Starting on November 14, vegan food brand Hooray Foods will begin rolling out its first product, vegan bacon, at 300 Whole Foods Markets locations in seven regions in Northern CA, Southern Pacific, Midwest, Southwest, North Atlantic, South, and Northeast. The new bacon is made with coconut oil, rice flour, tapioca starch, liquid smoke, umami seasoning (shiitake mushrooms, salt, mushroom extract, calcium carbonate), maple syrup, salt, and beet juice concentrate, a combination that creates a realistic bacon flavor and texture that sizzles similar to its animal-derived counterpart but without animal suffering.
After last year’s wildfires in California, Hooray Foods founder Sri Artham was inspired to create vegan bacon as a way to tackle the environmentally damaging effects of the pork industry—which, with 70 million pigs currently living on farms nationwide, is the second largest agricultural source of greenhouse gases in the United States after the cattle industry. In February 2019, Artham—who previously developed a technology startup to help farmworkers and promoted ethical foods at Fair Trade USA—began tinkering with ingredients in his home kitchen to create vegan bacon and, after receiving positive feedback from a seasoned chef, launched Hooray Foods at several Bay Area restaurants.
“People who love bacon, love Hooray. I came at it from a totally different direction and developed it with a novel way to encapsulate fat in a substrate,” Artham said. “I wanted to do something that would have a positive environmental impact. While I’m not a chef, or a food scientist, I have been in the food industry for many years, so working to make an environmental difference seemed like a good place to start.” Artham has changed his own diet with the help of products such as Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger and created a bacon substitute to help others remove meat from their diet. “If you want to impact climate change, there’s almost no better way to do so than by changing what you eat,” Artham said.
In the future, Hooray Foods plans to partner with animal sanctuaries to support their rescue efforts of pigs from the animal agriculture industry.