Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Prime Roots Launches First Sliceable Koji Meats to Disrupt $300B Bulk Deli Industry

Fungi innovator Prime Roots announces its breakthrough line of Koji-Meats is now available at select deli counters and sandwich shops in the San Francisco Bay Area. Offered in bulk sizes for fresh slicing, the launch is a preview ahead of a larger US retail and restaurant expansion in 2023. 

“Through the power of koji mycelium, we are able to create better-tasting meats for every type of eater”

Prime Roots’ preview launch features classic deli staples and charcuterie, including: 

  • Whole Koji-Turkey in Classic Smoked, Cracked Black Pepper, and Golden Roast 
  • Whole Koji-Hams in Classic Smoked, Black Forest, and Sugar Shack Maple
  •  Koji-Pepperoni
  •  Koji-Salami
  •  Koji-Pâtés with apple & sage or black truffle
  •  Koji-Foie Gras Torchon
Prime Roots Deli Meats Slicer
©Prime Roots

In the Bay Area, local diners can find the products at the following restaurants and markets:

  • Berkeley Bowl
  • Bi-Rite Market
  • Rhea’s Deli
  • Timeless Coffee
  • Millennium and Above Ground Pizza
  • Driver’s Market

A full list is provided here

Super protein

Prime Roots’ deli meats are made from koji, a type of mycelium similar to mushroom roots. Koji has been used for centuries to make miso and soy sauce, and Prime Roots says koji’s long, microscopic fibers excel at recreating the textures of animal meat. To achieve this, the company has developed a proprietary process that is able to replicate the umami-rich flavor and meaty, dense texture of meat.

The resulting product is non-GMO, and free from soy, cholesterol, nitrates, hormones and antibiotics.

©Prime Roots

Disrupting deli

Founded by Kimberlie Le and Joshua Nixon, Prime Roots originally began life selling a range of ready-made meals featuring koji-based proteins made to taste like lobster, chicken and beef. In February 2022, the company announced a re-brand and strategic pivot to focus on plant-based deli meats, a segment it said lacked strong leading players. 

Recently, the company joined an all-star list of global fungi companies to form the Fungi Protein Association – a new trade organization to advocate for fungi as a sustainable protein. Prime Roots now states it is on a mission to disrupt the $300Bn bulk deli industry, and its sliceable Koji-Meats are on track to revolutionizing traditonal deli counters. 

Koji Deli Sandwiches
©Prime Roots

“Through the power of koji mycelium, we are able to create better-tasting meats for every type of eater,” says Prime Roots’ CEO Kimberlie Le.  “We celebrate the culture of meat at Prime Roots, and our whole, hand-sliced Koji-Meats enable customers to make easy and convenient better-for-you and better-for-the-planet swaps. Our goal is to challenge what makes a meat ‘alternative’ and offer Koji-Meats as an option alongside animal meats in deli counters, sandwich shops, and restaurants nationwide.”

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