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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.

Categories
News Plant-Based Theme Parks

Disney Partners With Impossible Foods for Plant-Based Expansion

Photo provided by Impossible Foods

Disneyland Resorts and Parks, as well as Florida-based big brother The Walt Disney World Resort, are known to offer an experience that keeps your inner child alive and kicking. Everything from immersive theme rides to life-sized Disney characters spread over 30,000 acres, it’s hard not to enjoy, if not a tad overly stimulating. Ever-watchful of ways to expand upon the entertainment incentive, Disney has now joined the Impossible Foods movement in a newly inked partnership. 

Impossible Foods is now the official plant-based “burger vendor” for both Disney resorts including Disney Cruise Line ships. The partnership comes following their September 2019 announcement to introduce meatless items to all Disney resorts.

To sweeten the deal even further, we’re also rewarded with three new menu items: the Impossible Cheeseburger macaroni and cheese, Petite Impossible Burger with guacamole and cheddar jack cheese, and an Impossible Meatball sub sandwich.

With the demand for meat alternatives growing globally each year, this is a natural move for the Happiest Place on Earth. The new Impossible menu items are now available at all Disney resorts.

Photo provided by Impossible Foods
Categories
Fast Food

Taco Bell Adding Plant-Based Meat To Menu As Soon As This Year

With several fast food heavyweights such as Burger King, Subway, and even Del Taco diving into the plant-based meat game, it was a little odd that the oft-innovative Taco Bell hadn’t joined in on the vegetarian trend.

Newly minted CEO Mark King seems to have had enough, and proclaimed that the chain would start incorporating plant-based meats “in the next year,” according to Bloomberg.


King even said he met with both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, the two biggest names in plant-based meat, and the go-to producers for most of these big fast food chains who have adopted veggie meats.

While King hinted at using Beyond or Impossible, it is a bit of a surprise since Taco Bell has actually put together its own proprietary blend of plant-based meat, which has been used in locations throughout Europe.

The oat-based meat, known as the “Oatrageous” taco or burrito, consisted of pulled oats, legumes and standard Taco Bell seasonings.

The oat meat was scheduled to be available at all Europe Taco Bells by summer 2020, and a U.S. transition only felt natural.

Whichever way Taco Bell decides to go, it’s about time they made the move, as they have always had an inadvertently vegetarian-friendly menu, but had fallen behind in the plant-based meat wars.