Vegan jerky maker Urban Cowboy recently launched in Whole Foods Market locations in the Southwest region of the United States. Urban Cowboy’s three jerky flavors (Sweet Onion Teriyaki, Sriracha, and Black Pepper) are now available in 12 locations in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and Shreveport, LA. The company spent two years developing and refining the recipe using artificial intelligence-assisted technology to create its jerky from mushrooms and a blend of spices. The brand’s equipment and systems were designed to be unique to its process and allow its products to have a uniquely meaty texture. 

“Growing up in Texas with access to some of the best small-town meat market jerky in the world, I was obsessed with jerky when I ate meat,” Urban Cowboy CEO and founder Waylon Peele told VegNews. “That was the number one thing I missed after years of being vegan. So one day sometime over two years ago I woke up, had an irresistible craving for jerky, and went on Amazon and ordered about $200 of every type of vegan jerky I could find. Unfortunately, I was disappointed—nothing tasted like or had the texture of what I used to get from the meat markets … good old-fashioned craft jerky. And that’s when the experimentation began.”

Urban Cowboy is currently onboarding with a national distributor to expand to the rest of the region. It also plans to utilize its technology to create and launch more products, including two currently in development with a planned launch in 2021.

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