Today, plant-based burger brand Actual Veggies is launching its products in the freezer aisle of Whole Foods Markets nationwide.
Founded in New York City in 2020, the name Actual Veggies signifies its products: ¼-pound, thick-cut vegan burger patties made with vegetables, along with wholesome grains and a signature spice blend. The brand launched with four flavors: The Actual Black Burger made with black beans and red peppers; The Actual Orange Burger made with sweet potato, carrots, and red pepper; The Actual Green Burger made with kale, broccoli, and spinach; and The Actual Purple Burger made with beets, carrots, and red onion.
Since then, the brand has added The Actual Truffle Burger (made with shiitake mushrooms and white truffle), along with two breakfast burgers made with ingredients such as bananas, blueberries, and oats.
And, uniquely, each patty’s vibrant color is indicative of the vegetables used in each burger.
A sell-out veggie burger
Actual Veggies first gained traction when the brand appeared on shopping channel QVC, resulting in a sell-out of $75,000 worth of products in under eight minutes. And in just three years in business, the brand has rapidly gained distribution nationally in more than 2,600 retailers, including Kroger, Wegmans, and The Fresh Market.
Like many other plant-based burger brands such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, the ultimate mission of Actual Veggies is to help reduce the consumption of meat and therefore prevent more animals from being slaughtered for food. However, Actual Veggies aims to achieve this with burger patties crafted from whole vegetables and legumes.
“In contrast to numerous meat alternatives with similar tastes and ingredients, Actual Veggies offers a refreshing and innovative choice for both retail buyers and consumers. Our dedication to perfecting the ‘Veggie Burger’ has resulted in a restaurant-style product that can be conveniently purchased at grocery stores and cooked at home in less than 10 minutes,” Actual Veggie Co-Founder Hailey Swartz tells VegNews.
“Before the emergence of Actual Veggies, the veggie burger category lacked enticing options that delivered both excitement and taste while exclusively using wholesome ingredients without any additives.”
The brand has also caught the attention of notable investors, including Post Malone’s management venture capital firm Electric Feel Ventures and former Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb, raising $5 million in funding to date. Its overall growth and support from investors has allowed Actual Veggies to build its brand further and invest in entering the freezer category with the nationwide launch of its latest frozen innovations—Black Bean Veggie Burger and Super Greens Veggie Burger—at Whole Foods Market (MSRP $7.99).
“Whole Foods has always been our dream retailer for this launch,” Swartz says. “While our products are currently available in various sections of other stores, such as the meat department and the ready-to-eat refrigerated section, placing them in the freezer next to other veggie burger brands at Whole Foods will benefit our customers in finding our products.”
While Actual Veggies’ two-pack refrigerated tray has allowed them to reach a whole new group of consumers in the meat department and refrigerated section, the brand received feedback from its core customers, flexitarians, saying they sometimes have trouble locating the products in stores.
“Being placed alongside similar products in the freezer section at Whole Foods will ensure greater visibility and accessibility for our frozen products,” Actual Veggies Co-Founder Jason Rosenbaum tells VegNews. “We are absolutely thrilled about this partnership with Whole Foods and are excited to showcase our new packaging and product.”
Actual Veggies in the freezer aisle
Accompanying the nationwide launch, Actual Veggies is also introducing evolved branding, featuring conveniently packaged boxes for its frozen burgers, refreshed packaging across its entire product line, and a revitalized logo.
Rosenbaum says several factors drove the decision to refresh the packaging and logo.
“One of the main reasons was that many retailers were placing our refrigerated products (two-pack trays) in the freezer section, which didn’t merchandise as well,” Rosenbaum says.
So, in addition to the two-pack trays in the refrigerated section, the brand now offers four-pack boxes in the freezer aisle. “The box design allows the product to stand upright, eliminating the challenges we faced with the tray packaging in the freezer,” Rosenbaum says.
“As part of the refresh, we significantly enlarged our revitalized logo,” Rosenbaum says. “Our brand name, Actual Veggies, carries a meaningful message about our products and what we stand for, and we wanted it to be more prominent.”