California-based vegan brand Before the Butcher recently launched its Uncut-branded burgers and sausages in 192 locations of Kroger banner store Ralphs in Southern California. The launch marks the arrival of the plant-based brand in the meat department of major retailers. In the coming weeks, more than 50 additional stores will carry the full retail line of Uncut products—vegan burgers, savory chicken burgers, roasted turkey burgers, and breakfast sausage patties—to their offerings, including Whole Foods Market in Long Beach, CA, 10 Central Market locations in Texas, and 40 Lucky’s Markets in 10 states ranging from Colorado to Florida. Some stores will also serve prepared foods made with Uncut products, including a meatless chicken salad. “The plant-based meat space is exploding, and we have two key differentiators that we believe will help us quickly build market share,” Before the Butcher president and founder Danny O’Malley said. “Offering four products enables us to appeal to different consumer tastes as well as provide menu variety, and our insistence on using non-GMO soybeans is a major plus for the growing number of consumers concerned about genetically modified foods—these are core advantages as we enter the retail channel.” Before the Butcher also serves the foodservice sector with 12 products, including bulk ground meat, chorizo, pulled pork, ground Italian sausage, chicken chunks and beef tips, along with burgers and sausage patties. Earlier this year, the company made its small-scale retail debut inside the meat counter at a Yorba Linda, CA Bristol Farms supermarket. In June, Before the Butcher was acquired by private investors Gregg and Jeff Hamann—owners of meat brand Jensen Meat Company—which gave it the financial resources and production capacity to enable growth. Uncut retail distribution is expected to reach more than 1,500 stores across the country by January 1, 2020.
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