It seems that every week in the world of vegan food news is more exciting than the last and this week is no exception. British brand LoveRaw has nailed a vegan version of the iconic Ferrero Rocher chocolate candies. Trader Joe’s continues to expand its vegan products with new dairy-free sour cream. Spike Mendelsohn’s PLNT Burger empire has plans to triple its footprint to 30 locations by 2023. And Canadians are about to get their first taste of Impossible Foods’ plant-based chicken nuggets. Read on for more.
1Trader Joe’s new dairy-free sour cream
These days, not a week goes by without a new vegan product at Trader Joe’s. This week, a vegan sour cream alternative has been spotted on the shelves at the grocery chain. The new dairy-free product is made with a base of coconut oil and retails for $3.49 per 12-ounce tub.
View this post on Instagram
Last year, Trader Joe’s insiders teased that the store is working on bringing in even more vegan products and has made good on that promise thus far as the new sour cream joins a growing selection of dairy-free items at Trader Joe’s, including creamy vegan dressings, a reformulated version of its cream cheese, handheld ice cream cones, feta cheese alternative, queso dip, and much more.
One category at Trader Joe’s that has yet to get a vegan makeover is seafood but, according to insiders, that’s on the way, too.
2Impossible chicken lands in Canada
Impossible Foods’ plant-based chicken is flying north for the summer to make its first appearance in Canada. This week, the vegan chicken nuggets will begin hitting shelves of retailers Sobeys, Safeway, and IGA initially, followed by Loblaws, Metro, and Food Basics later this summer.
The company first debuted its Impossible Chicken Nuggets Made From Plants—its first entry into the plant-based chicken category—in the United States last summer and they have already become a favorite among consumers.
“Our nuggets have turned out to be one of our most popular products—both because of their amazing taste and also because they’re better for you and better for the planet,” Dan Greene, SVP of North American Sales at Impossible Foods, said in a statement. “We’re excited to bring them to consumers in Canada, which has already proven to be a great market for Impossible Burger and Impossible Sausage. And we’ve got terrific retail partners who are making it possible.”
With the launch of Impossible’s plant-based chicken nuggets, the company expands its Canadian retail footprint from 600 to 2,000 stores. The expansion follows the United Kingdom debut of Impossible’s nuggets and plant-based sausage last month.
3Vegan ‘Forrero Rocher’ candy
British brand LoveRaw’s new Nutty Choc Balls are nearly identical to Forrero Rocher minus the animal products. The candy features a vegan milk chocolate coating that surrounds whole hazelnuts dipped in a smooth hazelnut cream that all gets a roll in toasted hazelnut pieces. LoveRaw even included a gold wrapper to evoke the same experience of Forrero Rocher.
“Our mission is to create the best-tasting and innovative plant-based chocolate products and our new Nutty Choc Balls are unlike anything else on the market,” Manav Thapar, Co-Founder at LoveRaw, said in a statement. “People leading a vegan or plant-based diet have typically been underserved by confectionary brands, so LoveRaw is leading the charge to bring innovation, choice, and quality to the category with chocolate products that taste as good, or better than, conventional chocolate.”
LoveRaw’s Forrero Rocher–like candies will be available through the brand’s website, as well as retailers Asda and Holland this month.
4Meatless chicken and bacon sandwiches in DC
Grammy Award-winning musical artist Mýa was on hand this week at a food truck in Market Square at the Wharf in Washington, DC for a little bit of food activism. Together with animal welfare organization World Animal Protection, the entertainer gave out sandwiches filled with plant-based fried chicken made by TiNDLE and bacon by Hooray Foods to passersby to show them that eating plant-based food can be delicious and easy.
Mýa is a longtime vegan and has worked with various animal-rights groups throughout the years. She is also featured in They’re Trying to Kill Us, a documentary about the intersections of diet, poverty, and systemic racism created by vegan activists John Lewis (known as “Bad Ass Vegan” on social media) and Keegan Kuhn (who co-directed popular vegan documentaries What The Health and Cowspiracy).
5Spike Mendelsohn’s vegan fast-food empire grows
Spike Mendelsohn is in the middle of a massive expansion plan of PLNT Burger, a vegan fast-food chain he started in 2019. The first location of the chain opened inside of a Whole Foods Market in Silver Spring, MD with a chef-crafted American comfort-food menu with classics such as burgers, chicken sandwiches, milkshakes, and French fries, which all just happen to be plant-based. Within one year, PLNT Burger expanded to seven locations inside Whole Foods Markets in the Washington, DC area and Pennsylvania.
Fast forward to today, and PLNT Burger is set to open 16 locations by the end of 2022 with 30 planned to be in operation by the end of 2023. These expansion plans follow the opening of PLNT Burger’s first New York City location earlier this year. “It’s incredible how quickly we’ve grown from one store in Maryland to now 16 across the Mid Atlantic and Northeast. We’re thrilled to continue to open the door for people to try delicious plant-based burgers that are better for the planet,” Mendelsohn said in a statement.
Together with entrepreneur Seth Goldman (former Executive Chairman at Beyond Meat), Mendelsohn was inspired to start PLNT Burger after tasting the Beyond Burger and realizing that plant-based foods could be just as indulgent as their animal-derived counterparts but without any of the negative aspects related to human health, animal cruelty, and environmental degredation. With the expansion underway, Goldman and Mendelsohn—who also co-own vegan snack brand Eat the Change—can share their mission to change fast food with customers in more cities.
“It’s a big bet for us to have four brick and mortar locations in New York City, in addition to our growth with Whole Foods Markets,” Goldman said in a statement. “It’s wonderful to see the plant-based movement maturing alongside PLNT Burger.”
For the latest vegan news, read:
Will Wingstop Add Vegan Wings Now That Lizzo Has $500 to Spend There?
Why DoorDash Tapped Slutty Vegan Founder Pinky Cole as Its New Advisor
Tabitha Brown Hosts Food Network’s First Vegan Cooking Show