Sales of Tofurky’s holiday roast have surged by 22 percent this year, according to CNN. Tofurky’s CEO Jaime Athos reports that sales have previously increased due to various reasons, such as in 2006 when the vegan roast became available at larger retailers. This year’s spike—the largest increase in Tofurky roast sales since 2015—is not driven by new distribution partners but a surge in demand from existing retailers that are trying to meet expected demand for plant-based centerpieces. This year, factors such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a consumer shift toward plant-based eating have driven retailers, including the country’s largest grocery chain Kroger, to purchase smaller turkeys and stock up on vegan options. 

In mid-March—during the peak-buying period of the COVID-19 pandemic—sales of plant-based foods increased by 90 percent year-over-year according to data released today by trade group Plant Based Foods Association and market research company SPINS. Subsequently, during Easter in April, Athos reported a 600-percent increase in year-over-year sales of Tofurky’s vegan ham. “That was pretty shocking,” Athos said. This year, Tofurky’s sales have grown by 25 percent in stores such as Target, Walmart, and Kroger. 

In 2018, Tofurky sold its five millionth Tofurky roast since beginning commercial production of the vegan centerpiece two decades ago. This year, that number has reached more than six million as more consumers look for plant-based meat alternatives for the holidays.