Leading global health foods supplier All About Healthy Foods (the principal of Atlantic Natural Foods, LLC) has joined forces with distributer Worldwide Food Associates (WFA) to bring the Loma Linda range of plant-based products to the UK in early 2019.
Since 1890, Loma Linda has been a leader in sustainable plant-based foods. The brand has had great success in the US, most recently with the launch of its ready meals range and fish free tuna – TUNO™️.
Eric Woods, Managing Director of Worldwide Food Associates explains more.
Can you introduce the Loma Linda brand to us?
Loma Linda offers a unique range of sustainable, plant-based foods. Using 100% natural ingredients, we offer products which contribute to healthy lifestyle and are environmentally sustainable. We know that following a plant-based diet can often be restrictive, especially for those living busy lifestyles. The range of on-the-go ready meals and versatile TUNO products offer to the plant-based market options which are easy to prepare and contain all-natural ingredients, meaning they are less harmful to the environment and more sustainable.
The Loma Linda brand is already well-established in the US and its range of Ready Meals, Meal Starters and TUNO products are available via retailers nationwide including Walmart, Safeway, Sprouts, Delhaize, Wegmans, Costco and Amazon.
What is your current product line and which are the bestsellers?
We will launch two new ambient stored and convenience products in the UK, including a range of plant-based ready meals and the UK’s first fish-free tuna – TUNO.
Initially Loma Linda ready meals will be available in six flavour options including Spicy Pad Thai, Thai Green Curry, Red Thai Curry, Tikka Masala, Chipotle Bowl and Hearty Stew. We have chosen to bring these recipes to market based on the results of extensive consumer research, which included focus groups and taste testing. We expect the Asian inspired recipes such as the two Thai curries and the Spicy Pad Thai plus Chipotle Bowl to be the bestsellers.
TUNO, a high-protein seafood alternative, uses plant-based ingredients, to replicate the texture and appearance of tuna. It will be available in a can or a pouch in five flavours including Sweet Chilli, Lemon Pepper, Vegan Mayo and Sesame Ginger as well as a traditional spring water option.
What differentiates Loma Linda from other plant-based brands?
Loma Linda is known for being one of the original global leaders in the plant-based market. The brand has been in operation for more than 100-years and has established itself as a leader in sustainable products. Over the years, Loma Linda has been at the forefront of innovation, developing an ever-changing variety of sustainable products, which they know work in the market.
The products set to launch in the UK are all 100% natural, low calorie and provide up to 9.8g of protein per serving – making them a must have staple for any vegan, vegetarian or meat reducer’s larder.
Do you have any new vegan products that you will launch or that are in development?
We do have some new flavours and some new innovative products we are currently working on for the UK market, but we can’t announce anything just yet until early next year – so watch this space!
Loma Linda is about to launch in UK and British consumers are looking forward to it. Are you planning to expand to further markets?
Across Europe, we have seen a large demand for both Loma Linda products and vegan products in general. Whilst we are focussing on the UK launch at the moment, we already have eyes in other areas of Europe and are already in talks with distributors in the Nordic region.
Loma Linda recently launched a line of plant-based ready meals. How do you assess the demand for vegan ready meals?
We always have our finger on the pulse for new and upcoming trends which helps inform business decisions. By commissioning research and closely monitoring published reports, we try to confirm any new ideas we have that we think may work as a product. One of the opportunities we observed was that consumers had the notion that a plant-based diet requires a lot of meal preparation and was quite limiting. Following this is when we decided to develop our ideas of the ready meals, as there was nothing on the market like it.
Although there has been an increase in new convenience options, we noticed a gap in the market for ambient, 100% natural, plant-based ready meals.
Can you tell the readers more about TUNO, the plant-based tuna alternative?
TUNO is a seafood alternative and our newest product line under the Loma Linda brand. It’s been in the pipeline for a while now and something we’re really excited to launch. It is made from a plant-based soy protein and has been developed to taste just like premium canned tuna. The ingredients in TUNO are sustainably sourced and high in protein with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. We are finding that lots of interest is coming in from those following a plant-based diet, but because of its unique tuna like qualities, consumers who are concerned about environmental issues such as over-fishing are also showing interest in TUNO.
Where do you see Loma Linda in the next five years?
As Loma Linda’s key distributer in the UK, Worldwide Food Associates has already made a start to roll out the brand here and we expect it to fully launch with listings in high profile retailers early next year. Given the upward trajectory of the plant-based market, in the next five years we expect Loma Linda to be available across all major retailers and for it to have a prominent place within plant-based, free from and ambient categories. We would also like to introduce more of the Loma Linda product range to the UK as demand for plant-based options increases. We have every confidence in the quality of Loma Linda products and are looking forward to bringing it to the UK.