberfrpt:DrawTermLoanMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMembersrt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:BaseRateMember2020-04-172020-04-17 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMembersrt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:BaseRateMember2020-04-172020-04-17 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMembersrt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMember2020-04-172020-04-17 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMembersrt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:SecuredOvernightFinancingRateSofrOvernightIndexSwapRateMember2020-04-172020-04-17 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMembersrt:MinimumMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMembersrt:MaximumMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMember2022-12-31 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMember2023-03-13 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMember2023-01-012023-03-31 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:March2023NoteMemberfrpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMember2023-03-31 0001611647frpt:March2023NoteMemberfrpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMember2023-01-012023-03-31 00016116472023-03-31 0001611647frpt:March2023NoteMemberfrpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMembersrt:MinimumMember2023-03-31 0001611647frpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMaturingApril12028Member2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:March2023NoteMemberfrpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ReclassifiedFromConstructionInProgressToAssetsPlacedInServiceMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:March2023NoteMemberfrpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMemberfrpt:CappedCallTransactionsMember2023-01-012023-03-31 0001611647frpt:CappedCallTransactionsMember2023-03-152023-03-15 0001611647frpt:CappedCallTransactionsMember2023-03-15 0001611647frpt:CreditFacilityMemberfrpt:CappedCallTransactionsMember2023-12-31 0001611647srt:MinimumMember2023-12-31 0001611647srt:MaximumMember2023-12-31 00016116472023-07-01 0001611647frpt:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentNetMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PhillipsFeedServiceIncDbaPhillipsFeedAndPetSupplyComplaintMember2022-04-082022-04-08 0001611647frpt:PhillipsFeedServiceIncDbaPhillipsFeedAndPetSupplyComplaintMember2022-12-31 00016116472022-07-012022-09-30 00016116472022-09-30 0001611647frpt:CurrentPrepaidExpensesMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:CurrentPrepaidExpensesMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:OtherAssetsMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:OtherAssetsMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SellingGeneralAndAdministrativeExpensesMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SellingGeneralAndAdministrativeExpensesMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SellingGeneralAndAdministrativeExpensesMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMemberfrpt:OmnibusIncentivePlan2014Member2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedPaymentArrangementEmployeeMemberfrpt:OmnibusIncentivePlan2014Member2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedPaymentArrangementEmployeeMemberfrpt:OmnibusIncentivePlan2014Member2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMembersrt:ChiefExecutiveOfficerMember2016-01-012016-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsMembersrt:ChiefExecutiveOfficerMember2016-01-012016-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMembersrt:ChiefExecutiveOfficerMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMembersrt:ChiefExecutiveOfficerMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMembersrt:ChiefExecutiveOfficerMember2020-01-012020-03-31 0001611647srt:ExecutiveVicePresidentMember2020-01-012020-03-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMember2022-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheOneMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheTwoMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:PerformanceSharesMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:PerformanceSharesMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:PerformanceSharesMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsWithProbableVestingCriteriaMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsWithProbableVestingCriteriaMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheOneMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsWithProbableVestingCriteriaMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheTwoMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsWithProbableVestingCriteriaMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheThreeMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsWithProbableVestingCriteriaMemberfrpt:SharebasedPaymentArrangementTrancheFourMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsDeemedNotProbableToVestMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodRestrictedStockUnitsMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodRestrictedStockUnitsMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheOneMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodRestrictedStockUnitsMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheTwoMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodRestrictedStockUnitsMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheThreeMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodRestrictedStockUnitsMemberfrpt:SharebasedPaymentArrangementTrancheFourMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceBasedRestrictedStockUnitsMember2022-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceBasedRestrictedStockUnitsMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceBasedRestrictedStockUnitsMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceBasedRestrictedStockUnitsMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheOneMember2023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceBasedRestrictedStockUnitsMemberus-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheTwoMember2023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMembersrt:MinimumMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647frpt:ServicePeriodStockOptionsMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647frpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647frpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647frpt:ConvertibleSeniorNotesMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647srt:MaximumMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647srt:MaximumMember2022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SalesRevenueNetMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SalesRevenueNetMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SalesRevenueNetMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SalesRevenueNetMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:OneDistributorMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SalesRevenueNetMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:OneDistributorMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SalesRevenueNetMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:OneDistributorMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SalesRevenueNetMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:OneCustomerMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:SalesRevenueNetMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:OneCustomerMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:OneDistributorMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:CustomerMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:CustomerTwoMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:OneDistributorMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:TwoDistributorMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:CustomerMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:CustomerTwoMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:OneDistributorMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:TwoDistributorMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:CustomerMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:CustomerTwoMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfGoodsProductLineMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:RawMaterialsMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfGoodsProductLineMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:RawMaterialsMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfGoodsProductLineMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:RawMaterialsMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfGoodsProductLineMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:PackagingMaterialsMember2023-01-012023-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfGoodsProductLineMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:PackagingMaterialsMember2022-01-012022-12-31 0001611647us-gaap:CostOfGoodsProductLineMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberfrpt:PackagingMaterialsMember2021-01-012021-12-31 0001611647frpt:PerformanceStockOptionsMember2023-01-012023-12-31
 

 



UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549


FORM 10-K


(Mark One)

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                      TO                     

 

Commission File Number 001-36729


fp02.jpg

FRESHPET, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)


Delaware

 

20-1884894

(State of Incorporation)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

400 Plaza Drive, 1st Floor

Secaucus, New Jersey

 

07094

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(Zip Code)

(201) 520-4000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)


Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

Name of exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share

FRPT

NASDAQ Global Market

 

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None


Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

 

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 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C.7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.    Yes      No  ☐

 

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.     

 

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1 (b).     ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes      No  ☒

 

As of June 30, 2023, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates was approximately $3.1 billion.

 

As of February 22, 2024, 48,292,606 shares of common stock of the registrant were outstanding.


Documents Incorporated By Reference

The information required by Part III, Items 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K will be filed (and are hereby incorporated by reference) by an amendment hereto or pursuant to a definitive proxy statement pursuant to Regulation 14A that will contain such information.

 



 

 

 
 

Freshpet, Inc.

Annual Report on Form 10-K

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I

 

Item 1

Business

4

Item 1A

Risk Factors

12

Item 1B

Unresolved Staff Comments

24

Item 1C Cybersecurity 24

Item 2

Properties

25

Item 3

Legal Proceedings

25

Item 4

Mine Safety Disclosures

25

     

PART II

 

Item 5

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

25

Item 6 [Reserved]  

Item 7

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

27

Item 7A

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

40

Item 8

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

41

Item 9

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

67

Item 9A

Controls and Procedures

67

Item 9B

Other Information

68

Item 9C Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections 68
     

PART III

 

Item 10

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

69

Item 11

Executive Compensation

69

Item 12

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Relate Stockholder Matters

69

Item 13

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

69

Item 14

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

69

     

PART IV

 

Item 15

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

70

Item 16 Form 10-K Summary 73

Signatures

 

 

 

2

 

 

Forward-Looking Statements

 

This report contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this report are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements discuss our current expectations and projections relating to our financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” "target," “outlook,” “potential,” “project,” “projection,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “will,” “should,” “can,” “can have,” “likely,” the negatives thereof and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future operating or financial performance or other events. They appear in a number of places throughout this report and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the industry in which we operate. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected, including:

 

  our ability to meet our sustainability targets, goals, and commitments, including due to the impact of climate change;
  changes in global economic and financial market conditions generally, such as inflation and interest rate increases;
  the impact of various worldwide or macroeconomic events, such as the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the current conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip, on the U.S. and global economics, our employees, suppliers, customers and end consumers, which could adversely and materially impact our business, financial condition and results of operations;
 

our ability to successfully implement our growth strategy, including related to implementing our marketing strategy and building capacity to meet demand, such as through the timely expansion of certain of our Freshpet Kitchens (as defined below);

  our ability to successfully implement new processes and systems as we continue to stabilize and improve our ERP;
 

our ability to timely complete the construction at our Freshpet Kitchens Ennis and achieve the anticipated benefits therefrom;

 

the loss of key members of our senior management team;

 

allegations that our products cause injury or illness or fail to comply with government regulations;

 

the loss of a significant customer;

 

the entrance of new competitors into our industry;

 

the effectiveness of our marketing and trade spending programs;

 

our ability to introduce new products and improve existing products;

 

our ability to match our manufacturing capacity with demand;

 

the impact of government regulation, scrutiny, warning and public perception;

 

the effect of false marketing claims;

 

adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, pestilences and other natural conditions affecting our operations;

 

our ability to develop and maintain our brand;

 

the effect of potential price increases and shortages on the inputs, commodities and ingredients that we require, including those effects caused by inflation;

 

our ability to manage our supply chain effectively;

  global or local pandemics, such as COVID-19;
  the failure of our information technology systems to perform adequately, including as a result of any interruptions, intrusions, cyber attacks or physical or electronic security breaches of such systems;
  actions of activist stockholders;
 

volatility in the price of our common stock; and

 

other factors discussed under the headings “Risk Factors,” “Business,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this report.

 

While we believe that our assumptions are reasonable, we caution that it is very difficult to predict the impact of known factors, and it is impossible for us to anticipate all factors that could affect our actual results. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, or cautionary statements, are disclosed under “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this report. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in this report in the context of these risks and uncertainties.

 

3

 

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Overview

 

Freshpet, Inc. (“Freshpet,” the “Company,” "we" or "our") is disrupting the over $52.0 billion United States pet food industry by driving consumers to reassess conventional dog and cat food offerings that have remained essentially unchanged for decades. We position our brand to benefit from mainstream trends of growing pet humanization and consumer focus on health and wellness. We price our products to be accessible to the average consumer, providing us with broad demographic appeal and allowing us to penetrate multiple classes of retail, including grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, natural and digital. We have successfully expanded our network of Freshpet Fridges within leading blue-chip retail chains. The strength of our business model extends to our customers, who we believe find that Freshpet grows their pet category sales, drives higher traffic, increases shopper frequency and delivers category leading margins. As of December 31, 2023, our household penetration within the U.S. was approximately 11.5 million, with a target of 20 million households by 2027. Additionally, we believe that there are opportunities to expand our network into international markets as demonstrated by our recent initiatives in the U.K. market.

 

Our Industry

 

We primarily compete in the United States dog and cat food market. We believe pet food spending in North America will continue to increase at a similar rate as it has in the past. The pet food market has historically been resilient as consumers continue to spend on their pets even during economic downturns.

 

We believe the following trends are driving growth in our industry:

 

Pet ownership.    There are currently approximately 86.9 million pet owning households in the United States, which represents approximately 66% of total households, and over 111.6 million dogs and cats in the United States, according to the American Pet Products Association.

 

Pet humanization.    According to Packaged Facts, 92-96% of U.S. pet owners view their pets as members of the family. As pets are increasingly viewed as companions, friends and family members, pet owners are being transformed into “pet parents” who spare no expense for their loved ones, driving premiumization across pet categories. This trend is reflected in food purchasing decisions. According to an American Pet Products Association's Pulse Study, 48% of pet parents feel they are closer/more bonded with their pet due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that pet owners' closer bond to their pets aligns with recent trends, which the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated. 

 

Increasing consumer focus on health & wellness.    Consumers are increasingly purchasing fresh, natural and organic food products. We believe consumers are seeking simple, fresh and easy to understand food products from brands they trust and made with ingredients that are transparently sourced.

 

The pet food purchasing decision is underpinned by higher brand loyalty than many other consumer packaged goods categories. A consumer selecting a pet food brand resists frequent switching in order to avoid disrupting the pet’s diet, resulting in high repeat purchasing behavior. As a result, we believe that as consumers try fresh, refrigerated pet food, they are likely to become repeat users of the product.

 

Our Opportunity

 

Freshpet has a unique opportunity to capture market share in this large and growing category by mainstreaming fresh food for pets and making fresh food a greater part of dogs' and cats' main meals.  

 

Even though long-term consumer trends of pet humanization and health and wellness are well documented, conventional pet food sold as dry kibble or wet food in cans has not changed substantially for decades. We believe that the pet food industry has not kept pace with how consumers think about food for their families, including their pets. As a result, consumers are searching for higher quality, less processed food for their dogs’ and cats’ meals that measure up to today’s sensibilities of what actually constitutes “good food.” Freshpet was specifically designed to address this growing need with affordable offerings accessible to the average consumer.

 

4

 

Our Mission and Values

 

We started Freshpet with a single-minded mission—to bring the power of real, fresh food to our dogs and cats. And, we are committed to doing so in ways that are good for Pets, People, and Planet.

 

Pets

 

Our pets are members of our family and deserve to eat the kind of fresh, healthy food that we do. Freshpet's carefully selected ingredients and gentle cooking process ensures best-in-class bioavailable nutrition. Hundreds of customer testimonials each year underscore Freshpet's support of a long and healthy life. Further, since founding Freshpet, we have donated over seventeen million fresh meals to pets via shelters, charitable organizations, and humane societies, including St Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, Pennsylvania SPCA and 4 Paws for Ability. 

 

People

 

People include our team members, pet parents, and our partners. We treat our team members with respect and are committed to helping them develop professionally and personally. These efforts have contributed to an employee net promoter score of 8.2. Additionally, we strive to be good partners with customers, distributors, and suppliers by conducting business with honesty and transparency knowing that we cannot grow without their support.

 

Planet

 

We are committed to minimizing our environmental impact while providing the healthiest, tastiest pet food possible. Freshpet Kitchens Bethlehem is a landfill-free facility thanks to state-of-the-art recycling, digesting, and waste-to-energy processes. We support renewable energy by matching the electricity used in Freshpet Kitchens and offices as well as our refrigerators in over 26,000 retail locations with Green-E Certified renewable energy certificates from North American based projects. Freshpet's chiller fleet efficiency continues to improve with our latest units using 91% less electricity than older units. In 2022 we opened our state-of-the-art Kitchens in Ennis, TX. This facility has been designed to be our most sustainable yet, incorporating on-site solar power and battery micro-grid, wastewater recycling, and advanced heating / cooling technology. These efforts are intended to help achieve our environmental goals while reducing the costs of doing business. 2023 saw the introduction of our new Texas distribution center and freight bracket pricing program. These efforts helped minimize the fuel used to ship Freshpet products to our customers resulting in significantly reduced logistics costs and environmental footprints.

 

Our commitment to our values helps us engage with consumers, motivate our team members, and attract strong partners, which allows us to fulfill our mission of delivering the best nutritional product choices to improve the well-being of our pets, enrich pet parents’ lives, and contribute to communities.

 

 

 

5

 

Our Products

 

Freshpet's business operates in a single segment: the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of pet food and pet treats for dogs and cats. Our portfolio of products consists of dog food, cat food, and dog treats. All Freshpet products are made according to our nutritional philosophy of fresh, nutritional ingredients and minimal processing. Our proprietary recipes include real, fresh meat and varying combinations of vitamin-rich vegetables, leafy greens and antioxidant rich fruits, without the use of preservatives or additives. Our unique product attributes appeal to diverse consumer needs across multiple classes of retail where Freshpet is sold. Consequently, our brand resonates across a broad cross-section of pet parent demographics.

 

Our products are sold under the Freshpet brand name, with ingredients, packaging, and labeling customized by different classes of trade and are available in multiple forms.

 

hcfamily2024.jpg
fpsfamily2024.jpg
   
naturefamily2024.jpg
springsprout2024.jpg
   
vitalfamily2024.jpg
delifresh2024.jpg

 

We also offer fresh treats across all classes of retail under the Dognation and Dog Joy labels.

 

dognation.jpg
dogjoy.jpg

 

6

 

Our Product Innovation

 

As the first manufacturer of fresh, refrigerated pet food distributed across North America, product innovation is core to our strategy. We take a fresh approach to pet food and are not constrained by conventional pet food products, attributes, and production capabilities. We employ a tightly-knit, creative team of marketing and research and development professionals, and we consult with outside experts through our Nutrition Council, which consist of PhDs in nutrition and veterinary nutritionists. Our team often identifies pet parents’ needs by evaluating emerging demand trends in both pet food and human food. New products are refined iteratively with the help of consumer panel data to arrive at products that we believe can be commercially successful.

 

The success of our approach is evidenced by our broad product portfolio today. We began Freshpet by producing fresh, refrigerated slice and serve rolls, and over time have steadily expanded into successful new product forms including bags and treats. We also introduced new fresh recipes and ingredients, such as proteins and grain-free options never before seen in pet food that cater to the specific dietary requirements of pets.

 

Our Innovation Center, which is part of our Freshpet Kitchens (collectively, our Freshpet Kitchens Bethlehem, Freshpet Kitchens South and Freshpet Kitchens Ennis), helps us ensure that we remain capable of strong innovation, including creating new product platforms to expand the breadth of our fresh pet food offerings. We expect that new product innovation and the introduction of new cooking techniques will continue to delight our consumers and drive growth going forward.

 

Our Supply Chain

 

Manufacturing: All of our products are manufactured in the United States. We own and operate what we believe to be the first fresh, refrigerated pet food manufacturing network in North America. Our original Freshpet Kitchens Bethlehem, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a 240,000 square foot facility, built to United States Department of Agriculture standards and currently houses six production lines customized to produce fresh, refrigerated food. 

 

In 2020, we began making investments at a manufacturing facility called Freshpet Kitchens South. Freshpet Kitchens South currently has three production lines with the space for additional production lines in the future. 

 

The construction of Freshpet Kitchens Ennis, located in Ennis, Texas, began in 2020. The first production line was commissioned in Q4 of 2022, and two more lines were successfully commissioned in 2023, completing 1 of 3 construction phases for the site. Phase 2 is expected to commence production on its first line at the end of Q3 of 2024, with the balance of Phase 2 and Phase 3 to be completed over the next several years.

 

Due to the continued growth of our fresh pet food sales, we plan to continue expanding our manufacturing capacity via operational efficiency improvements at our current facilities and via future expansion of our physical features.

 

In 2023, approximately 99.1% of our product volume was manufactured with Freshpet owned equipment.

 

Ingredients and Packaging: Our products are made with natural and fresh ingredients including meat, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, vitamins and minerals. We believe in building long-term supplier and farmer partnerships to source healthy and sustainable ingredients. We strive to source raw ingredients within a 300-mile radius of the Freshpet Kitchens. All of our suppliers are well-established companies that have the scale to support our growth. For every ingredient, we either use multiple suppliers or have identified alternative sources of supply that meet our quality and safety standards.

 

Distribution: Outbound transportation from our distribution center ("DC") facilities is managed by third-party refrigerated freight brokers. The service areas for our Pennsylvania and Texas DC locations are in a continual progression towards growing distribution out of Texas to serve the central and western US in tandem with the scale up of the Ennis Kitchen; and the Pennsylvania DC will principally service the eastern US and our international businesses. As volume grows, we will continue to leverage our distribution network to continuously improve customer service levels and decrease certain distribution costs. For certain retailers, we use national and regional distributors.

 

 

7

 

 

Our Product Quality and Safety

 

We go to great lengths to ensure product quality, consistency and safety from ingredient sourcing to finished product. Our Freshpet-owned manufacturing lines allows us to exercise significant control over production. We have a highly skilled Food Safety and Quality Assurance team consisting of quality assurance supervisors, specialists, analysts, and quality technicians with significant experience in pet and human food production.

 

Our production processes are designed to meet science-based quality standards with documented plans for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points and Hazard Analysis Risk Based Preventive Control to monitor established production controls, calibrate instruments, record data and perform corrective actions. Our on-site laboratory has microbial and composition testing capabilities. Quality control approvals are based on a positive release strategy, wherein a batch can only be shipped when it passes control point record reviews and laboratory testing. Before commencing production, quality assurance professionals swab equipment to test for potential contaminants.

 

Freshpet’s food safety program is certified at Safe Quality Food Level III, which is the highest standard determined under the Global Food Safety Initiative Benchmarks. We believe our systems and standards for product quality and safety can support our growth and ensure continued success in the market.

 

Our Customers and Distributors

 

We sell our products throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and generate the vast majority of our sales in the United States. The strength of our business model makes us an attractive partner for leading blue-chip retailers, who we believe find that Freshpet grows the sales of their pet category, drives higher traffic, increases shopper frequency, and delivers category-leading margins. Our Freshpet Fridge locations have been consistently increasing as we add new retail accounts and add stores in existing accounts. As of December 31, 2023, we are in approximately 26,777 stores, with approximately 22% of stores having second and third Freshpet Fridge placements. We sell our products through the following classes of retail: grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, natural, and digital.

 

Our customers determine whether they wish to purchase our products directly from us or through a third-party distributor. In 2023, our largest distributor by net sales, Animal Supply Co., accounted for 9.0% of our net sales and our largest customer, Walmart, accounted for 23.4% of our net sales.

 

 

 

8

 

The Freshpet Fridge

 

We sell our products through a growing network of company-owned branded refrigerators, the Freshpet Fridges. Our Freshpet Fridges are typically four feet wide by seven feet high and replace standard shelving in the pet aisle or an end-cap of a retail store. Our Freshpet Fridge designs are constantly evolving with all new models featuring prominent edge-lit LED headers, LED interior lighting, crisp black interiors and frameless glass swing doors for aesthetics and easy access. We use state-of-the-art refrigeration technology and environmentally friendly refrigerants to minimize energy consumption and environmental impact.

 

We design and produce the Freshpet Fridge through a combination of in-house resources and world-class partners. We source our Freshpet Fridges from leading global commercial refrigerator manufacturers with whom we have a collaborative approach to refrigerator design and innovation. Once ordered by us, Freshpet Fridges are shipped to distribution centers for delivery and installation in retail stores.

 

Installation into retail locations and ongoing maintenance of the Freshpet Fridge is coordinated by Freshpet and executed through leading third-party service providers. All of our Freshpet Fridges are protected by a manufacturer warranty of three years. Our refrigerators are designed to be highly reliable, and at any given time, less than 0.5% of the network is out of service for maintenance. Moreover, to ensure quality, cleanliness and appropriate in-stock levels, we employ brokerage partners to conduct a physical audit of the Freshpet Fridge network on an ongoing basis, with photographic results of our Freshpet Fridges transmitted back to Freshpet for review by members of our sales team.

 

We currently estimate less than 12-month cash-on-cash payback for the average Freshpet Fridge installation, calculated by comparing our total current costs for a refrigerator (including installation) to our current margin on net revenues. We believe our attractive value proposition to retailers and pet parents will allow us to continue penetrating store locations of existing and new customers. The Freshpet Fridge provides a highly-visible merchandising platform, allowing us to control how our brand is presented to consumers at point-of-sale and represents a significant point of differentiation from other pet food competitors. Our total chiller fleet at retailers covers over 1.7 million cubic feet of space.  

 

chiller.jpg

 

 

9

 

Marketing and Advertising

 

Our marketing strategy is designed to educate consumers about the benefits of fresh refrigerated pet food and build awareness of the Freshpet brand. We deploy a broad set of marketing tools across television, digital and public relations to reach consumers through multiple touch points and increase product trials.

 

Our network of fridges at approximately 26,777 retail locations within blue-chip retailers helps to introduce consumers to our brand and instantly distinguish Freshpet from traditionally merchandised pet food. We have effectively used national TV advertising to drive incremental consumers to try Freshpet products. We expect to realize greater benefits from national TV advertising as we continue to grow the network of Freshpet store locations nationwide. We have also expanded our online presence to better target consumers seeking information on healthy pet food. We reach consumers across multiple digital and social media platforms including websites, blogs and online reviews, as well as with tailored messaging on popular digital hubs including Instagram, Facebook, X, TikTok and YouTube. 

 

Our marketing strategy has allowed us to drive new consumers to our brand and develop a highly engaged community of users who actively advocate for Freshpet.

 

Competition

 

Pet food is a highly competitive industry. We compete with some of the largest pet food manufacturers such as Nestlé Purina Pet Care, the J.M. Smucker Company, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Mars Pet Care, General Mills Pet, and Post Consumer Brands. In addition, we compete with many regional niche brands in individual geographic markets, as well as the launch of new direct-to-consumer frozen brands.

 

Given a North American retail landscape dominated by large retailers, with limited shelf space and a significant number of competing products, competitors actively support their brands through marketing, advertising, promotional spending and discounting.

 

Competitive factors in the pet food industry include product quality, ingredients, brand awareness and loyalty, product variety, product packaging and design, reputation, price, advertising, promotion and nutritional claims. We believe that we compete effectively with respect to each of these factors.

 

Team Members & Human Capital Resources

 

At Freshpet we always want to build a fair, healthy and safe workplace, while creating work environment policies that promote diversity, equality and inclusion for our valued employees. We believe that when we create a workplace where our colleagues are engaged, committed and empowered for the long-term, we are better positioned to create value for our company, as well as for our stockholders. We are proud of our focus on promoting employee engagement across our operations - from our supply chain to our products - and are committed to building our business on a foundation of strong ethics. 

 

Attracting and retaining talent at all levels is vital to continuing our success. We promote the work-life balance of our employees, we invest in our employees through high-quality benefits and various health and wellness initiatives, and we have created a healthy work environment in our offices. In order to incentivize and engage our workforce, Freshpet provides:

 

Industry-leading compensation, including stock compensation for every employee Industry-leading healthcare offered equitably for every employee
Annual equity grants and Key Talent awards to employees identified by the Executive Leadership team and the Board Competitive perquisites, including pet insurance, tuition reimbursement, paid parental leave, free healthy snack room and catered lunches
401(k) matching for every employee Rigorous focus on Diversity & Inclusion to create an inclusive culture to attract, engage and retain our diverse talent

 

 

As of December 31, 2023, we had 1,083 employees located primarily in Bethlehem, PA, Ennis, TX, Secaucus, NJ and Europe. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or by any collective bargaining arrangements with respect to his or her employment with us.

 

10

 

Our Corporate Information

 

We were incorporated in Delaware in November 2004 and currently exist as a Delaware corporation. Our principal executive offices are located at 400 Plaza Drive, 1st Floor, Secaucus, New Jersey 07094.

 

Website Information

 

The address of our corporate website is www.freshpet.com. Our annual reports, annual proxy statements and related proxy cards are made available on our website at the same time they are mailed to stockholders, as required by applicable law. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, periodic reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports that we file or furnish pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are available through our website, free of charge, as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been electronically filed or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Our website also provides access to reports filed by our directors, executive officers and certain significant shareholders pursuant to Section 16 of the Exchange Act. In addition, our Corporate Governance Guidelines, General Code of Ethics, Code of Ethics for Executive Officers and Principal Accounting Personnel and charters for the committees of our board of directors are available on our website as well as other shareholder communications. The information contained in or that can be accessed through our website does not constitute a part of, and is not incorporated by reference into, this report. The SEC maintains a website, http://www.sec.gov, which contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information that we file electronically with the SEC.

 

Trademarks and Other Intellectual Property

 

We believe that our rights in our trademarks and service marks are important to our marketing efforts to develop brand recognition and differentiate our brand from our competitors and are a valuable part of our business. We own a number of trademarks and service marks that have been registered, or for which applications are pending, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office including, among others, Freshpet, Vital, Nature’s Fresh, Roasted Meals, Fresh From The Kitchen, Freshpet Dog Joy, Dognation, Homestyle Creations, and Pets People Planet.

 

We believe that our intellectual property has substantial value and has significantly contributed to our success to date. We are continually developing new technology and enhancing proprietary technology related to our pet food, Freshpet Fridges and manufacturing operations.

 

We also rely on unpatented proprietary expertise, recipes and formulations, continuing innovation and other trade secrets to develop and maintain our competitive position.

 

Government Regulation

 

Along with our brokers, distributors, and ingredients and packaging suppliers, we are subject to extensive laws and regulations in the United States by federal, state and local government authorities. In the United States, the federal agencies governing the manufacture, distribution and advertising of our products include, among others, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Under various statutes, these agencies, among other things, prescribe the requirements and establish the standards for quality and safety and regulate our marketing and advertising to consumers. Certain of these agencies, in certain circumstances, must not only approve our products, but also review the manufacturing processes and facilities used to produce these products before they can be marketed in the United States. In addition to agency regulation, we are required to comply with state feed control requirements in the United States. We are also subject to the laws of Canada, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the United Kingdom, including the Food Standards Agency, as well as provincial and local regulations.

 

We are 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 distributors and suppliers, are subject to various laws and regulations relating to environmental protection and worker health and safety matters. We monitor changes in these laws and believe that we are in material compliance with applicable laws.

 

11

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. The following is a discussion of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that we believe are material to our business, which should be considered in conjunction with the other information contained in this report, including our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. While the risks are organized by headers, and each risk is discussed separately, many are interrelated. In any such case, the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, or results of operations. 

 

Risks Related to our Growth Strategy and Need for Capital

 

We may not be able to successfully implement our growth strategy on a timely basis or at all.

 

Our future success depends, in large part, on our ability to implement our growth strategy by attracting new consumers to our brand, expanding distribution through the timely expansion of certain of our Freshpet Kitchens, the installation of new Freshpet Fridges, and launching new products. Our ability to increase awareness, consumer trial and adoption of our products, and to implement this growth strategy depends, among other things, on our ability to:

 

 

implement our marketing strategy;

 

expand and maintain brand loyalty;
 

partner with customers to secure space for our Freshpet Fridges;

 

develop new product lines and extensions;

 

partner with distributors to deliver our products to customers;

 

continue to compete effectively in multiple classes of retail, including grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, natural, and digital; and

 

build capacity to meet demands, including the timely expansion of certain of our Freshpet Kitchens.

 

We may not be able to successfully implement our growth strategy or to grow consistently from period to period. Our business, financial condition and results of operations 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.

 

We expect to need capital in the future for business development, and we may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow or raise capital on acceptable terms to meet our needs.

 

Developing our business has in the past required and will continue in the future to require significant capital. To meet our capital needs, we expect to continue to rely on our cash flow from operations, as well as cash received from our Convertible Notes (as defined below), and other third-party financing. Third-party financing in the future may not, however, be available on terms favorable to us, or at all. Our ability to obtain additional funding will be subject to various factors, including general economic and market conditions, our operating performance, the market’s perception of our growth potential, lender sentiment and our ability to incur additional debt in compliance with our contractual restrictions.

 

Additionally, our ability to make payments on and to refinance any indebtedness and to fund planned expenditures for our growth and operational efficiency plans will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future. If our business does not achieve the levels of profitability or generate the amount of cash that we anticipate or if we expand faster than anticipated, we may need to seek additional debt or equity financing to operate and expand our business. From time to time, we may seek to raise additional capital by accessing the debt and/or equity markets to fund capital expenditures or otherwise. We cannot assure you that our business will generate cash flow from operations in an amount sufficient to enable us to fund our liquidity needs. Further, our capital requirements may vary materially from those currently planned if, for example, our revenues do not reach expected levels, or we have to incur unforeseen capital expenditures and make investments to maintain our competitive position. If this is the case, we may seek alternative financing, such as selling additional debt or equity securities, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to do so on favorable terms, if at all. For additional possible effects of such offerings, see "Future offerings of debt securities, which would rank senior to our common stock upon our bankruptcy or liquidation, and future offerings of equity securities, which may be senior to our common stock for the purposes of dividend and liquidating distributions, may adversely affect the market price of our common stock."

 

12

 

Loss of our key executive officers or personnel, or an inability to attract and retain such management and other personnel, could negatively affect our business. 

 

Our future success depends to a significant degree on the skills, experience and efforts of our key executive officers. The sudden loss of any of these executives' services or our failure to appropriately plan for any expected key executive succession could materially and adversely affect our business and prospects, as we may not be able to find suitable individuals to replace them on a timely basis, if at all. Additionally, we also depend on our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel to efficiently operate and expand our business. If we fail to attract or retain talented new employees, our business and results of operations could be negatively affected. 

 

Risks Related to Competition in Our Industry

 

The pet food product category in which we participate is highly competitive. If we are unable to compete effectively, our results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

The pet food product category in which we participate is highly competitive. There are numerous brands and products that compete for shelf space and sales, with competition based primarily upon brand recognition and loyalty, product packaging, quality and innovation, taste, nutrition, breadth of product line, price and convenience. We compete with a significant number of companies of varying sizes, including divisions or subsidiaries of larger companies. We face strong competition from competitors’ products that are sometimes sold at lower prices. Price gaps between our products and our competitors’ products may result in market share erosion and harm our business. A number of our competitors have broader product lines, substantially greater financial and other resources and/or lower fixed costs than we have. Our competitors may succeed in developing new or enhanced products, including additional fresh, refrigerated pet food, that are more attractive to customers or consumers than our products. These competitors may also prove to be more successful in marketing and selling their products or may be better able to increase prices to reflect cost pressures. We may not be able to compete successfully with these other companies or maintain or grow the distribution of our products. We cannot predict the pricing or promotional activities of our competitors or whether their strategies will negatively affect us. Many of our competitors engage in aggressive pricing and promotional activities. There are competitive pressures and other factors which could cause our products to lose market share or decline in sales or result in significant price or margin erosion, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our operating results depend, in part, on the sufficiency and effectiveness of our marketing and trade spending programs.

 

In general, due to the highly competitive nature of the businesses in which we compete, we must execute effective and efficient marketing investments and trade spending programs with respect to our businesses overall to sustain our competitive position in our markets. Marketing investments may be costly. Additionally, we may, from time to time, change our marketing and trade spending strategies, including the timing, amount or nature of television advertising and related promotional programs. The sufficiency and effectiveness of our marketing and trade spending practices is important to our ability to retain or improve our market share or margins. If our marketing and trade spending programs are not successful or if we fail to implement sufficient and effective marketing and trade spending programs, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. 

 

13

 

Risks Related to our Products and Customers

 

Our business depends on our ability to introduce new products and improve existing products in anticipation of changes in consumer preferences and demographics.

 

Our business is focused on the development, manufacture, marketing and distribution of pet food products. If consumer demand for our products decreased, our business would suffer. Sales of pet food products are subject to evolving consumer preferences, changing demographics and economic pressures. A significant shift in consumer demand away from our products or a decline in pet ownership could reduce our sales or the prestige of our brand, which would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

A key element of our growth strategy depends on our ability to develop and market new products and improvements to our existing 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 and demographics, the technical capability of our product development staff in developing and testing product prototypes, including complying with governmental regulations, and the success of our management and sales team in introducing and marketing new products. Additionally, the development and introduction of new products requires substantial research, development and marketing expenditures, which we may be unable to recoup if the new products do not gain widespread market acceptance. Efforts to accelerate our innovation may exacerbate risks associated with innovation. Failure to develop and market new products that appeal to consumers and meet our objectives could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

If we fail to develop and maintain our brand, or the quality of our products that customers have come to expect, our business could suffer.

 

We believe that developing and maintaining our brand and the quality of our products is critical to our success. The importance of our brand recognition and the quality of our products may become even greater as competitors offer more products similar to ours. Our financial success is directly dependent on consumer perception of our brand and our products. Our brand-building activities involve providing high-quality products, increasing awareness of our brand, creating and maintaining brand loyalty and increasing the availability of our products.

 

The success of our brand may suffer if our marketing plans or product initiatives do not have the desired impact on our brand’s image or its ability to attract customers. Further, our brand value could diminish significantly due to a number of factors, including consumer perception that we have acted in an irresponsible manner, adverse publicity about our products (whether or not valid), our failure to maintain the quality of our products, product contamination, the failure of our products to deliver consistently positive consumer experiences, or the products becoming unavailable to consumers. The growing use of social and digital media by consumers increases the speed and extent that information and opinions can be shared. Negative posts or comments about us or our brands or products on social or digital media could damage our brands and reputation. If we fail to maintain the favorable perception of our brands, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted.

 

The loss of a significant customer, certain actions by a significant customer or financial difficulties of a significant customer could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

A relatively limited number of customers account for a large percentage of our net sales. During 2023, ten customers, who purchase either directly from us or through third-party distributors, collectively accounted for approximately 73.1% of our net sales. This percentage may increase if there is consolidation among retailers or if mass merchandisers grow disproportionately to their competition. We expect that a significant portion of our revenues will continue to be derived from a small number of customers; however, these customers may not continue to purchase our products in the same quantities as they have in the past. Our customers are not contractually obligated to purchase from us. Changes in our customers’ strategies, including a reduction in the number of brands they carry, shipping strategies, a shift of shelf space to or increased emphasis on private label products (including “store brands”), a reduction in shelf space for pet food items or a reduction in the space allocated for our Freshpet Fridges may adversely affect our sales. Requirements that may be imposed on us by our customers, such as sustainability, inventory management or product specification requirements, may have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Additionally, especially during economic downturns, our customers may face financial difficulties, bankruptcy or other business disruptions that may impact their operations and their purchases from us and may affect their ability to pay us for products purchased from us. To the extent customers seek to reduce their usual or customary inventory levels or change their practices regarding purchases in excess of consumer consumption, our sales and results of operations could be adversely impacted in that period. If our sales of products to one or more of our significant customers are reduced, this reduction could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. 

14

 

If we are unable to maintain or increase prices for our products, our results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

We rely in part on price increases to neutralize cost increases and improve the profitability of our business. Our ability to effectively implement price increases or otherwise raise prices for our products can be affected by a number of factors, including competition, our competitors’ pricing and marketing, aggregate industry supply, category limitations, market demand and economic conditions, including inflationary and interest rate pressures. During challenging economic times, our ability to increase the prices of our products may be particularly constrained. Additionally, customers may pressure us to rescind price increases that we have announced or already implemented (either through a change in list price or increased promotional activity). If we are unable to maintain or increase prices for our products (or if we must increase promotional activity), our results of operations could be adversely affected. Furthermore, price increases generally result in volume losses, as consumers purchase fewer units. If such losses (also referred to as the elasticity impact) are greater than expected or if we lose distribution due to a price increase (which may result from a customer response or otherwise), our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

If our products are alleged to cause injury or illness, be mislabeled or misbranded, or fail to comply with governmental regulations, we may suffer adverse public relations, need to recall our products and experience product liability claims.

 

We have in the past and may in the future be exposed to product recalls, including voluntary recalls or withdrawals, and adverse public relations if our products are alleged to cause injury or illness or if we are alleged to have mislabeled or misbranded our products or otherwise violated governmental regulations. We may also voluntarily recall or withdraw products that we consider below our standards, whether for taste, appearance or otherwise, in order to protect our brand reputation. Consumer or customer concerns (whether justified or not) regarding the quality or safety of our products could adversely affect our business. Product recalls or withdrawals can result in substantial and unexpected expenditures, destruction of product inventory, and lost sales due to the unavailability of the product for a period of time, which could reduce profitability and cash flow. In addition, a product recall or withdrawal may require significant management attention. As an example, in June 2022 we initiated a voluntary recall of a single lot of a particular brand due to potential salmonella contamination. Although we received no reports of harm to pets or their owners as a result of this potential contamination, this recall resulted in production delays and significant diversion of management time to identify and remediate the issue. Product recalls, product liability claims (even if unmerited or unsuccessful), or any other events that cause consumers to no longer associate our brands with high quality and safe products may also result in adverse publicity or legal challenges, hurt the value of our brands, lead to a decline in consumer confidence in and demand for our products, and lead to increased scrutiny, fines, or other penalties by federal and state regulatory agencies of our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We also may be subject to product liability claims and adverse public relations if consumption or use of our products is alleged to cause injury or illness. While we carry product liability insurance, our insurance may not be adequate to cover all liabilities we may incur in connection with product liability claims. For example, punitive damages are generally not covered by insurance. In addition, we may not be able to continue to maintain our existing insurance, obtain comparable insurance at a reasonable cost, if at all, or secure additional coverage (which may result in future product liability claims being uninsured). A product liability judgment against us or our agreement to settle a product liability claim could also result in substantial and unexpected expenditures, which would reduce profitability and cash flow. In addition, even if product liability claims against us are not successful or are not fully pursued, these claims could harm our brand image, be costly and time-consuming and may require management to spend time defending the claims rather than operating our business.

 

From time to time we may be subject to claims from competitors or consumers, including consumer class actions, alleging that our product claims are deceptive, such as products being mislabeled or misbranded. For example, we have had legal claims brought against us in California for our use of the word "natural" in describing certain of our products. Regardless of their merit, these claims can require significant time and expense to investigate and defend. Whether or not a false marketing claim is successful, such assertions could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, and the negative publicity surrounding them could harm our reputation and brand image.

 

15

 

Risks Related to our Manufacturing and Supply Chain

 

We may not be able to successfully implement initiatives to improve productivity and streamline operations to control or reduce costs. Failure to implement such initiatives could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

Because our ability to effectively implement price increases for our products can be affected by factors outside of our control, our profitability and growth depend significantly on our efforts to control our operating costs. Because many of our costs, such as energy and logistics costs, packaging costs and ingredient, commodity and raw product costs, are affected by factors outside or substantially outside our control, we generally must seek to control or reduce costs through operating efficiency or other initiatives. If we are not able to identify and complete initiatives designed to control or reduce costs and increase operating efficiency on time or within budget, our results of operations could be adversely impacted. In addition, if the cost savings initiatives we have implemented to date, or any future cost-savings initiatives, do not generate expected cost savings, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

Our manufacturing capacity and expansion plans could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Due to limited manufacturing capacity and our continued growth, the Company recently expanded its manufacturing capacity and may in the future continue expanding its manufacturing capacity via organic growth, operational efficiency increases or other means. See "Item 1. Business" and "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Recent Developments." If our growth exceeds our expectations, we may not be able to increase our own manufacturing capacity to, or obtain contract manufacturing capacity at, a level that meets demand for our products, which could prevent us from meeting increased customer demand and harm our business. If we overestimate our demand and overbuild our capacity, we may have significantly underutilized assets, and we may experience reduced margins. If we do not accurately align our manufacturing capabilities with demand, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The inputs, commodities and ingredients that we require are subject to price increases, inflationary and interest rate pressures, and shortages that could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

The primary inputs, commodities and ingredients that we use include meat, vegetables, fruits, carrageenans, whole grains, vitamins, minerals, packaging and energy (including wind power). Prices for these and other items we use may be volatile, and we may experience shortages in these items due to factors beyond our control, such as commodity market fluctuations, availability of supply, increased demand (whether for the item we require or for other items, which in turn impacts the item we require), weather conditions, natural disasters, the effects of climate change, currency fluctuations, inflationary and/or interest rate pressures, governmental regulations (including import restrictions), agricultural programs or issues, energy programs, geopolitical concerns, including the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, labor strikes and the financial health of our suppliers. Input, commodity and ingredient price increases or shortages may result in higher costs or interrupt our production schedules, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Production delays could lead to reduced sales volumes and profitability, as well as loss of market share. Higher costs could adversely impact our earnings. For example, fuel prices affect our transportation costs for both ingredients and finished product. If we are not able to implement our productivity initiatives or increase our product prices to offset price increases of our inputs, commodities and ingredients, as a result of consumer sensitivity to pricing or otherwise, or if sales volumes decline due to price increases, our results of operations could be adversely affected. Our competitors may be better able than we are to implement productivity initiatives or effect price increases or to otherwise pass along cost increases to their customers. Moreover, if we increase our prices in response to increased costs, we may need to increase marketing spending, including trade promotion spending, in order to retain our market share. Such increased marketing spending may significantly offset the benefits, if any, of any price increase and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

If we do not manage our supply chain effectively, including inventory levels, our business, financial condition and results of operation may be adversely affected.

 

The inability of any supplier, co-packer, third-party distributor or transportation provider to deliver or perform for us in a timely or cost-effective manner could cause our operating costs to increase and our profit margins to decrease. We must continuously monitor our inventory and product mix against forecasted demand or risk having inadequate supplies to meet consumer demand, as well as having too much inventory on hand that may reach its expiration date and become unsaleable. Changes in the availability and cost of freight may affect our supply chain and ultimately the pricing and availability of our products. If we are unable to manage our supply chain effectively and ensure that our products are available to meet consumer demand, our operating costs could increase and our profit margins could decrease.

 

16

 

Adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, pestilences, global or local pandemics, such as COVID-19 and other natural conditions can disrupt our operations, which can adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The ingredients that we use in the production of our products (including, among others, meat, vegetables, fruits, carrageenans, whole grains, vitamins and minerals) are vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, frosts, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and pestilences. Adverse weather conditions may be impacted by climate change and other factors. Adverse weather conditions and natural disasters can reduce crop size and crop quality, which in turn could reduce our supply of ingredients, lower recoveries of usable ingredients, increase the prices of our ingredients, increase our transportation costs or increase our cost of storing ingredients if harvests are accelerated and processing capacity is unavailable. Additionally, the growth of crops, as well as the manufacture and processing of our products, requires significant amounts of water. Drought or other causes of a reduction of water in aquifers may affect availability of water, which in turn may adversely affect our results of operations. Competing manufacturers may be affected differently by weather conditions and natural disasters depending on the location of their supplies or operations. If our supply of ingredients is reduced, we may not be able to find enough supplemental supply sources on favorable terms, if at all, which could impact our ability to supply product to our customers and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Increased costs for ingredients or other inputs could also adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations as described in “—The inputs, commodities and ingredients that we require are subject to price increases and shortages that could adversely affect our results of operations.”

 

Additionally, adverse weather conditions, natural disasters or other natural conditions, including global or local pandemics, such as COVID-19, affecting our operating activities or major facilities could cause an interruption or delay in our production or delivery schedules and loss of inventory and/or data or render us unable to accept and fulfill customer orders in a timely manner, or at all. If our operations are damaged by a fire, flood or other disaster, for example, we may be subject to supply or delivery interruptions, destruction of our facilities and products or other business disruptions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, during Q4 2020, we experienced a delay in our distribution chain due to winter storms in the Northeastern United States, which negatively impacted our results of operations for Q4 2020.

 

If the operating capacity or reputation of our Freshpet Fridges is harmed, our business, financial condition and results of operations may suffer.

 

Our success depends on our network of company-owned branded refrigerators, known as Freshpet Fridges. If the operating capacity of our Freshpet Fridges is harmed by external factors, such as adverse weather or energy supply, or internal factors, such as faulty manufacturing or insufficient maintenance, our products contained in those fridges may be damaged and need to be discarded. In addition, if our Freshpet Fridges fail to operate as intended, for any reason, the reputation of our Freshpet Fridges with customers and the reputation of our brand with consumers may decline. In such event, customers may choose to discontinue, or not to expand, their use of Freshpet Fridges and our products and consumers may choose to forgo purchasing our products. Any such harm to the operating capacity or reputation of our Freshpet Fridges could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

If the ingredients we use in our products are contaminated, alleged to be contaminated or are otherwise rumored to have adverse effects, our results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

We buy our ingredients from third-party suppliers. If these materials are alleged or prove to include contaminants that affect the safety or quality of our products or are otherwise rumored to have adverse effects, for any reason, we may need to find alternate ingredients for our products, delay production of our products, or discard or otherwise dispose of our products, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Additionally, if this occurs after the affected product has been distributed, we may need to withdraw or recall the affected product and we may experience adverse publicity or product liability claims. In either case, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

17

 

Restrictions imposed in reaction to outbreaks of animal diseases could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The cost of the protein-based ingredients we use in our products has been adversely impacted in the past by the publicity surrounding animal diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or “mad cow disease.” As a result of extensive global publicity and trade restrictions imposed to provide safeguards against mad cow disease, the cost of alternative sources of the protein-based ingredients we use in our products has from time to time increased significantly and may increase again in the future if additional cases of mad cow disease are found.

 

If mad cow disease or other animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease or highly pathogenic avian influenza, also known as “bird flu,” impacts the availability of the protein-based ingredients we use in our products, we may be required to locate alternative sources for protein-based ingredients. Those sources may not be available to sustain our sales volumes, may be more costly and may affect the quality and nutritional value of our products. If outbreaks of mad cow disease, foot-and-mouth disease, bird flu or any other animal disease or the regulation or publicity resulting therefrom impacts the cost of the protein-based ingredients we use in our products, or the cost of the alternative protein-based ingredients necessary for our products as compared to our current costs, we may be required to increase the selling price of our products to avoid margin deterioration. However, we may not be able to charge higher prices for our products without negatively impacting future sales volumes.

 

We rely on co-packers to provide our supply of certain products. Any failure by co-packers to fulfill their obligations or any termination or renegotiation of our co-packing agreements could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

We have supply agreements with co-packers that require them to provide us with specific finished products. We rely on co-packers as our sole source for certain products. We also anticipate that we will rely on sole suppliers for future products. The failure for any reason of a co-packer to fulfill its obligations under the applicable agreements with us or the termination or renegotiation of any such co-packing agreement could result in disruptions to our supply of finished goods and have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Additionally, from time to time, a co-packer may experience financial difficulties, bankruptcy or other business disruptions, which could disrupt our supply of finished goods or require that we incur additional expense by providing financial accommodations to the co-packer or taking other steps to seek to minimize or avoid supply disruption, such as establishing a new co-packing arrangement with another provider. During economic downturns, our co-packers may be more susceptible to experiencing such financial difficulties, bankruptcies or other business disruptions. A new co-packing arrangement may not be available on terms as favorable to us as the existing co-packing arrangement, if at all.

 

Failure by our transportation providers to deliver our products on time or at all could result in lost sales.

 

We use third-party transportation providers for our product shipments. We rely on two primary providers for almost all of our shipments. Transportation services include scheduling and coordinating transportation of finished products to our customers, shipment tracking and freight dispatch services. Our use of transportation services for shipments is subject to risks, including increases in fuel prices, which would increase our shipping costs, and employee strikes and inclement weather, which may impact the ability of providers to provide delivery services that adequately meet our shipping needs, including keeping our products adequately refrigerated during shipment. Any such change could cause us to incur costs and expend resources. Moreover, in the future 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 business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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

 

Adverse and uncertain economic conditions may impact distributor, customer, and consumer demand for our products. In addition, our ability to manage normal commercial relationships with our suppliers, contract manufacturers, distributors, customers, consumers, and creditors may suffer. Consumers have access to lower-priced offerings and, during economic downturns, may shift purchases to these lower-priced or other perceived value offerings. Customers may become more conservative in response to these conditions and seek to reduce their inventories. For example, during the economic downturn from 2007 through 2009, customers significantly reduced their inventories. Global or local pandemics, such as COVID-19, could also have adverse impacts on our business operations. Our results of operations depend upon, among other things, our ability to maintain and increase sales volume with our existing customers, to attract new consumers and to provide products that appeal to consumers at prices they are willing and able to pay. Prolonged unfavorable economic conditions may have an adverse effect on our sales and profitability.

 

18

 

Our ability to meet our workforce needs, particularly for staffing our Freshpet Kitchens, is crucial

 

We rely on the existence of an available, qualified workforce to efficiently execute our operations and manufacture our products. Competition for qualified employees or inflationary pressures on employee compensation could require us to pay higher wages to attract and retain a sufficient number of qualified employees. We cannot be certain that we will be able to attract and retain qualified employees to meet current or future operational needs at a reasonable cost, or at all. 

 

Although none of our employees are currently covered under collective bargaining agreements, any disruption in our employee relationships, including hiring and retaining our employees, could adversely affect our ability to attract and retain qualified employees to meet current or future manufacturing needs at a reasonable cost, or at all. 

 

Risks Related to Government Regulation and Legal Proceedings

 

Government regulation, scrutiny, warnings and public perception could increase our costs of production and increase legal and regulatory expenses.

 

Manufacturing, processing, labeling, packaging, storing and distributing pet products are activities subject to extensive federal, state and local regulation, as well as foreign regulation. In the United States, these aspects of our operations are regulated by the FDA, and various state and local public health and agricultural agencies. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 provides direct recall authority to the FDA and includes a number of other provisions designed to enhance food safety, including increased inspections by the FDA of domestic and foreign food facilities and increased review of food products imported into the United States. In addition, many states have adopted the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ model pet food regulations or variations thereof, which generally regulate the information manufacturers provide about pet food. Complying with government regulation can be costly or may otherwise adversely affect our business. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to civil remedies, including fines, injunctions, recalls or seizures, as well as potential criminal sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our business is also affected by import and export controls and similar laws and regulations, both in the United States and elsewhere. Issues such as national security or health and safety, which slow or otherwise restrict imports or exports, could adversely affect our business. In addition, the modification of existing laws or regulations or the introduction of new laws or regulations could require us to make material expenditures or otherwise adversely affect the way that we have historically operated our business.

 

From time to time, we may be subject to litigation, government investigations or governmental proceedings, which may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.

 

From time to time, we have been and may continue to be involved in various legal, regulatory or administrative investigations, negotiations or proceedings arising in the normal course of business. In the event of litigation, government investigations or governmental proceedings, we are subject to the inherent risks and uncertainties that may result if outcomes differ from our expectations. In the event of adverse outcomes in any litigation, investigation or government proceeding, we could be required to pay substantial damages, fines or penalties and cease certain practices or activities, which could materially harm our business. For example, as an employer, we may be subject to various employment-related claims, such as individual or class actions or government enforcement actions relating to alleged employment discrimination, employee classification and related withholding, wage-hour, labor standards or healthcare and benefit issues. Such actions, if successful in whole or in part, may affect our ability to compete or could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

19

 

Risks Related to Intellectual Property

 

If we are not successful in protecting our intellectual property rights, our business, financial conditions and results of operations may be harmed.

 

We rely on trademark, copyright, trade secret, patent and other intellectual property laws, as well as nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements and other methods, to protect our intellectual property rights as well as the intellectual property of third parties with respect to which we are subject to non-use and non-disclosure obligations. We may need to engage in litigation or similar activities to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets or to determine the validity and scope of proprietary rights of others. Any such litigation could require us to expend significant resources and divert the efforts and attention of our management and other personnel from our business operations. The steps we take to prevent misappropriation, infringement or other violation of our intellectual property or the intellectual property of others may not be successful. In addition, effective patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret protection may be unavailable or limited for some of our trademarks and patents in some foreign countries. Failure to protect our intellectual property could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our brand names and trademarks are important to our business, and we have registered or applied to register many of these trademarks. We cannot assure you that our trademark applications will be approved. Third parties may also oppose our trademark applications, or otherwise challenge our use of the trademarks. In the event that our trademarks are successfully challenged, we could be forced to rebrand our products, which could result in the loss of brand recognition and could require us to devote resources to advertising and marketing new brands. Further, we cannot assure you that competitors will not infringe our trademarks, or that we will have adequate resources to enforce our trademarks.

 

We rely on unpatented proprietary know-how in the areas of recipes, ingredients sourcing, cooking techniques, packaging, transportation and delivery. It is possible that others will independently develop the same or similar know-how or otherwise obtain access to our proprietary know-how. To protect our trade secrets and other proprietary know-how, we require employees, consultants, advisors and collaborators to enter into confidentiality agreements. We cannot assure you that these agreements will provide meaningful protection in the event of any unauthorized use, misappropriation or disclosure of our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information. If we are unable to maintain the proprietary nature of our recipes, methods and other know-how, we could be materially adversely affected.

 

Further, to the extent we develop, introduce and acquire products, the risk of such claims may be exacerbated. Any such claims, even those without merit, could (i) require us to expend significant resources, (ii) cause us to cease making or using products that incorporate the challenged intellectual property, (iii) require us to redesign, reengineer or rebrand our products or packaging, including our Freshpet Fridges, (iv) divert management's attention and resources or (v) require us to enter into royalty or licensing agreements in order to obtain the right to use a third-party's intellectual property, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. Any of such events may adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. 

 

Risks Related to our International Operations

 

We may face difficulties as we expand into countries in which we have no prior operating experience.

 

In recent years, we have expanded our global footprint by entering into new markets and may expand into additional markets in the future. For example, we currently do business with four retailers in the United Kingdom, where our products are selling in approximately 544 stores. As we continue to expand our business into new countries, we may encounter regulatory, personnel, technological and other difficulties that increase our expenses or delay our ability to become profitable in such countries. This may have an adverse effect on our business.

 

In addition, our expansion into new countries may require significant resources and the efforts and attention of our management and other personnel, which will divert resources from our existing business operations. As we expand our business globally, our success will depend, in large part, on our ability to anticipate and effectively manage these and other risks associated with our operations outside of the United States and Canada.

 

20

 

Risks Related to Environmental Regulation and Environmental Risks

 

We are subject to environmental regulation and environmental risks, which may adversely affect our business. Climate change or concerns regarding climate change may increase environmental regulation and environmental risks.

 

As a result of our agricultural and food processing operations, we are subject to numerous environmental laws and regulations at the federal, state and local levels. As these laws and regulations become increasingly complex, our compliance costs become increasingly expensive. Changes in environmental conditions may result in existing legislation having a greater impact on us. Additionally, we may be subject to new legislation and regulation in the future. 

 

For example, the long-term effects of global climate change present both physical risks (such as extreme weather conditions or rising sea levels) and transition risks (such as regulatory or technology changes), which are expected to be widespread and unpredictable. These changes could over time affect, for example, the availability and cost of products, commodities, including our ingredients, and energy (including utilities), which in turn may impact our ability to procure goods or services required for the operation of our business at the quantities and levels we require. Regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions and energy inputs may also increase in coming years, which may increase our costs associated with compliance.

 

Additionally, compliance with evolving environmental legislation and regulations, particularly if they are more aggressive than our current sustainability measures used to monitor our emissions and improve our energy efficiency, may increase our costs and adversely affect our results of operations. We cannot predict the extent to which any environmental law or regulation that may be enacted or enforced in the future may affect our operations. The effect of these actions and future actions on the availability and use of pesticides could adversely impact our financial position or results of operations. If the cost of compliance with applicable environmental laws or regulations increases, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted.

 

Risks Related to Information Technology and Cyber Security

 

Our business operations could be disrupted if our information technology systems fail to perform adequately.

 

The efficient operation of our business depends on our information technology systems, some of which are managed by third-party service providers. We rely on our information technology systems to effectively manage our business data, communications, supply chain, order entry and fulfillment, and other business processes. The failure of our information technology systems to perform as we anticipate could disrupt our business and could result in transaction errors, processing inefficiencies, and the loss of sales and customers, impacts to working capital, causing our business and results of operations to suffer. In addition, our information technology systems may be vulnerable to damage or interruption from circumstances beyond our control, including fire, natural disasters, power outages, systems failures, security breaches, physical theft or vandalism, cyber-attacks and viruses. Any such damage or interruption could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We are subject to cyber security risks and may incur increasing costs in an effort to minimize those risks.

 

Our business employs systems and websites that allow for the secure storage and transmission of proprietary or confidential information regarding our customers, employees, suppliers and others, including personal identification information. Security breaches could expose us to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, litigation, and potential liability. We, or third-party service providers on whom we may rely, may not have the resources or technical sophistication to anticipate or prevent rapidly-evolving types of cyber-attacks, including those generated by artificial intelligence. Attacks may be targeted at us, our customers and suppliers, or others who have entrusted us with information. Actual or anticipated attacks may cause us to incur increasing costs, including costs to deploy additional personnel and protection technologies, provide additional training for employees, and engage third-party experts and consultants. In addition, data and security breaches can also occur as a result of non-technical issues, including breach by us or by persons with whom we have commercial relationships that result in the unauthorized release of personal or confidential information. Furthermore, the increased use of smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices, as well as continued work-from-home arrangements for a substantial portion of our corporate employees, may also heighten these and other operational risks. Any compromise or breach of our security could result in a violation of applicable privacy and other laws, including federal and state law, as well as the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), which could result in significant legal and financial exposure, and a loss of confidence in our security measures, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

21

 

Risks Related to our NOLs

 

We may be unable to use some or all of our net operating loss carryforwards, which could adversely affect our financial results.

 

As of December 31, 2023, we had federal net operating loss (“NOLs”) carryforwards of approximately $420.3 million and state NOLs of approximately $312.8 million that we may use to offset against taxable income for U.S. federal and state income tax purposes, respectively. In general, a corporation that undergoes an "ownership change" is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its “pre-ownership change” NOLs to offset future taxable income. In general, under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), an ownership change occurs if the aggregate stock ownership of certain stockholders (generally 5% stockholders, applying certain look-through and aggregation rules) increases by more than 50 percentage points over such stockholders’ lowest percentage ownership during the testing period (generally three years). We have completed several analyses under Section 382 of the Code in the past which concluded that certain annual limitations exist. Purchases or sales of our common stock in amounts greater than specified levels, which are generally beyond our control, could create additional limitations on our ability to utilize our NOLs for tax purposes in the future. Limitations imposed on our ability to utilize NOLs could cause an increase in the amount of our aggregate payments of U.S. federal and state income taxes in future years. In addition, (i) the amount of NOLs generated in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 that we are permitted to deduct in any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2020 is limited to 80% of our taxable income in such year, and (ii) NOLs generated in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020 cannot be carried back to prior taxable years. Furthermore, we may not be able to generate sufficient taxable income to utilize our pre-2018 NOLs before they expire. If any of these events occur, we may not derive some or all of the expected benefits from our NOLs. In addition, NOLs incurred in one state will not be available to offset income earned in a different state. Furthermore, there may be periods during which the use of NOLs is suspended or otherwise limited for state tax purposes, which could accelerate or permanently increase state taxes owed.

 

Risks Related to Interest Rates

 

Changes in interest rates may adversely affect our earnings and cash flows.

 

During periods of rising interest rates, our cost of borrowing could increase, the fair value of our investments could be affected, and it could constrain the purchasing power of our customers.  

 

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

 

Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate significantly and could fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors due to various factors that are beyond our control, resulting in a decline in our stock price.

 

Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate significantly, including because of the risks described in this "Risks Factors" section. Accordingly, results for any one period are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any future period. In the future, operating results may fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors. In that event, the price of our common stock would likely decrease.

 

22

 

The price of our common stock has been and may continue to be volatile and you may lose all or part of your investment.

 

The trading price of our common stock has been, and may continue to be, volatile, and you may not be able to resell your shares at or above the purchase price. Such volatility could be based on various factors relating to our Company and industry, including those described in this “Risks Factors" section.

 

In addition, in recent years the stock market has experienced significant price and volume fluctuations. These fluctuations may be unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market fluctuations may cause declines in the market price of our common stock. The price of our common stock could fluctuate based upon factors that have little or nothing to do with our business, financial condition and results of operations, and those fluctuations could materially reduce our common stock price.

 

As we operate in a single industry, we are especially vulnerable to these factors to the extent that they affect our industry or our products. In the past, securities class action litigation has often been initiated against companies following periods of volatility in their stock price and we have defended against such lawsuits in the past.

 

Future sales of our common stock, or the perception that such sales may occur, could depress our common stock price.

 

As of December 31, 2023, we had 48,263,097 shares of common stock outstanding, and our Certificate of Incorporation authorizes us to issue up to 200 million shares of common stock.

 

In the future, we may issue additional shares of common stock or other securities if we need to raise additional capital. The number of new shares of our common stock issued in connection with raising additional capital could constitute a material portion of the then outstanding shares of our common stock. Any future sales of our common stock, or the perception that such sales may occur, could negatively impact the price of our common stock.

 

Actions of activist stockholders have in the past and could in the future cause us to incur substantial costs, divert management's attention and resources, and have an adverse effect on our business.

 

We have been and may continue to be subject to proposals by stockholders urging us to take certain corporate actions. If activist stockholder activities continue, our business could be adversely affected because responding to proxy contests and reacting to other actions by activist stockholders can be costly and time-consuming, disrupt our operations, and divert the attention of management and our employees. For example, we have been and may continue to be required to retain the services of various professionals to advise us on activist stockholder matters, including legal, financial, and communications advisers, the costs of which may negatively impact our future financial results. This may be exploited by our competitors, cause concern to our current or potential customers, and make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified personnel. In addition, actions of activist shareholders may cause significant fluctuations in our stock price based on temporary or speculative market perceptions or other factors that do not necessarily reflect the underlying fundamentals and prospects of our business. 

 

Future offerings of debt securities, which would rank senior to our common stock upon our bankruptcy or liquidation, and future offerings of equity securities, which may be senior to our common stock for the purposes of dividend and liquidating distributions, may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

 

In the future, we may attempt to increase our capital resources by making offerings of debt securities or additional offerings of equity securities. Upon bankruptcy or liquidation, holders of our debt securities and shares of preferred stock and lenders with respect to other borrowings will receive a distribution of our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. Additional equity offerings may dilute the holdings of our existing stockholders or reduce the market price of our common stock, or both, and may result in future Section 382 limitations that could reduce the rate at which we utilize our NOL carryforwards. Preferred stock, if issued, could have a preference on liquidating distributions or a preference on dividend payments or both that could limit our ability to make a dividend distribution to the holders of our common stock. Our decision to issue securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control. As a result, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings, and purchasers of our common stock in this offering bear the risk of our future offerings reducing the market price of our common stock and diluting their ownership interest in our company.

 

23

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

ITEM 1C. CYBERSECURITY

 

The information technology systems we rely upon to effectively manage our business data, communications, supply chain, order entry and fulfillment, and other business processes are subject to risk from security breaches and other significant disruptions. Such breaches and disruptions may occur through breaches by our personnel or by intrusions over the Internet, malware, computer viruses, attachments to e-mails or by persons with whom we have commercial relationships. While we have not, as of the date of this Form 10-K, experienced a cybersecurity threat or incident that resulted in a material adverse impact to our business or operations, there can be no guarantee that we will not experience such an incident in the future. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors— We are subject to cyber security risks and may incur increasing costs in an effort to minimize those risks".

  

Our information security organization, led by our Chief Information Officer (our "CIO") who reports to our Chief Financial Officer (our "CFO"), is comprised of both I.T. security leadership and dedicated Cybersecurity staff. The information security organization has extensive technology security and program management experience including cybersecurity professional certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional ("CISSP"), advanced degrees in Information Assurance, and numerous years' experience assessing and managing cybersecurity risk within the Department of Defense and other public companies. Our CIO has over 25 years of technology experience, including leading information governance, I.T. security, and cybersecurity teams and initiatives across both publicly traded companies and global organizations. 

 

Our policies, practices, and standards for addressing material risks associated with cybersecurity are integrated into our overall risk management and are based on industry standards including the National Institute of Standards and Technology ("NIST") which aligns the prevention techniques, identification, protection, detection, response, and recovery related to an incident. These controls are tested by our information security organization and by independent third parties. We actively engage with industry groups for awareness of best practices and our third-party provides for industry benchmarking of critical areas within our cybersecurity posture. 

 

Our organization-wide information security program focuses on implementing effective and efficient controls, technologies, and other processes to help protect, identify, assess, manage and mitigate material cybersecurity threats and incidents. These processes include, among other things, regular testing of these controls through table-top exercises, penetration and vulnerability testing, auditing of our information security by an independent third-party auditor, ongoing security awareness training for employees and other educational programs, and continuous monitoring of our cybersecurity posture. We also employ numerous tools including, but not limited to, segregated layers of controls for access to our systems and security tools that help identify, isolate, remediate, and recover from identified vulnerabilities and security incidents in a timely manner. Our cybersecurity posture is managed by both our information security organization and through partnerships with industry recognized cybersecurity firms. 

 

We have also created, and tested through incident response drills, the Freshpet Incident Response Plan and Playbook, which together set forth policy-level directives as well as specific guidelines for implementation, that describe our process for responding in the event of certain defined cyber incidents. These protocols (i) define the roles and responsibilities of participants, relationships to other Company policies and procedures, and reporting requirements needed during an incident, (ii) provide a framework by which our Incident Response Team (IRT) shall determine the scope and risk of an incident, respond appropriately to that incident, and inform the Board and others depending upon the nature and severity of the incident, and (iii) reduce the likelihood of a similar incident from reoccurring following identification of such an incident. 

 

Our CIO and other members of the information security organization routinely engage with our CFO regarding cyber risk management activities and provide updates and data, as needed, to other members of our executive team to facilitate decisions regarding security matters. No less than twice per year, and more frequently as appropriate, our CFO and CIO also provide updates regarding our cybersecurity risk management strategy and related activities to the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors, and provide other information as needed to facilitate the committee's oversight of our cybersecurity risk. 

 

 

24

 

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Our corporate headquarters, located in Secaucus, New Jersey and consisting of approximately 24,000 square feet of office space, is subject to a lease agreement that expires on June 30, 2024.

 

We own the Freshpet Kitchens Bethlehem ("Kitchens 1.0" and "Kitchens 2.0"). Kitchens 1.0 is approximately a 100,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, and Kitchens 2.0 is approximately a 140,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, each located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (together, the "Freshpet Kitchens Bethlehem"). 

 

Additionally we own a second location in Ennis, Texas ("Freshpet Kitchens Ennis"), that will be completed in 3 phases. Phase 1 had one line commissioned during 2022 and the remaining two lines were completed during 2023, subsequent to which, the Freshpet Kitchens Ennis facility represents approximately 400,000 square-foot. The first line in phase 2 is planned to be completed by the third quarter of 2024 with the remaining lines to be completed along with phase 3 over the next several years. At the completion of phase 2 and 3, the Freshpet Kitchens Ennis facility will grow by approximately 300,000 and 325,000 square-foot, respectively. 

 

We believe that our properties have been adequately maintained, are in good condition generally and are suitable and adequate for our business as presently conducted. 

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

We are currently involved in various claims and legal actions that arise in the ordinary course of our business. While the results of such litigation proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty, management believes none of these claims or proceedings are expected to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. See also “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and Note 9 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of certain legal proceedings involving the Company.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not applicable.

 

PART II

 

ITEM 5. Market for registrant’s common equity, related stockholder matters and issueR purchases of equity secuRIties

 

Market Information

 

Shares of our common stock are publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "FRPT".

 

The number of stockholders of record of our common stock as of February 22, 2024 was approximately 425. This number excludes stockholders whose stock is held in nominee or street name by brokers.

 

Dividend Policy

 

Since we became a publicly traded company in 2014, we have not declared or paid, and do not anticipate declaring or paying in the foreseeable future, any cash dividends on our capital stock. Any future determination to declare and pay cash dividends will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors in accordance with applicable laws and will depend on, among other things, our financial condition, results of operations, cash requirements, contractual restrictions and such other factors as our Board of Directors deems relevant. Our ability to pay dividends may also be limited by covenants of any future outstanding indebtedness we or our subsidiaries incur.

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

None.

 

25

 

Stock Performance Graph

 

This performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of Freshpet, Inc. under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or the Exchange Act.

 

The following graph compares our total common stock return with the total return for (i) the NASDAQ Composite Index (the “NASDAQ Composite”) and (ii) the Russell 3000 Index (the “Russell 3000”) for the five-year period ended December 31, 2023. The graph assumes that $100 was invested on December 31, 2019, in each of our common stock, the NASDAQ Composite and the Russell 3000. The comparisons in the table are required by the SEC and are not intended to forecast or be indicative of possible future performance of our common stock.

 

chart2023.jpg

 

Date

 

Freshpet, Inc.

   

NASDAQ Composite

   

Russell 3000

 

31-Dec-19

  $ 100.00     $ 100.00     $ 100.00  

31-Dec-20

  $ 240.29     $ 143.64     $ 118.82  

31-Dec-21

  $ 161.23     $ 174.36     $ 147.35  

31-Dec-22

  $ 89.30     $ 116.65     $ 117.17  

31-Dec-23

  $ 146.83     $ 167.30     $ 145.24  

 

 

26

 

ITEM 6. [RESERVED]

 

ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

The following discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth in “Risk Factors.” The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

 

For more information regarding our consolidated results and liquidity and capital resources for the year ended December 31, 2022 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2021, refer to "Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in the Company's 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which information is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Overview

 

We started Freshpet with a single-minded mission to bring the power of real, fresh food to our dogs and cats. We were inspired by the rapidly growing view among pet owners that their dogs and cats are a part of their family, leading them to demand healthier pet food choices. Since Freshpet's inception in 2006, we have created a comprehensive business model to deliver wholesome pet food that pet parents can trust, and in the process, we believe we have become one of the fastest growing pet food companies in North America. Our business model is difficult for others to replicate, and we see significant opportunity for future growth by leveraging the unique elements of our business, including our brand, product know-how, Freshpet Kitchens, refrigerated distribution, Freshpet Fridge, and culture.

 

Components of our Results of Operations

 

Net Sales

 

Our net sales are derived from the sale of pet food products that are sold to retailers through broker and distributor arrangements. Our products are sold to consumers through a fast-growing network of company-owned branded refrigerators, known as Freshpet Fridges, located in our customers’ stores. We continue to roll out Freshpet Fridges at leading retailers across North America and parts of Europe and have installed Freshpet Fridges in approximately 26,777 retail stores as of December 31, 2023. Our products are sold under the Freshpet brand name with ingredients, packaging and labeling customized by class of retail. Sales are recorded net of discounts, returns and promotional allowances.

 

Our net sales growth is driven by the following key factors:

 

 

Increasing sales velocity from the average Freshpet Fridge due to increasing awareness, trial and adoption of Freshpet products and innovation. Our investments in marketing and advertising help to drive awareness and trial at each point of sale.

 

Increasing penetration of Freshpet Fridge locations in major classes of retail, including Grocery, Mass, Club, Pet Specialty, Natural, and Digital. The impact of new Freshpet Fridge installations on our net sales varies by retail class and depends on numerous factors including store traffic, refrigerator size, placement within the store, and proximity to other stores that carry our products.

 

Consumer trends including growing pet ownership, pet humanization and a focus on health and wellness.

  At times we increase our sales price to offset any adverse movement in input costs.

 

We believe that as a result of the above key factors, we will continue to penetrate the pet food marketplace and increase our share of the pet food category.

 

 

27

 

Gross Profit

 

Our gross profit is net of costs of goods sold, which include the costs of product manufacturing, product ingredients, packaging materials and inbound freight, as well as depreciation and amortization and non-cash share-based compensation.

 

We expect to continue to mitigate any adverse movement in input costs through a combination of cost management and price increases. 

 

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

 

Our selling, general and administrative expenses consist of the following:

 

Outbound freight. We use a third-party logistics provider for outbound freight that ships directly to retailers as well as third-party distributors.

 

Marketing & advertising. Our marketing and advertising expenses primarily consist of national television media, digital marketing, social media and grass roots marketing to drive brand awareness. These expenses may vary from quarter to quarter depending on the timing of our marketing and advertising campaigns. Our Feed the Growth initiative focuses on growing the business through increased marketing investments.

 

Freshpet Fridge operating costs. Freshpet Fridge operating costs consist of repair costs and depreciation. The purchase and installation costs for new Freshpet Fridges are capitalized and depreciated over the estimated useful life. All new refrigerators are covered by a manufacturer warranty for three years. We subsequently incur maintenance and freight costs for repairs and refurbishments handled by third-party service providers.

 

Research & development. Research and development costs consist of expenses to develop and test new products. The costs are expensed as incurred.

 

Brokerage. We use third-party brokers to assist with monitoring our products at the point-of-sale as well as representing us at headquarters for various customers. These brokers visit our retail customers’ store locations to ensure items are appropriately stocked and maintained.

 

Share-based compensation. We account for all share-based compensation payments issued to employees, directors and non-employees using a fair value method. Accordingly, share-based compensation expense is measured based on the estimated fair value of the awards on the grant date using the Black-Scholes Merton option-pricing model. We recognize compensation expense for the portion of the award that is ultimately expected to vest over the period during which the recipient renders the required services to us using the straight-line single option method.

 

Other general & administrative costs. Other general and administrative costs include non-plant personnel salaries and benefits, as well as corporate general & administrative costs.

 

Income Taxes 

 

We had federal net operating loss (“NOL”) carry forwards of approximately $420.3 million as of December 31, 2023, of which, approximately $175.4 million, generated in 2017 and prior, will expire between 2025 and 2037. The NOL generated from 2018 through 2023, of approximately $244.9 million, will have an indefinite carryforward period, but can generally only be used to offset 80% of taxable income in any particular year. We may be subject to certain limitations in our annual utilization of NOL carry forwards to off-set future taxable income pursuant to Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code, which could result in NOLs expiring unused. At December 31, 2023, we had approximately $312.8 million of state NOLs, which expire between 2024 and 2043, and had $20.7 million of foreign NOLs in the United Kingdom which do not expire. At December 31, 2023, we had a full valuation allowance against our net deferred tax assets as the realization of such assets was not considered more likely than not.

 

28

 

Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss

 

   

Twelve Months Ended December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

   

2021

 
   

Amount

   

% of Net Sales

   

Amount

   

% of Net Sales

   

Amount

   

% of Net Sales

 
   

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Net sales

  $ 766,895       100 %   $ 595,344       100 %   $ 425,489       100 %

Cost of goods sold

    516,023       67       409,311       69       263,343       62  

Gross profit

    250,872       33       186,033       31       162,146       38  

Selling, general and administrative expenses

    281,318       37       238,016       40       186,809       44  

Loss from operations

    (30,446 )     (4 )     (51,983 )     (9 )     (24,663 )     (6 )

Interest and other income, net

    13,029       2       1,710       0       13       0  

Interest expense

    (14,097 )     (2 )     (5,208 )     (1 )     (2,882 )     (1 )

Loss before income taxes

    (31,514 )     (4 )     (55,481 )     (10 )     (27,532 )     (6 )

Income tax expense

    210       0       282       0       162       0  

Loss on equity method investment

    1,890       0       3,731       1       2,005       0  

Net loss

  $ (33,614 )     (4 )%   $ (59,494 )     (10 )%   $ (29,699 )     (7 )%

 

Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2023 Compared To Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2022

 

Net Sales

 

The following table sets forth net sales by class of retail: 

 

   

Year Ended December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

 
   

Amount

   

% of Net Sales

   

Store Count

   

Amount

   

% of Net Sales

   

Store Count

 
   

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Grocery, Mass and Club (1)

  $ 685,307       89 %     21,135     $ 524,971       88 %     19,670  

Pet Specialty and Natural (2)

    81,588       11 %     5,642       70,373       12 %     5,611  

Net Sales

  $ 766,895       100 %     26,777     $ 595,344       100 %     25,281  

 

(1)

Stores at December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022 consisted of 14,800 and 13,847 grocery and 6,335 and 5,823 mass and club, respectively.

 

(2)

Stores at December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022 consisted of 5,164 and 5,135 pet specialty and 478 and 476 natural, respectively.

 

Net sales increased $171.6 million, or 28.8%, to $766.9 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 as compared to the prior year. The $171.6 million increase in net sales was driven by growth in the Grocery, Mass, and Club channel of $160.3 million, with the remaining growth in Pet Specialty and Natural. The net sales increase was primarily driven by volume gains of 20%.

 

29

 

Gross Profit

 

Gross profit was $250.9 million, or 32.7% as a percentage of net sales, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, compared to $186.0 million, or 31.2% as a percentage of net sales, in the prior year. The increase in gross profit as a percentage of net sales was primarily due to improved leverage on plant expenses, reduced quality costs, and decreased input cost as a percentage of sales mainly due to an increase in net sales pricing, partially offset by increased depreciation expense associated with the Company's capacity expansion and cost related to the disposal of equipment. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, Adjusted Gross Profit was $306.6 million, or 40.0% as a percentage of net sales, compared to $214.1 million, or 36.0% as a percentage of net sales, in the prior year.

 

See "—Non-GAAP Financial Measures" for how we define Adjusted Gross Profit, a reconciliation of Adjusted Gross Profit to gross profit, the closest comparable U.S. GAAP measure, certain limitations of Non-GAAP measures and why management has included such Non-GAAP measures. 

 

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses ("SG&A") were $281.3 million, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, compared to $238.0 million in the prior year. As a percentage of net sales, SG&A decreased to 36.7% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, compared to 40.0% in the prior year. The decrease of 330 basis points in SG&A as a percentage of net sales was mainly a result of reduced logistics cost as a percentage of net sales, decreased cost related to the ERP implementation, and increased leverage on depreciation and share-based compensation as the business scales, partially offset by activism engagement charges, increased media spend and increased variable compensation accrual. 

 

Adjusted SG&A for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, was $240.1 million, or 31.3% as a percentage of net sales, compared to $195.7 million, or 32.9% as a percentage of net sales, in the prior year. 

 

See “—Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for how we define Adjusted SG&A, a reconciliation of Adjusted SG&A to SG&A, the closest comparable U.S. GAAP measure, certain limitations of Non-GAAP measures and why management has included such Non-GAAP measures.

 

Loss from Operations

 

As a result of the factors discussed above, loss from operations decreased by $21.5 million to a loss from operations of $30.4 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 as compared to a loss from operations of $52.0 million in the prior year.

 

Interest and Other Income, net

 

The Company recorded interest and other income, net of $13.0 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 as a result of interest income generated from cash and short-term investments.

 

Interest Expense

 

Interest expense increased $8.9 million to interest expense of $14.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 as compared to interest expense of $5.2 million for the same period in the prior year. The increase was primarily driven by the termination of our Credit Agreement in the current period resulting in the write-off of unamortized fees of $2.5 million which were recorded to interest expense, $5.2 million increase as a result of interest incurred on our Convertible Notes (as defined below) compared to interest incurred on the Credit Agreement that existed in the prior period, as well as a $1.2 million increase related to the interest on our finance lease liability.

 

Loss on Equity Method Investment

 

Our loss on equity method investment for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 was $1.9 million as compared to a loss on equity method investment of $3.7 million in the prior year from the Company's interest in a privately held company, as discussed in Note 1.

 

Net Loss

 

Net loss decreased $25.9 million to a net loss of $33.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 as compared to a net loss of $59.5 million for the prior year due to contribution from higher sales, increased gross margin and reduced logistics costs as a percentage of net sales, partially offset by increased SG&A including increased media spend of $23.1 million.

 

30

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

Adjusted EBITDA was $66.6 million, or 8.7% as a percentage of net sales (also called Adjusted EBITDA Margin), for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, compared to $20.1 million, or 3.4% as a percentage of net sales, in the prior year. The increase in Adjusted EBITDA was a result of increased Adjusted Gross Profit partially offset by higher Adjusted SG&A expense.

 

See "—Non-GAAP Financial Measures" for how we define Adjusted EBITDA, a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to EBITDA, the closest comparable U.S. GAAP measure, certain limitations of Non-GAAP measures and why management has included such Non-GAAP measures; see the section entitled "Forward-Looking Statements" in this report and the section entitled "Risk Factors" in this report for factors that could cause our results to differ, in some cases materially.

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

 

Freshpet uses the following non-GAAP financial measures in its financial communications. These non-GAAP financial measures should be considered as supplements to the U.S. GAAP reported measures, should not be considered replacements for, or superior to, the U.S. GAAP measures and may not be comparable to similarly named measures used by other companies.

 

 

Adjusted Gross Profit

 

Adjusted Gross Profit as a percentage of net sales (Adjusted Gross Margin)

 

Adjusted SG&A expenses

 

Adjusted SG&A expenses as a percentage of net sales

 

EBITDA

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net sales (Adjusted EBITDA Margin)

 

Such financial measures are not financial measures prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. We define Adjusted Gross Profit as Gross Profit before depreciation expense, non-cash share-based compensation, and loss on disposal of manufacturing equipment. We define Adjusted SG&A as SG&A expenses before depreciation and amortization expense, non-cash share-based compensation, implementation and other costs associated with the implementation of an ERP system, fees related to the Capped Call Transactions, loss on disposal of equipment, and advisory fees related to activism engagement. EBITDA represents net income (loss) plus interest expense net of interest income, income tax expense and depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA plus loss on equity method investment, non-cash share-based compensation, implementation and other costs associated with the implementation of an ERP system, loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment, fees related to the Capped Call Transactions, and advisory fees related to activism engagement. 

 

We believe that each of these non-GAAP financial measures provide additional metrics to evaluate our operations and, when considered with both our U.S. GAAP results and the reconciliation to the closest comparable U.S. GAAP measures, provides a more complete understanding of our business than could be obtained absent this disclosure. We use the non-GAAP financial measures, together with U.S. GAAP financial measures, such as net sales, gross profit margins and cash flow from operations, to assess our historical and prospective operating performance, to provide meaningful comparisons of operating performance across periods, to enhance our understanding of our operating performance and to compare our performance to that of our peers and competitors.

 

Adjusted EBITDA is also an important component of internal budgeting and setting management compensation.

 

The non-GAAP financial measures are presented here because we believe they are useful to investors in assessing the operating performance of our business without the effect of non-cash items, and other items as detailed below. The non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation or as alternatives to net income (loss), income (loss) from operations or any other measure of financial performance calculated and prescribed in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Neither EBITDA nor Adjusted EBITDA should be considered a measure of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. Our non-GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures in other organizations because other organizations may not calculate non-GAAP financial measures in the same manner as we do.

 

 

31

 

Our presentation of the non-GAAP financial measures should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by the expenses that are excluded from that term or by unusual or non-recurring items. We recognize that the non-GAAP financial measures have limitations as analytical financial measures. For example, the non-GAAP financial measures do not reflect:

 

 

our capital expenditures or future requirements for capital expenditures;

 

the interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest expense or principal payments, associated with indebtedness;

 

depreciation and amortization, which are non-cash charges, although the assets being depreciated and amortized will likely have to be replaced in the future, nor any cash requirements for such replacements; and

 

changes in cash requirements for our working capital needs.

 

Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA (i) excludes non-cash share-based compensation expense, which is and will remain a key element of our overall long-term incentive compensation package, and (ii) certain costs essential to our sales growth and strategy. Adjusted EBITDA also excludes certain cash charges resulting from matters we consider not to be indicative of our ongoing operations. Other companies in our industry may calculate the non-GAAP financial measures differently than we do, limiting their usefulness as comparative measures.

 

The following table provides a reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to net loss, the most directly comparable financial measure presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP:

 

   

Twelve Months Ended

 
   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

   

2021

 
   

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Net loss

  $ (33,614 )   $ (59,494 )   $ (29,699 )

Depreciation and amortization

    57,058       34,555       30,468  

Interest expense, net of interest income

    1,069       5,208       2,882  

Income tax expense

    210       282       162  

EBITDA

  $ 24,723     $ (19,449 )   $ 3,813  

Loss on equity method investment

  $ 1,890     $ 3,731     $ 2,005  

Loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment

    4,321       396       1,000  

Non-cash share-based compensation (a)

    24,936       26,092       24,998  

Enterprise Resource Planning (b)

    2,457       8,558       1,379  

Capped Call Transaction fees (c)

    113              

COVID-19 expense (d)

                1,758  

Activism engagement (e)

    8,177              

Organization changes (f)

    (67 )     734        

Adjusted EBITDA

  $ 66,550     $ 20,062     $ 34,953  

Adjusted EBITDA as a % of Net Sales

    8.7 %     3.4 %     8.2 %

 

(a)

Includes the true-up of share-based compensation expense during the period ended December 31, 2023. We have certain outstanding multi-year share-based awards, granted in FY 2020, with performance-based vesting conditions that require the achievement of certain Adjusted EBITDA targets in FY 2024 as a condition to vesting. At each reporting period, we reassess the probability of achieving the performance criteria and the performance period required to meet those targets set in 2020. When such performance conditions are deemed to be improbable of achievement, the compensation cost previously recorded is reversed.

 

(b)

Represents implementation, amortization of deferred implementation costs and other costs associated with the implementation of an ERP system.

 

(c)

Represents fees associated with the Capped Call Transactions.

 

(d)

Represents COVID-19 expenses including (i) costs incurred to protect the health and safety of our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, (ii) temporary increased compensation expense to ensure continued operations during the pandemic, and (iii) costs related to mitigating potential supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.

 

(e)

Represents advisory fees related to activism engagement.

 

(f) Represents a true-up to transition costs related to the organization changes designed to support growth, including several changes in organizational structure designed to enhance capabilities and support long-term growth objectives.

 

32

 

The following table provides a reconciliation of Adjusted Gross Profit to Gross Profit, the most directly comparable financial measure presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP:

 

   

Twelve Months Ended

 
   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

   

2021

 
   

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Gross profit

  $ 250,872     $ 186,033     $ 162,146  

Depreciation expense

    41,209       20,774       16,545  

Non-cash share-based compensation

    10,995       7,293       4,152  

COVID-19 expense (a)

                1,753  

Loss on disposal of manufacturing equipment

    3,547              

Adjusted Gross Profit

  $ 306,623     $ 214,100     $ 184,596  

Adjusted Gross Profit as a % of Net Sales

    40.0 %     36.0 %     43.4 %

 

(a)

Represents COVID-19 expenses including (i) costs incurred to protect the health and safety of our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, (ii) temporary increased compensation expense to ensure continued operations during the pandemic, and (iii) costs related to mitigating potential supply chain disruptions during the pandemic included in cost of goods sold. 

 

The following table provides a reconciliation of Adjusted SG&A expenses to SG&A expenses, the most directly comparable financial measure presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP:

 

   

Twelve Months Ended

 
   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

   

2021

 
   

(Dollars in thousands)

 

SG&A expenses

  $ 281,318     $ 238,016     $ 186,809  

Depreciation and amortization expense

    15,849       13,781       13,923  

Non-cash share-based compensation (a)

    13,941       18,799       20,846  

Loss on disposal of equipment

    774       396       1,000  

Enterprise Resource Planning (b)

    2,457       8,558       1,379  

Capped Call Transactions fees (c)

    113              

Activism engagement (d)

    8,177              

COVID-19 expense (e)

                5  

Organization changes (f)

    (67 )     734        

Adjusted SG&A Expenses

  $ 240,074     $ 195,748     $ 149,656  

Adjusted SG&A Expenses as a % of Net Sales

    31.3 %     32.9 %     35.2 %

 

(a)

Includes the true-up of share-based compensation expense during the period ended December 31, 2023. We have certain outstanding multi-year share-based awards, granted in FY 2020, with performance-based vesting conditions that require the achievement of certain Adjusted EBITDA targets in FY 2024 as a condition to vesting. At each reporting period, we reassess the probability of achieving the performance criteria and the performance period required to meet those targets set in 2020. When such performance conditions are deemed to be improbable of achievement, the compensation cost previously recorded is reversed.

 

(b)

Represents implementation, amortization of deferred implementation costs and other costs associated with the implementation of an ERP system.

 

(c)

Represents fees associated with the Capped Call Transactions.

 

(d)

Represents advisory fees related to activism engagement.

 

(e)

Represents COVID-19 expenses including (i) costs incurred to protect the health and safety of our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, (ii) temporary increased compensation expense to ensure continued operations during the pandemic, and (iii) costs related to mitigating potential supply chain disruptions during the pandemic included in SG&A.

 

(f)

Represents a true-up to transition costs related to the organization changes designed to support growth, including several changes in organizational structure designed to enhance capabilities and support long-term growth objectives.

 

33

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

To meet our capital needs, we issued approximately $402.5 million in convertible notes in March 2023 (the "Convertible Notes"), used $66.2 million of the proceeds to enter into capped call transactions, and used $11.0 million of the proceeds on debt issuance related costs. Further, on March 13, 2023, in connection with the proposed offering of the Convertible Notes, the Company, notified City National Bank of Freshpet's intent to terminate the Credit Agreement, and such termination became effective as of March 15, 2023 (the "Termination Date"). The Company had no borrowings outstanding under the Credit Agreement as of the Termination Date.

 

We expect to make future capital expenditures in connection with the completion of our planned development of Freshpet Kitchens Ennis phase 2 and 3. During fiscal year 2023, we spent approximately $239.1 million of capital to meet our capacity needs as well as recurring capital expenditures. In fiscal year 2024, we expect to spend approximately $210.0 million. 

 

We expect to rely on our current and future cash flow from operations, may issue additional debt, and/or raise capital through our access to capital markets, if appropriate. Our ability to obtain additional funding will be subject to various factors, including general economic and market conditions, our operating performance, the market's perception of our growth potential, lender sentiment and our ability to incur additional debt in compliance with other contractual restrictions.

 

Our ability to make future minimum interest payments on the Convertible Notes, to refinance any indebtedness and to fund any necessary expenditures for our growth will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future. If our business does not achieve the levels of profitability or generate the amount of cash that we anticipate or if we expand faster than anticipated, we may need to seek additional debt or equity financing to operate and expand our business. Future third-party financing may not be available on favorable terms or at all. 

 

Our primary cash needs, in addition to our plant expansions, are for purchasing ingredients, operating expenses, marketing expenses and capital expenditures to procure Freshpet Fridges. We believe that cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, expected cash flow from operations, amounts previously raised through the issuance of the Convertible Notes and our ability to access the capital markets, if appropriate, are adequate to fund our debt requirements, operating and finance lease obligations, capital expenditures and working capital obligations for the foreseeable future. We believe our sources of liquidity and capital will be sufficient to finance our continued operations, growth strategy and additional expenses we expect to incur for at least the next twelve months. However, our ability to continue to meet these requirements and obligations will depend on, among other things, our ability to achieve anticipated levels of revenue and cash flow from operations and our ability to manage costs and working capital successfully. Additionally, our cash flow generation ability is subject to general economic factors, including but not limited to increasing interest rates and inflation, financial, competitive, legislative and regulatory factors and other factors that are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that our business will generate cash flow from operations in an amount sufficient to enable us to fund our liquidity needs. Expanding certain of our Freshpet Kitchens primarily comprises our material future cash requirement. However, our capital requirements, including our cash requirements, may vary materially from those currently planned if, for example, our revenues do not reach expected levels, or we have to incur unforeseen capital expenditures and make investments to maintain our competitive position. If this is the case, we may seek alternative financing, such as selling additional debt or equity securities, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to do so on favorable terms, if at all. Moreover, if we issue new debt securities, the debt holders would have rights senior to common stockholders to make claims on our assets, and the terms of any debt could restrict our operations, including our ability to pay dividends on our common stock. If we issue additional equity or if the Convertible Notes are converted to common shares, existing stockholders may experience dilution, and such new securities could have rights senior to those of our common stock. These factors may make the timing, amount, terms and conditions of additional financing unattractive. Our inability to raise capital could impede our growth or otherwise require us to forego growth opportunities and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. 

 

34

 

The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, our working capital:

 

   

December 31,

   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

 
   

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 296,871     $ 132,735  

Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts

    56,754       57,572  

Inventories, net

    63,238       58,290  

Prepaid expenses

    7,615       9,778  

Other current assets

    2,841       3,590  

Accounts payable

    (36,096 )     (55,088 )

Accrued expenses

    (49,816 )     (33,016 )

Current operating lease liabilities

    (1,312 )     (1,510 )

Current finance lease liabilities

    (1,998 )     -  

Total Working Capital

  $ 338,097     $ 172,351  

 

Working capital consists of current assets net of current liabilities. Working capital increased $165.7 million to $338.1 million at December 31, 2023 compared with working capital of $172.4 million at December 31, 2022. The increase was primarily a result of an increase of $164.1 million in cash and cash equivalents primarily resulting from the sale of the Convertible Notes as we fund our capital expansion plan, an increase in inventory of $4.9 million, a decrease in accounts payable of $19.0 million as a result of timing and capital expenditures of approximately $15.5 million related to our capital expansion plan and a decrease in current operating lease liabilities of $0.2 million. The increase was partially offset by a decrease in accounts receivable of $0.8 million, a decrease in prepaid expenses of $2.2 million, a decrease in other current assets of $0.7 million, an increase in accrued expenses of $16.8 million due to timing and capital expenditures of approximately $3.8 million related to our capital expansion plan, and an increase in current finance lease liabilities of $2.0 million.

 

We normally carry three to four weeks of finished goods inventory and less than 30 days of accounts receivable.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2023 our capital resources consisted primarily of $296.9 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, our capital resources consisted primarily of $132.7 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand, $270.0 million available under our $350.0 million credit facilities, subject to debt covenants. Our credit facilities reflected $2.0 million reserved for two letters of credit and the remaining availability after the 2022 borrowing activity of $78.0 million under the Delayed Draw Facility.

 

We expect to fund our ongoing operations and obligations with cash and cash equivalents, and cash flow from operations. 

 

35

 

The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, our beginning balance of cash, net cash flows provided by operating, investing and financing activities and our ending balance of cash.

 

   

Year Ended

 
   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

 
   

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Cash at the beginning of period

  $ 132,735     $ 72,788  

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

    75,940       (43,227 )

Net cash used in investing activities

    (239,093 )     (233,364 )

Net cash provided by financing activities

    327,289       336,538  

Cash at the end of period

  $ 296,871     $ 132,735  

 

Net Cash Provided by (Used In) Operating Activities

 

Cash provided by (used in) operating activities consists primarily of net loss adjusted for certain non-cash items (i.e., provision for (gains) loss on receivable, loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment, share-based compensation, change in reserve for inventory obsolescence, depreciation and amortization, write-off and amortization of deferred financing costs and loan discount, change in operating lease right of use asset and loss on equity method investment).

 

2023

 

Net cash provided by operating activities of $75.9 million in 2023 was primarily attributed to:

 

 

$61.7 million of net income adjusted for reconciling non-cash items, which excludes $95.3 million of non-cash items primarily related to $4.3 million of loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment, $24.9 million of share-based compensation including amortization of warrants, $58.5 million of depreciation and amortization, $4.1 million of write-off and amortization of deferred financing costs and loan discount, $1.5 million of change in operating lease right of use asset and $1.9 million of loss on equity method investment.

 

 

$14.3 million increase due to changes in operating assets and liabilities. The increase was primarily due to the change in accounts receivable, accounts payable and accrued expenses, primarily offset by the change in inventories, prepaid expenses and other current assets, other assets and operating lease liability.

 

2022

 

Net cash used in operating activities of $43.2 million in 2022 was primarily attributed to:

 

 

$10.9 million of net income adjusted for reconciling non-cash items, which excludes $70.4 million of non-cash items primarily related to $34.6 million in depreciation and amortization, $26.1 million in share-based compensation, $3.7 million of investments in equity method investment, $3.5 million in inventory obsolescence, $1.4 million of change in operating lease right of use asset, $0.8 million of amortization of deferred financing costs and $0.4 million in loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment.

 

This was offset by:

 

 

$54.1 million decrease due to changes in operating assets and liabilities. The decrease was primarily due to the change in accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable, other assets, other lease liabilities and prepaid expenses, offset by change in accrued expenses.

 

36

 

Net Cash Used in Investing Activities

 

2023

 

Net cash used in investing activities of $239.1 million in 2023 was primarily attributed to:

 

 

$5.3 million in capital expenditures related to Freshpet Kitchens South expansion.  

  $183.5 million in capital expenditures related to Freshpet Kitchens Ennis expansion.
  $39.3 million in capital expenditures related to investment in fridges and other capital spend.
  $11.0 million in plant recurring capital expenditures.  
  $113.4 million purchase of short-term investments.

 

This was partially offset by:

 

 

$113.4 million of proceeds from maturities of short-term investments.

 

2022

 

Net cash used in investing activities of $233.4 million in 2022 was primarily attributed to:

 

 

$28.4 million in capital expenditures related to Freshpet Kitchens South expansion.

  $165.1 million in capital expenditures related to Freshpet Kitchens Ennis expansion.
  $27.4 million in capital expenditures related to investment in fridges and other capital spend.
  $9.2 million in plant recurring capital expenditures.
  $19.8 million purchase of short-term investments.
  $3.3 million investment in equity method investment.

 

This was partially offset by:

 

 

$19.8 million of proceeds from maturities of short-term investments.

 

Net Cash Provided by Financing Activities

 

2023

 

Net cash provided by financing activities of $327.3 million in 2023 was primarily attributed to:

 

  $393.5 million net proceeds from Convertible Notes. 
  $4.5 million cash proceeds from the exercise of stock options.

 

This was partially offset by:

 

$66.2 million for the purchase of capped call options.

 

$2.0 million for debt issuance costs.

  $1.4 million for tax withholdings related to net share settlements of restricted stock units.
  $1.1 million for principal payments under finance lease obligations. 

 

2022

 

Net cash provided by financing activities of $336.5 million in 2022 was primarily attributed to:

 

 

$337.5 million of proceeds from common shares issued in a primary offering, net of issuance cost.

 

$78.0 million of proceeds from borrowings under Credit Facility.

  $0.5 million of proceeds from the exercise of stock options.

 

This was partially offset by:

 

 

$78.0 million for repayment of borrowings under Credit Facility. 

  $1.4 million for tax withholdings related to net share settlements of restricted stock units.

 

37

 

Indebtedness

 

For a discussion of our material indebtedness, see Note 6 and 7 to our Consolidated Financial Statements included in this report.

 

Critical Accounting Estimates and Policies

 

Our management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is based on our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or ("U.S. GAAP"). The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, as well as the revenue and expenses incurred during the reported periods. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and judgments, including those related to accrued expenses and share-based compensation. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other factors that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not apparent from other sources. Changes in estimates and policies are reflected in reported results for the period in which they become known. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

 

While our significant accounting estimates and policies are described in the notes to our financial statements appearing in this report, we believe that the following critical accounting estimates and policies are most important to understanding and evaluating our reported financial results.

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of net sales and expenses during the reporting period.

 

We believe that the accounting estimates policies discussed below are critical to understanding our historical and future performance, as these policies related to the more significant areas involving management’s judgments and estimates. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results, as determined at a later date, could differ from those estimates. To the extent that there are differences between our estimate and the actual results, our future financial statement presentation, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows will be affected.

 

 

38

The following critical accounting policies reflect significant judgments and estimates used in preparation of our consolidated financial statements:

 

Revenue Recognition and Incentives—Revenue is reported net of applicable trade incentives and allowances.  Amounts billed and due from our customers are classified as receivables and require payment on a short-term basis. The Company applies judgment in the determination of the amount of consideration the Company receives from its customers. Revenue is measured as the amount of consideration the Company expects to receive in exchange for transferring goods. Revenue the Company recognizes varies with changes in trade incentives the Company offers to its customers and their consumers. Trade incentives consist primarily of customer pricing allowances and merchandising funds, and consumer coupons are offered through various programs to customers and consumers. Estimates of trade promotion expense and coupon redemption costs are based upon programs offered, timing of those offers, estimated redemption/usage rates from historical performance, management’s experience and current economic trends. 

 

Share-based Compensation—We account for all share-based compensation payments issued to employees, directors and nonemployees using a fair value method. Accordingly, share-based compensation expense is measured based on the estimated fair value of the awards on the date of grant. We recognize compensation expense for the portion of the award that is ultimately expected to vest over the period during which the recipient renders the required services to us using the straight-line single option method.

 

We have outstanding share-based awards that have performance-based vesting conditions in addition to time-based vesting. Awards with performance-based vesting conditions require the achievement of certain financial criteria as a condition to the vesting. For certain performance-based awards, the quantity of awards received can range based on the level of performance achieved. The performance-based awards with financial criteria either have a Net Sales and/or Adjusted EBITDA target from FY 2023 through FY 2026. We recognize the estimated fair value of performance-based awards as share-based compensation expense over the performance period based upon our determination of whether it is probable that the performance targets will be achieved. At each reporting period, we reassess the probability of achieving the performance criteria and the performance period required to meet those targets. Determining whether the performance criteria will be achieved involves judgment, and the share-based compensation expense may be revised periodically based on changes in the probability of achieving the performance criteria. Revisions are reflected in the period in which the probability assessment is changed. If performance goals are not met, no share-based compensation expense is recognized for the cancelled shares, and, to the extent share-based compensation expense was previously recognized for those cancelled shares, such share-based compensation expense is reversed.

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

For a discussion of recent accounting pronouncements, see Note 1 (Summary of Significant Accounting Policies) to our audited consolidated financial statements included in this report.

 

Segment

 

We have determined we operate in one segment: the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of pet food and pet treats for dogs and cats.

 

39

 

ITEM 7a. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISKS

 

Interest Rate Risk

 

During periods of rising interest rates, our cost of borrowing could increase, the fair value of our investments could be affected, and it could constrain the purchasing power of our customers.

 

Commodity Price and Inflation Risk

 

We purchase certain products and services that are affected by commodity prices and are, therefore, subject to price volatility caused by weather, market conditions and other factors which are not considered predictable or within our control. In many cases, we believe we will be able to address material commodity cost increases by either increasing prices or reducing operating expenses. However, increases in commodity prices, without adjustments to pricing or reduction to operating expenses, could increase our operating costs as a percentage of our net sales.

 

Inflation

 

Our profitability is dependent, among other things, on our ability to anticipate and react to changes in the costs of key operating resources, including food and other raw materials, labor, energy and other supplies and services. Substantial increases in costs and expenses could impact our operating results to the extent that such increases cannot be passed along to our customers. 

 

While generally we have been able to offset inflation and other changes in the costs of key operating resources through price increases, productivity improvements and greater economies of scale, our price increases are not always implemented immediately, which can cause us to temporarily absorb increased cost. Further, there can be no assurance that we will be able to continue to effectively implement such offsets in the future. From time to time, competitive conditions could limit our pricing flexibility. In addition, macroeconomic conditions could make additional price increases imprudent. There can be no assurance that all future cost increases can be offset by increased prices or that increased prices will be fully absorbed without any resulting changes in product purchasing patterns.

 

Foreign Exchange Rates

 

Fluctuations in the currencies of countries where the Company operates outside the U.S. may impact our financial results. The Company is exposed to movements in the British pound sterling and Euro. The Statements of Financial Position of non-U.S. business units are translated into U.S. dollars using period-end exchange rates for assets and liabilities and weighted-average exchange rates for revenues and expenses. The percentage of our consolidated revenue for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 recognized in Europe was approximately 1%.

 

The Company may, from time to time, enter into forward exchange contracts to reduce the Company's exposure to foreign currency fluctuations of certain assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies. Historically, the foreign currency forward contracts have not been designated as hedges and, accordingly, any changes in their fair value are recognized on the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss in Interest and Other Income, net, and carried at their fair value in the Consolidated Balance Sheet with gains reported in prepaid expenses and other current assets and losses reported in accrued expenses. As of December 31, 2023, there were no forward contracts outstanding. 

 

40

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

FRESHPET, INC.

INDEX TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

 

Page

   

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

47

   

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2023 and 2022

44

   

Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021

45

   

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021

46

   

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021

47

   

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

48

 

41

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

To the Stockholders and Board of Directors
Freshpet, Inc.:

 

Opinions on the Consolidated Financial Statements and Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Freshpet, Inc. and subsidiaries (the Company) as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, the related consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss, changes in stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2023, and the related notes (collectively, the consolidated financial statements). We also have audited the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.

 

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2023, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023 based on criteria established in Internal Control Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.

 

Basis for Opinions

 

The Company’s management is responsible for these consolidated financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Management's Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud, and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.

 

Our audits of the consolidated financial statements included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

 

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

 

42

 

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

 

Critical Audit Matter

 

The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the consolidated financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the consolidated financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of a critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

 

Assessment of the probability of achieving the vesting performance criteria of share-based awards

 

As discussed in Notes 1 and 11 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company recognizes share-based compensation based on the value of the number of share-based payment awards that are ultimately expected to vest during the period. Share-based awards with performance-based vesting conditions require the achievement of certain financial criteria as a condition to vesting. For certain performance-based awards, the quantity of awards received can range based on the level of performance achieved. The performance-based awards with financial criteria have 1) an annual revenue target or 2) an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization target within fiscal years 2023 through 2026. At each reporting period, the Company reassesses the probability of achieving the performance criteria required to meet those vesting targets. When achievement of the vesting criteria is considered probable, compensation cost is recognized. As of December 31, 2023, there were 423,000 unvested performance-based options outstanding that were deemed not probable, with an aggregate fair value of $31.0 million.

 

We identified the assessment of the probability of achieving the vesting performance criteria of share-based awards as a critical audit matter. Evaluating the assumptions related to the Company’s determination of the probability that the performance criteria will be achieved for the share-based awards involved subjective auditor judgment. In particular, judgment was required to assess the probability of meeting the Company’s future performance targets, including forecasted revenue.

 

The following are the primary procedures we performed to address this critical audit matter. We evaluated the design and tested the operating effectiveness of certain internal controls over the Company’s share-based compensation process, including a control related to the Company’s assessment of assumptions that were used in the determination that a performance criteria was probable of achievement. To assess the Company’s ability to accurately forecast revenue, we compared the Company’s historical revenue forecasts to actual results. We compared forecasted revenue to those in communications to the Board of Directors, press releases and analyst reports. We evaluated the timing of the Company’s expansion projects by comparing the progress of the Company’s plans to construction milestones achieved.

 

/s/ KPMG LLP

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2012.

 

Short Hills, New Jersey
February 26, 2024

 

43

  

 

FRESHPET, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(in thousands, except per share data)

  

December 31,

  

December 31,

 
  

2023

  

2022

 

ASSETS

        

CURRENT ASSETS:

        

Cash and cash equivalents

 $296,871  $132,735 

Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts

  56,754   57,572 

Inventories, net

  63,238   58,290 

Prepaid expenses

  7,615   9,778 

Other current assets

  2,841   3,590 

Total Current Assets

  427,319   261,965 

Property, plant and equipment, net

  979,164   800,586 

Deposits on equipment

  1,895   3,823 

Operating lease right of use assets

  3,616   5,165 

Equity method investment

     25,418 

Long term investment in equity securities

  23,528    

Other assets

  28,899   28,426 

Total Assets

 $1,464,421  $1,125,383 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

        

CURRENT LIABILITIES:

        

Accounts payable

 $36,096  $55,088 

Accrued expenses

  49,816   33,016 

Current operating lease liabilities

  1,312   1,510 

Current finance lease liabilities

  1,998    

Total Current Liabilities

 $89,222  $89,614 

Convertible senior notes

  393,074    

Long term operating lease liabilities

  2,591   4,200 

Long term finance lease liabilities

  26,080    

Total Liabilities

 $510,967  $93,814 

Commitments and contingencies

      

STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:

          

Common stock — voting, $0.001 par value, 200,000 shares authorized, 48,277 issued and 48,263 outstanding on December 31, 2023, and 48,051 issued and 48,037 outstanding on December 31, 2022

  48   48 

Additional paid-in capital

  1,282,984   1,325,524 

Accumulated deficit

  (328,731)  (295,117)

Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income

  (591)  1,370 

Treasury stock, at cost — 14 shares on December 31, 2023 and on December 31, 2022

  (256)  (256)

Total Stockholders' Equity

  953,454   1,031,569 

Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity

 $1,464,421  $1,125,383 

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

44

 

 

FRESHPET, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE LOSS

(in thousands, except per share data)

   

For the Year Ended

 
   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

   

2021

 

NET SALES

  $ 766,895     $ 595,344     $ 425,489  

COST OF GOODS SOLD

    516,023       409,311       263,343  

GROSS PROFIT

    250,872       186,033       162,146  

SELLING, GENERAL, AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES

    281,318       238,016       186,809  

LOSS FROM OPERATIONS

    (30,446 )     (51,983 )     (24,663 )

OTHER EXPENSES:

                       

Interest and Other Income, net

    13,029       1,710       13  

Interest Expense

    (14,097 )     (5,208 )     (2,882 )
      (1,068 )     (3,498 )     (2,869 )

LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES

    (31,514 )     (55,481 )     (27,532 )

INCOME TAX EXPENSE

    210       282       162  

LOSS ON EQUITY METHOD INVESTMENT

    1,890       3,731       2,005  

LOSS ATTRIBUTABLE TO COMMON STOCKHOLDERS

  $ (33,614 )   $ (59,494 )   $ (29,699 )

OTHER COMPREHENSIVE (LOSS) INCOME:

                       

Change in foreign currency translation

  $ (1,961 )   $ 1,490     $ (40 )

TOTAL OTHER COMPREHENSIVE (LOSS) INCOME

    (1,961 )     1,490       (40 )

TOTAL COMPREHENSIVE LOSS

  $ (35,575 )   $ (58,004 )   $ (29,740 )

NET LOSS PER SHARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO COMMON STOCKHOLDERS

                       

-BASIC

  $ (0.70 )   $ (1.29 )   $ (0.69 )

-DILUTED

  $ (0.70 )   $ (1.29 )   $ (0.69 )

WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES OF COMMON STOCK OUTSTANDING

                       

-BASIC

    48,163       46,191       42,931  

-DILUTED

    48,163       46,191       42,931  

 

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

45

 

 

FRESHPET, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

(in thousands)

                                             
   

Common Shares

   

Common Stock

   

Additional Paid-in Capital

   

Accumulated Deficit

   

Accumulated Other Comprehensive (Loss)

   

Treasury Shares

   

Treasury Stock

   

Total Stockholders' Equity

 

BALANCES, December 31, 2020

    40,732     $ 40     $ 600,388     $ (205,924 )   $ (80 )     14     $ (256 )   $ 394,169  

Exercise of options to purchase common stock

    224             2,271                               2,271  

Vesting of restricted stock units

    78             (4,187 )                             (4,187 )

Share-based compensation expense

                25,068                               25,068  

Shares issued in primary offering, net of issuance costs

    2,415       2       332,170                               332,172  

Foreign Currency Translation

                            (40 )                 (40 )

Net loss

                      (29,699 )                       (29,699 )

BALANCES, December 31, 2021

    43,449     $ 43     $ 955,710     $ (235,623 )   $ (120 )     14     $ (256 )   $ 719,754  

Exercise of options to purchase common stock

    45             471                               471  

Vesting of restricted stock units

    43       1       (1,441 )                             (1,440 )

Share-based compensation expense

                23,505                               23,505  

Issuance and exercise of partner warrants

    194             9,775                               9,775  

Shares issued in primary offering, net of issuance costs

    4,320       4       337,504                               337,508  

Foreign Currency Translation

                            1,490                   1,490  

Net loss

                      (59,494 )                       (59,494 )

BALANCES, December 31, 2022

    48,051     $ 48     $ 1,325,524     $ (295,117 )   $ 1,370       14     $ (256 )   $ 1,031,569  

Exercise of options to purchase common stock

    160             4,517                               4,517  

Vesting of restricted stock units

    66             (1,400 )                             (1,400 )

Share-based compensation expense

                20,554                               20,554  

Purchase of capped call options

                (66,211 )                             (66,211 )

Foreign currency translation

                            (1,961 )                 (1,961 )

Net loss

                      (33,614 )                       (33,614 )

BALANCES, December 31, 2023

    48,277       48     $ 1,282,984     $ (328,731 )   $ (591 )     14     $ (256 )   $ 953,454  

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements. 

 

46

 

 

FRESHPET, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

(in thousands)

   

For the Year Ended

 
   

December 31,

 
   

2023

   

2022

   

2021

 

CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:

                       

Net loss

  $ (33,614 )   $ (59,494 )   $ (29,699 )

Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash flows provided by (used in) operating activities:

                       

Provision for (gains) loss on accounts receivable

    (2 )     (20 )     29  

Loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment

    4,321       396       538  

Share-based compensation

    24,935       26,092       24,998  

Inventory obsolescence

    -       3,455       349  

Depreciation and amortization

    58,517       34,555       30,468  

Write-off and amortization of deferred financing costs and loan discount

    4,060       795       1,212  

Change in operating lease right of use asset

    1,549       1,372       1,329  

Loss on equity method investment

    1,890       3,731       2,005  

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

                       

Accounts receivable

    820       (32,993 )     (16,371 )

Inventories

    (1,207 )     (26,171 )     (16,804 )

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

    (2,249 )     (435 )     (2,891 )

Other assets

    (4,053 )     (3,141 )     (7,899 )

Accounts payable

    3,543       (3,063 )     14,958  

Accrued expenses

    19,237       13,078       (273 )

Operating lease liability

    (1,807 )     (1,384 )     (1,302 )

Net cash flows provided by (used in) operating activities

    75,940       (43,227 )     647  

CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:

                       

Purchase of short-term investments

    (113,441 )     (19,840 )      

Proceeds from maturities of short-term investments

    113,441       19,840        

Investments in equity method investment

          (3,293 )      

Acquisitions of property, plant and equipment, software and deposits on equipment

    (239,093 )     (230,071 )     (322,099 )

Net cash flows used in investing activities

    (239,093 )     (233,364 )     (322,099 )

CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:

                       

Proceeds from common shares issued in primary offering, net of issuance cost

          337,508       332,172  

Proceeds from exercise of options to purchase common stock

    4,517       471       2,271  

Tax withholdings related to net shares settlements of restricted stock units

    (1,400 )     (1,441 )     (4,187 )

Proceeds from borrowings under Credit Facility

          78,000        

Repayment of borrowings under Credit Facility

          (78,000 )      

Purchase of capped call options

    (66,211 )            

Proceeds from issuance of convertible senior notes

    393,518              

Principal payments under finance lease obligations

    (1,109 )            

Debt issuance costs

   

(2,026

)            

Fees paid in connection with financing agreements

                (3,263 )

Net cash flows provided by financing activities

    327,289       336,538       326,993  

NET CHANGE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

    164,136       59,947       5,541  

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, BEGINNING OF YEAR

    132,735       72,788       67,247  

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, END OF PERIOD

  $ 296,871     $ 132,735     $ 72,788  

SUPPLEMENTAL CASH FLOW INFORMATION:

                       

Taxes paid

  $ 308     $