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Plant-Based Science Sustainability

New Plant-Based Egg Alternative Makes Going Vegan A Lot More Accessible

Photo courtesy of Zero Egg

Switching to a plant-based diet, whether it be for ethical or environmental reasons, often comes with a cost increase. Outside of tofu, there’s not a lot of cost-effective vegan options out there.

Plant-based eggs is a category that’s particularly expensive. A bottle of JUST, equivalent to 8 eggs, costs $4.50 ($6 for a dozen). Follow Your Heart, a powder egg alternative, can cost $7 for a carton that’s equivalent to a dozen.

A new alternative, Zero Egg, has just emerged onto the market and hopes to make vegan eggs a lot more accessible. Their product, a mix of potato, pea, chickpea, and soy protein, costs 11 to 18 cents per egg, or just over $2 per dozen. It claims to have price parity to a dozen cage-free eggs, which sell at retail for about $3-$4 per dozen.

Photo courtesy of Zero Egg

Zero Egg comes in two varieties: a formula ideal for egg replacement in scrambles, and another meant to substitute into baking mixes. The brand’s big selling point is texture, as it claims to be more fluffy than other egg alternatives available. However, it also is more versatile, as not all egg alternatives can be used for both scrambling and baking.

Nutritionally, Zero Egg’s product contains about 40% of the protein of an egg per serving (roughly 2.5 grams), but is a complete protein source. Environmentally, it uses 93% less water to produce than standard eggs.

As for cost, Zero Egg was able to bring that down through working with co-packers. They didn’t need a novel new factory process to make their substitute, making it easier to produce at scale.

Any restaurants that use Zero Egg will have ways to make it identifiable, including toothpick flags that can be stuck into sandwiches, akin to what Impossible Foods did with its initial burger launch.

Zero Egg will be available to restaurants via Gordon Food Service starting on World Egg Day, October 9th. A retail product will be hitting stores some time in the next couple of years, but there is also a “Home Store” option for any consumers who want to try to access the vegan egg through there.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Plant-Based

Dunkin’ Beats Starbucks In Race To Launch Oatmilk Nationwide

Over the past few years, oatmilk has emerged as one of the top-tier vegan milk alternatives. Renowned for its texture and sweetness, brands like Oatly! have taken off and spread like wildfire across the nation.

As oatmilk’s hype is continuing to grow, many fast food chains are starting to incorporate it into their drinks, including Dunkin’ and Starbucks. Both began testing the plant-based alternative earlier this year, but it was Dunkin’ who beat out Starbucks to launching oatmilk drinks nationwide.

Photo courtesy of Dunkin’

Dunkin’ has teamed up with Planet Oat, a major oatmilk brand from food conglomerate HP Hood LLC, to make their nationwide launch happen. Starting today, customers can select oatmilk in place of almondmilk, milk, or cream as a creamer for their coffee drinks, including frozen ones. An additional upcharge may apply to that substitution.

An official Oatmilk Latte has also been added to Dunkin’s lineup as part of the launch.

Oatmilk had started to test in California for Dunkin’ in January 2020, at the same time Starbucks began serving up oatmilk drinks at 1,300 stores in the Midwest. Starbucks has yet to release oatmilk nationwide, but has expanded its offering to Canada in the interim.

With Dunkin’ oatmilk beating everyone to the national playground, however, it will only be a matter of time before every major coffee chain has an oatmilk alternative available nationwide.

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Grocery Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Plant-Based Swedish Meatballs Arrive In IKEA Stores This Summer

In 2019, IKEA announced that they had begun developing a plant-based version of their iconic Swedish meatball. This was part of efforts to reduce the company’s climate footprint, meat being a big portion of that in the food department.

IKEA is now ready to unveil their plant balls to the world, and will do so starting this summer.

IKEA’s version of plant-based meat is based in yellow pea protein, and also uses ingredients like potato, apple, onion, oats, mushroom, tomato, and roasted vegetable powder. All of this gives a texture and flavor that gets pretty close to what one of the retailer’s original Swedish meatballs tastes like.

In terms of sustainability, IKEA claims that the plant-based meatballs have just 4% of the climate footprint of the meat versions. “If we were to convert about 20% of our meatball sales to plant balls that would mean around 8% reduction of our climate footprint for the food business at IKEA,” added Sharla Halvorson, Health & Sustainability Manager for IKEA’s global food business.

The fact that IKEA was able to develop their own plant-based meatball version is remarkable, and I’m definitely curious to see how it tastes like in a standard Swedish meatball plate.

IKEA will start selling the meatballs in Europe in August of 2020, and they will arrive in the United States on September 28th, 2020. They’ll be sold in bulk frozen bags you can purchase in the grocery section, or as an alternative to the classic meatballs on their Swedish meatball plate — cream sauce, lingonberry jam, potatoes, and veggies all included.

Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based Sustainability

KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken Comes To Socal For A Limited Run

After a brief introduction to KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken last year, the plant-based poultry is getting an expanded test run across Southern California.

Beyond Fried Chicken photos courtesy of KFC. Background by Maxime Lebrun on Unsplash.

Starting July 20th, Beyond Meat’s collab with KFC will be available for a limited time at 59 locations across Southern California. The restaurants are located in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties.

For those unfamiliar, the Beyond Fried Chicken offering consists of nuggets made from a plant-based chicken breast substitute that Beyond Meat has developed. Seasoned like KFC’s fried chicken, it’s sold in a 6-piece or 12-piece order, with combo options available as well. All of these come with your choice of dipping sauce.

The SoCal regional offering marks the third time Beyond Fried Chicken has been made available, suggesting that KFC is looking to ramp this up to a national scale some time in the near future. It first showed up in Atlanta in August 2019, followed by a test offering in February 2020 in Nashville and Charlotte.

Considering its debut in Atlanta drew hour-long lines, there’s definitely a growing appetite for the nuggets that the chain could capitalize on.

Below is a list of all of the locations you can find the plant-based chicken at starting on the 20th:

Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based

Starbucks Launches Impossible Breakfast Sandwich

Impossible Foods has joined yet another fast-food chain by beefing up (apologies for the pun) Starbucks’ breakfast lineup with a new meatless sandwich. The new sandwich features one of Impossible’s newest proteins: the vegan sausage patty.

The new breakfast option features an Impossible Sausage patty, a fried egg, and aged cheddar cheese sandwiched between Ciabatta bread.

It should be noted though, that while the patty is entirely plant-based the sandwich itself is far from it with the egg and cheese rounding it out.

Still, if you’re trying to go for something meatless in your morning commute, this a pretty solid option especially if you’re looking for something more on the savory side of breakfast.

Categories
Packaged Food Plant-Based

Vegan Bulgogi and Butter Chicken Bowls Arrive At Target

Every day, more and more vegan options of traditional dishes pop up in our favorite restaurants and local grocery stores. For those who live on a plant-based diet, we’re living in a renaissance of vegan options to choose from.

Vegan brand Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods has now added a few new ready-to-heat bowls that you can find the in frozen food section of your local Target stores.

Two new options include a Bulgogi Bowl and a Butter Chik’N Bowl.

The Bulgogi Bowl is made with Korean inspired plant-based Awesome Grounds and served with purple cabbage, carrots, bok choy and a sesame garlic siracha sauce on a bed of rice.

Fans of Butter Chick’n will find the bowl boasts plant-based Mindful Chik’n with a vegan buttery tomato sauce, chickpeas, carrots and green peas on a bed of rice.

While Sweet Earth offers products in many grocery stores, you can only find these bowls at Target retailers nationwide.

Categories
Deals Health News Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Beyond Meat’s Burger Patty Priced The Lowest It’s Ever Been: $1.60

As meat prices soar, plant-based patty producer Beyond Meat is making an attempt to appeal to the masses.

The company will be releasing its Cookout Classic 10-pack, a value of their well-known plant-based burgers, which will be for sale in most Targets and Walmarts nationwide for $15.99.

“The new offering will be available through mid-August, or until supplies last, and is intended to narrow the price gap between plant-based meat and animal protein, making delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based meat more accessible to more people,” said the company in a statement via email. 

The release comes at a time when meat prices are the highest they’ve been since 1974, which the brand hopes will leave typical meat-eating consumers a bit more open to trying plant-based burgers. 

“This forward-looking pricing represents an important milestone along our journey to make Beyond Meat more accessible to all consumers,” said CEO Ethan Brown.

According to CNN, a secondary, less consumer centric reason is that the company has an excess amount of the patties, which were destined for restaurants pre-COVID, and hopes to get rid of the stock.

This plan is only a part of the company’s ever-expanding reach, as they’ve recently inked a deal with Yum Brand’s (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) Chinese storefronts and tested burgers in McDonald’s Canada. A direct-to-consumer website will be released this summer, as well. 

Hounded by restaurant shutdowns or not, Beyond Meat appears to be chugging along and trying to turn a negative situation into an opportunity for expansion. 

Whatever the reason the Cookout Classic pack exists, for consumers or for the brand, it does. And, it’ll soon be available at a store near most people. For fans of the product, any sign of the company’s (understandably) premium-priced burgers getting a price slash is a good signal of things to come . 

Categories
Fast Food News Plant-Based Sustainability What's New

KFC Will Be Selling Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets In China Next Week

On Monday, KFC announced that it will be selling vegan chicken nuggets in China from April 28 to April 30, as it continues its expansion into the plant-based market.

The fast food giant said that the nuggets will be sold in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, and will be manufactured by Cargill Ltd. 

This comes after extremely successful plant-based product testing in multiple countries, which showed enough consumer demand to expand the dishes into more locations in the US. Notably, the company is using a different manufacturer for the Chinese launch, as they tapped Beyond Meat in the US and Lightlife in Canada, respectively.

This isn’t the only way in which the brand’s Chinese release differs. Customers will have to purchase a pre-sale voucher for 1.99 yuan that entitles them to five chicken pieces, according to the company’s official Weibo account. 

This is an interesting path to take, as KFC surely looks to avoid the expansive line that occurred during the high profile Atlanta launch of the company’s plant-based fried chicken. It’s reminiscent of the pre-sale lotteries and raffles that many sneaker companies have done to avoid real-life lines and online crashes during hyped shoe releases. 

We’ll surely be keeping our eyes peeled for any visuals of the new nuggets, as well as any potential plant-based nugget voucher resale market, so check back soon.