Plant Based Press: January Monthly Recap - PURIS Foods

From M&A news to breaking research and product launches, Plant Based Press is a collection of plant-based food industry observations.

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NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH:

Wienerschnitzel has launched the plant-based protein-based hot dogs to enter the competing vegan food market. The chain has launched three variants of its plant-based hot dogs - Backyard Veggie Dog, served with American cheese, tomato, pickle spear, ketchup, and mustard; the Chicago Veggie Dog, made with mustard, pickle spear, tomato, onion, relish, and peppers; and the Barbeque Veggie Dog with barbecue sauce, pickle spear, and chopped onions. These are made using pea protein and are naturally smoked and seasoned with the same spices as beef hot dogs. The product is available at Wienerschnitzel outlets in the US.

WHY THIS MATTERS?

Americans consume approximately 20 billion hot dogs per year, and at Wienerschnitzel (which serves more than 120 million hot dogs annually), they now have three meatless options that are better for animals, human health, and the planet. The national launch of Field Roast’s hot dogs follows a successful 30-unit test the hot dog chain conducted last February. “We’re excited to bring the Field Roast plant-based dogs systemwide following the great consumer response in our in-market tests across California, Texas, and New Mexico,” Doug Koegeboehn, Chief Marketing Officer of Wienerschnitzel, said in a statement. “Consumers are eager to try plant-based options, and those who have tried our Veggie Dogs keep coming back for more. We look forward to making the product even more accessible with this national expansion.”


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NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH:

Chipotle Mexican Grill has added a new vegan item to its menu – meatless Chorizo. This is the brand’s first vegan protein introduction after the launch of its tofu-based sofritas in 2014. This Chorizo is made using pea protein, Chipotle Peppers, Tomato Paste, Garlic, Spanish smoked paprika, and olive oil. The product has been tested across Denver and Indianapolis and contains 16 g protein. The product has received good reviews during testing, and hence Chipotle has planned to launch it to the market in its stores across the US.

WHY THIS MATTERS?

Chipotle customers have increasingly demanded plant-based substitutes over recent years. The company reported that it sold 7.5 million pounds of Sofritas in 2018, indicating that plant-based development is profitable for the company. Then, the company pushed for more vegan menu items to enhance its customizable burritos and bowls. Alongside its initial chorizo test, the company also launched a new Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice. Customers can add the new rice to any of the Lifestyle Bowls alongside the new plant-based Chorizo. The company will run a similar promotion to its Plant-Based Chorizo deal, encouraging customers to try the healthier, more sustainable Lifestyle Bowls. Chipotle will waive the delivery fee on any Lifestyle Bowl order from its app or website from January 3 to January 31, encouraging customers to give the plant-based and nutritional options a chance.



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106930342 1629375782158 Chipotle new Plant Based Chorizo 2022 01 12 133023

EXPANSION:

Beyond Meat, a US-based meat alternative company has recently announced the opening of its innovation hub in Shanghai, China. To expand its presence in the APAC region, the company is setting up its first R&D facility in the country, which is expected to open by the first half of 2022. The company has also unveiled its Shanghai production facility in the past year. Beyond Meat’s products are already available in Starbucks ’ outlets in China, and its Beef Wraps also rolled out in over 2600 KFC stores in China. Also, its product Beyond Pork was made available through an eCommerce website in July 2021. The company reveals that this facility would be a hub for innovation and focus on developing plant-based products for consumers in the APAC region.

WHY THIS MATTERS?

“We can’t shift our global eating culture of meat-based diets overnight. But if we focus on delivering the best tasting plant-based products, we believe it will lead us to a future where people will choose better for them and our planet," said Next Meats founder Ryo Shirai. Mock meat has found favor among consumers with companies such as Beyond Meat in the United States offering various food products. Such food typically has a lower calorie and fat content and is known to be a source of protein and fiber.

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Beyond Pork Menu

New product launch:

One of the largest fast-food chains globally, KFC has launched a plant-based fried chicken alternative at 4,000 of its US restaurants. This is done in partnership with Beyond Meat, and the product is made using pea protein as the base. The company had already done a test run for this product in 2019 in Georgia and 2020 in California and a few other states. After receiving an overwhelming response, the company plans to launch it throughout the country.

WHY THIS MATTERS?

More Americans are embracing a so-called flexitarian diet in which consumers cut down on their meat consumption for health and environmental reasons. That has driven the growing popularity of plant-based substitutes. “From a supply perspective, we feel really good about it, and it’s something we have experience within initial trials,” said Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown.


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