This week, a new vegan soup hit the shelves at grocery chain Trader Joe’s. The store’s new Spicy Pozole Verde is described as “a vegan twist on a classic soup with hominy, pinto beans, and green chilies.” The new vegan item is organic and sold in 20-ounce tubs in the refrigerated section.

In recent months, Trader Joe’s has expanded its vegan product selection with Cheese-less Cheesecakes, two Plant Based Protein Patties flavors (beef and turkey); Vegan Mac (mac and cheese); and the much-anticipated Almond Beverage Chocolate Bar—a vegan milk chocolate bar made with the store’s almond milk beverage. 

In addition to launching new vegan items, Trader Joe’s is implementing new policies to support Black-owned businesses. During a recent episode of the “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast, company executives revealed that the grocery chain set a new rule that a minimum of 15 percent of products presented to the company’s taste panel—who play a crucial part of determining which products Trader Joe’s carries in stores—will be sourced from Black-owned businesses. “People in our communities who have not historically had access, [now] have access,” Tara Miller, Trader Joe’s Marketing Director, said about the new program. “And once you get to that tasting panel, the parameters are the same. It has to taste great, has to be a good value, [and] has to have the ingredients that make sense for Trader Joe’s … that’s a lot of products and that’s a minimum.”  The store’s taste-testers have thus far sampled seven cookies made by Black-owned businesses—hopefully some of which were vegan.

Photo Credit: Cameryn Grassanovits 

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