It seems that every week in the world of vegan food news is more exciting than the last and this week is no exception. Lightlife just announced its biggest partnership to date with Disney and Pixar to promote its Lightyear film. Beyond Meat’s closing in on price parity with beef by launching its Cookout Classic bulk packs in 10,000 stores. Vegan brioche is hitting the shelves at Trader Joe’s. And British brewery BrewDog just made a tribute beer to meatless meat-maker Quorn. Read on for more.
1Brewdog’s Quorn beer
Sure, pairing (plant-based) chicken wings with beer is nothing new but beer inspired by meatless meat? That’s not something you see every day … until now. British brewery and pub chain BrewDog partnered with Quorn—which makes meatless meat using mycoprotein—to create the Dry-Hopped Mexican Vienna Lager. Brewed especially to pair with Quorn’s meatless meats, the limited-edition beer is a part of the BrewDog and Friends June subscription box.
“Quorn is a pioneer of the food game, their ongoing work to create a better future for us and the planet makes them the perfect partner for a daring new brew,” Lauren Carrol, director of brand and marketing at BrewDog, said in a statement. “We like to keep our BrewDog and Friends’ subscribers guessing what we’ll serve up next, and this beer is like nothing we’ve done before. We can’t wait for fellow punks and Quorn fans alike to try it out alongside the Quorn burger.”
And while this beer seems like the only thing that unites these two companies, they do share an important common link: both beer-brewing and Quorn-making involve the magical process of fermentation.
2Buzz Lightyear’s vegan hot dogs
Lightyear—a spinoff of cult-classic film Toy Story—is hitting theaters today and Greenleaf Foods SPC, parent company of plant-based Lightlife Foods, is celebrating with its biggest partnership to date. The brand has teamed up with Disney and Pixar to create special-edition packaging featuring iconic character Buzz Lightyear for its most popular products, including Smart Dogs, Smart Bacon, Original Tempeh, Plant-Based Burger, and Breakfast Patties. Lightlife also created Lightyear-themed recipes to promote the partnership, including Cosmic Chili Dogs, Buzz Breakfast Burrito, and Morning Moonrock Muffins.
Greenleaf Foods SPC
“Our collaboration with Disney and Pixar marks the largest brand collaboration in Lightlife history and we are extremely proud to be the exclusive plant-based sponsor of a film whose fan base spans generations,” Adam Grogan, President of Greenleaf Foods, SPC said in a statement. “We are excited for Lightlife’s family-friendly plant-based products to join forces with Disney and Pixar’s film release this summer.”
To infinity and beyond!
3Bulk packs of Beyond Burgers hit 10,000 stores
Beyond Meat knows that summer is all about grilling and its vegan Beyond Burgers are an absolute staple. And this season, the brand’s vegan burgers are getting cheaper so you can feed everyone at the barbecue for a lot less. Beyond Meat introduced its Cookout Classic at Target and Walmart stores during the summer of 2020 as a limited time offering and is bringing a version of the bulk pack to 10,000 additional stores this summer. When you crunch the numbers, each 4-ounce Beyond Meat patty in the 8-pack Cookout Classic will cost approximately $1.99. That’s getting mighty close to the price of beef—the nationally advertised price of which was approximately $1.45 per 4-ounce serving this week.
And while we already know the benefits of eating vegan burgers over animal flesh, a price cut only helps to make the plant-based choice easier—especially when meat prices continue to skyrocket. Created to inspire the whole family to go plant-based, you can now find the Cookout Classic pack in the refrigerator aisles of Kroger, Publix, Sprouts, Target, Walmart, Wegmans, Whole Foods Market, and more.
4Tacotarian heads south to San Diego
Mini chain Tacotarian is a vegan mainstay in the Las Vegas region and has found fans far and wide, including Vice President Kamala Harris who, following Senator Cory Booker’s recommendation, made a stop at a shop last year. At Tacotarian, Harris loaded up on tacos stuffed with vegan carne asada to fuel her then “vegan before 6pm” lifestyle.
Las Vegans have the luxury to visit Tacotarian whenever they like for their fill of VP-approved meals and San Diegans will soon get a chance to make Tacotarian a local fave, too. That’s because the shop’s fifth location—its first out-of-state outpost—is slated to open in early July in San Diego. Tacotarian will take over a spot previously occupied by vegan restaurants Chicago Not Dogs and The Modern Vegan—in the North Park area where it will serve its famed tacos, flautas, quesadillas, desserts, and more alongside specialty cocktails.
Tacotarian was founded by two married couples—Dan and Regina Simmons and Carlos and Kristen Corral—after they were inspired by a trip to Regina’s hometown of Mexico City. “We’ve been eyeballing California for a longtime,” Dan Simmons said in a statement. “We got really lucky with this spot as it’s in an amazing central location and we can’t wait to share our food with San Diego. People have been wanting us to come to California since day one, so it feels great to finally be on our way.”
5Trader Joe’s new vegan brioche
Bread doesn’t usually make headlines but Trader Joe’s knows how to stir up excitement around things typically reserved for a quiet lunchtime sandwich. The new buzz at Trader Joe’s is around its Vegan Brioche Loaf. That’s because brioche is a type of bread that commonly contains both eggs and dairy. However, Trader Joe’s made good on its promise to introduce more plant-based items with the launch of this bread, which swaps dairy-free milk and vegan eggs in place of animal products.
“Rich, fluffy, and full of buttery sweetness, a good brioche is as elegantly delicious to eat as it is tricky to make—and it’s even trickier if you’re making a totally vegan version,” Trader Joe’s describes the product on its website. “Luckily, we know some of the best bakers in the business, and they’ve made a pre-sliced, plant- based Vegan Brioche Loaf exclusively for us, and one that’s fit to be the crown jewel of any bakery—vegan or not.”
We’re thinking it’s time for French Toast? Or maybe bread pudding? Both? Thanks, Joe.