New York-based vegan startup Blackbird Foods—which produces seitan-based meat and frozen pizza products—plans to roll out vegan pepperoni, sausage, and wings to grocery stores this year. The new products are already being used in restaurants in the Northeast region, such as Champs Diner (which offers Blackbird wings) and Screamer’s Pizzeria (which offers the sausage crumbles) in Brooklyn, NY. After securing its first round of funding, Blackbird is working to expand distribution of these new product offerings starting with vegan wings, which will be rolled out to independent grocers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions later this year before expanding to Whole Foods Markets, Fairway, and other major grocers nationwide. Blackbird’s new CEO, Emanuel Storch, told VegNews that the wings’ flavor options will likely mimic the brand’s current line of seitan, which come in Original, BBQ, Chili Lime, and Rosemary Garlic flavors. “I am extremely excited to build upon the success of Blackbird,” Storch said. “These are some really exciting times for the plant-based market.” Blackbird was originally created as a side business by award-winning chef Mark Mebus, co-founder of Blackbird Pizzeria and Screamer’s Pizzeria, in partnership with Craig Cochran, co-founder of Terri Restaurants. The company has since grown to serve more than 200 stores and 50 restaurants due to the demand of its popular plant-based products.
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