This month, Chicago Vegan Foods (CVF) will launch its Dandies vegan marshmallows at select ASDA stores in the United Kingdom—before expanding to all ASDA stores in October. Prior to the ASDA launch, CVF sold Dandies primarily in the United States and Canada. While the vegan marshmallows have previously been sold overseas at specialty retailers for higher prices, Dan Reed—director of marketing at CVF—told Just-Food the ASDA launch is “the first time we’re really hitting [the UK] with good, cost-effective pricing.” Reed explained that the launch was motivated by the growth of veganism in the UK. “Vegan is so much more accepted—and has been much more accepted over the years there,” he said. “That was one of the reasons why it’s always been on our radar.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic initially depressed sales of Dandies as consumers shopped for bare essentials, its US sales have increased greatly as the pandemic continued—a trend that has been true for the plant-based industry as a whole. “Fast-forward about a month into [COVID-19], we started to see a pretty big increase in demand for our products, stores were replenishing and, while people were spending far more time at home, they were doing things like a lot more home baking,” Reed said. “They’re spending more time in the backyard roasting marshmallows. We started to see a pretty big increase so the [pandemic’s] impact was actually positive.”
Stateside, Dandies recently released its seasonal pumpkin flavored mini marshmallows, now available in new 5-ounce packs.