Product developers at Trader Joe’s are currently working to add vegan seafood to the chain’s offerings. Amy Gaston-Morales, category manager of Deli, Frozen Meat, Seafood, Meatless, and Fresh Beverage at Trader Joe’s, revealed the news during a recent episode of the “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast. Gaston-Morales explained that Trader Joe’s currently offers a variety of vegan meat products for different meal occasions, including in the refrigerated section and frozen items such as its Meatless Mandarin Chicken. However, she noted that the chain—which sells a combination of products developed in-house and those made by other brands—currently lacks plant-based seafood options.
“I’m looking to do more work on the seafood side,” Gaston-Morales said. “We don’t have options yet within our stores for a plant-based seafood product but there are crab cakes out on the market or scallops or tuna replacements.” The goal, she says, is to have vegan options for every meal of the day. “So we’re really looking more at the seafood to make sure that we’ve covered all the proteins that customers are familiar with and bringing in the best versions of those,” Gaston-Morales said.
Vegan meat at Trader Joe’s
While Trader Joe’s has offered vegan meat products in the past, last year, the chain launched its next-level Protein Patties in beef and turkey flavors and new iterations of plant-based meat options are on Gaston-Morales’ radar. “There has been a huge growth in the meatless set,” Gaston-Morales said. “The new [vegan] products we are developing are a specific target to what does well in the [traditional] meat and seafood set or chicken, for example. Great [plant-based] tenders, new sausage products that eat differently than our first-generation [plant-based] sausage links that we have.”
Gaston-Morales is also working to bring more plant-based meat options to the freezer aisle. When it comes to products she hopes to be developed, Gaston-Morales says vegan bacon and charcuterie are high on her list.
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