Vegan/ plant-based lasagna meal

©Komo Plant Based Foods

Products & Launches

Canada: Komo Expands Popular Plant-Based Frozen Meals to All Whole Foods Market Locations

Plant-based foods manufacturer Komo Plant Based Foods (CSE: YUM) announces it is expanding its line of frozen meals and meal helpers across all 14 Whole Foods Market locations in Canada.  Whole Foods West will be increasing its Komo frozen food offerings from 3 to 5 SKUs in western Canada, while Whole Foods Ontario will be carrying all 5 meal SKUs, including Komo’s Lasagna, Shepherd’s Pie, and Mac & Greens, each of which features two servings.  Komo’s Meal Helpers range includes BBQ Mushroom Lentil Taco Filling and Walnut Mushroom Bolognese. The new offerings are expected to be on shelves by May 2023.  $1M private placement Based in Vancouver, Komo offers a range of family-sized, ready-to-bake meals intended to provide convenient comfort foods. In 2021, Komo partnered …


Vegan by Kikka

Vegan by Kikka © Kikka Sushi

Products & Launches

Kikka Sushi Launches Vegan Salmon & Tuna Sushi Into Whole Foods Markets

Kikka Sushi, a partner of Whole Foods Markets for over 30 years, announces the launch of a line called Vegan by Kikka, including vegan salmon and tuna sushi, into flagship Whole Foods Market stores. Kikka states it has embarked on a “five-year mission to create vegan products that satisfy the most discerning tastes with authentic flavors and textures”, starting out by switching out all white sugar for vegan sugar and avoiding bone char in all white rice products. The Vegan by Kikka line debuts with vegan salmon and tuna created with the root vegetable konjac, commonly used in the production of plant-based seafood, and the red algae, agar. The vegan fish offering is proprietary to Kikka and was created through a collaboration between Kikka Sushi …


Vegan Hard Boiled Eggs

©Crafty Counter

Products & Launches

Crafty Counter Launches Plant-Based Hard Boiled WunderEggs at US Whole Foods Nationwide

Plant-based innovator Crafty Counter announces its egg-free Hard Boiled WunderEggs are launching into US Whole Foods Markets nationwide. Available in ready-to-eat packs of six, the company claims its products are the first plant-based boiled eggs to be made in the US.  Featuring simple, “closer to Earth” ingredients, WunderEggs are said to look, feel and taste just like chicken eggs while offering a wholesome and nutritious egg alternative. Made with cashews, almonds and coconuts, the nut-based eggs are also free of seven of the top eight allergens. As vegconomist reported in 2021, WunderEggs have a realistic “white” and a “yolk” and include other ingredients like probiotics, coconut milk, agar-agar, nutritional yeast, turmeric extract, and black salt.  Plant-based pivot According to Crafty Counter, 2023 marks the company’s …


Flinders University kelp

©Flinders University

Market & Trends

Whole Foods Market Names Kelp, Dates and Non-Dairy Milk Pulp as Top 2023 Food Trends

Whole Foods Market has released its eighth annual food trend predictions for the upcoming year. Compiling insights from over 50 Whole Foods team members, including culinary experts and regional and global buyers, the retail chain has identified nondairy milk pulp, kelp and dates as some of the biggest plant-based trends for 2023.  Nondairy milk sales continue to soar, and social media influencers are exploring new ways to make use of by-products from soy, oat and almond milk production. As TikTok creators discover inventive ways to upcycle leftovers from nut and seed-based milks, brands such as Renewal Mill are releasing baking mixes made with upcycled milk pulp, such as okara flour. Whole Foods also plans to release oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made from upcycled oats in …


Herbie Tofu Healthy Chicken Sandwich

©Herbie Burger

Fast Food

Herbie Burger Opens in LA to Offer Vegetable-Based Take on Vegan Fast Food

While most vegan burger spots make use of the ever-popular Beyond and Impossible Burgers, there’s a growing counter-movement that seeks to make whole vegetables and mushrooms the new star ingredients. Herbie Burger, which opened in Culver City, CA in August, is bucking the storebought brand trend to create its own line of indulgent black bean burgers, mushroom fried chicken, and healthier sides intended to shake up the plant-based fast food scene.  Herbie was founded by Peter Williams, a vegan of six years who enjoyed creating plant-based versions of classic comfort foods at home. When he struggled to find the same dishes at restaurants made without long lists of ingredients, Williams resolved to offer consumers the same decadent fare he loved with a healthier, whole foods …


Next Level Burger Stacked Vegan Burger

©Next Level Burger

Investments & Finance

Next Level Burger Raises $20M to Quadruple US Stores and Accelerate Path to 1,000 Locations

Vegan burger chain Next Level Burger announces it has raised $20M in funding to accelerate its plans for national US expansion. The company’s growth includes quadrupling its store count by the end of 2025, and eventually opening 1,000 locations.  According to the brand, the round was led by a strategic organic and natural foods partner, private mission-driven shareholders and early stage vegan investors Alex Payne, formerly of Twitter and Simple Bank, and Nicole Brodeur.  Operating nine locations in California, Oregon, Colorado, Texas and New York, Next Level is renowned for its 100% plant-based take on classic American fast food. Its selection of burgers, fries, and decadent milkshakes use only non-GMO ingredients and organic produce, while its product packaging is fully compostable.  1,000 outlets in 10 …


Sacred Serve Ice Cream Pints

©Sacred Serve

Food & Beverage

Sacred Serve Expands Its Upcycled Vegan Gelato to US Whole Foods Nationwide

Chicago brand Sacred Serve is expanding its line of vegan superfood gelato to Whole Foods stores across the US, reports Food Navigator-USA.  Founded by Kailey Donewald, Sacred Serve packages its clean-label gelato in the world’s first plastic-free, 100% biodegradable ice cream cartons. To craft the ice cream, Sacred Serve uses a base of upcycled Thai green coconuts, which it says provides a lighter coconut flavor and thick texture that eliminates the need for gums or stabilizers. The coconut is then blended with superfoods, adaptogens and medicinal mushroom ingredients. Accelerating capacity The brand first launched at 30 regional Whole Foods stores in 2019, where it worked to build a strong rapport with the chain throughout the pandemic. Leading up to the nationwide launch, the company says …


GOODLES Vegan Mac and Cheese Bowl


Products & Launches

Gal Gadot’s GOODLES Launches Its First Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese at Whole Foods Market

GOODLES, the mac and cheese brand backed by actress Gal Gadot, announced it has launched into US Whole Foods stores nationwide. Known for its nutritious remake of classic cheesy noodles, GOODLES’ says its first dairy-free flavor, Vegan is Believin’, will also launch at the retailer by the end of August.  Whole Foods in fact will be the first market to feature Vegan is Believin’, a plant-based version of white cheddar mac. Made with wheat flour and chickpea protein, the spiral pasta also contains nutrients extracted from 21 plant ingredients such as broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, cranberry, and mushrooms.  The dairy-free cheese sauce is made from cashew nut milk, and each serving offers 12 g of protein and 7 grams of fiber, while being …


Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey

John Mackey. © Whole Foods

Food Service

Whole Foods Co-Founder John Mackey to Launch Plant-Based Restaurant & Wellness Chain

Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey, who will be departing the company in September, is reportedly planning to launch a chain of plant-based restaurants and wellness centres. Mackey has been named as a partner in startup Healthy America LLC,  which has raised $31 million to launch the national chain. Other former Whole Foods executives are also involved — such as Betsy Foster, previously the retailer’s Senior Vice President, who is now Healthy America’s CEO. Former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb is another partner, and a few more executives from various Whole Foods departments also appear to have joined. It is believed that the first Healthy America location will be based in the south of California and operate under the brand name Love Life!. While it is …


Nowadays Chicken nuggets

© Nowadays

Retail & E-Commerce

Nowadays’ Clean-Label Nuggets Make Retail Debut at Whole Foods Market

Nowadays, a health-focused plant-based meat brand, announces its best-selling nuggets are now available in retail for the first time. Whole Foods stores in the US Southern Pacific region will now carry the brand, with more retailers and locations being added later this year.  “Unparalleled nutrition” According to Nowadays, its “wholesome” simple-ingredient nuggets are the most nutritious on the market, compared to both plant-based and conventional brands. Made with seven ingredients, including non-GMO yellow pea protein, Nowadays nuggets contain 120 calories, 13 grams of protein, 250 mg and no saturated fat per serving.  The nuggets feature a crispy outer coating with classic fried chicken flavor, and can be quickly prepared as a snack, simple meal or healthier comfort food option. Each 16 oz Nowadays pack currently …


V Foods

© V Foods

Products & Launches

V Foods Shuns Alt Meat for Whole Veggie Range in Thailand 

Thai plant-based producer V Foods has launched a new range of vegetable whole foods products, focusing on health and convenience rather than meat alternatives. Called the 100% Whole Veggie Bites range, the Thai brand is looking to focus on the appeal of whole foods to draw in consumers still skeptical of the plant-based movement.  Noting the impressive growth of the alt protein market in Thailand, V Foods has identified a gap in the sector for a health-focused range. The brand, known for its V Farm corn-based products, has noted increasing numbers of plant-based fast food products filling the Thai market – burgers and nuggets, for example – driving down costs but offering fewer health benefits to consumers.  The plant-based food and beverage producer V Foods …



© Soupergirl

Company News

Soupergirl Launches Fair Food Soup at Whole Foods to Fight Farm Worker Abuse

Plant-based brand Soupergirl announces it has become the first consumer packaged goods company to obtain Fair Food certification in an effort to protect farm workers’ rights. Soupergirl’s tomato gazpacho line now carries the Fair Food label, which can be found at select Whole Foods locations.  The Fair Food Program is a national effort to ensure just wages and humane working conditions for migrant workers who pick America’s fruits and vegetables. Created by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the nonprofit fights rampant labor and gender-based abuses found throughout the agricultural industry. Several major retailers have signed on to the program, including Whole Foods, Walmart, and Ahold.  To celebrate the launch of its Fair Food gazpacho at Whole Foods, Soupergirl held a free sampling event with …



© Violife

Products & Launches

Violife Veganizes Three Classic Dairy Dips in USA

Violife today announces its expansion into a new category with three plant-based versions of classic dairy dips, launching into Whole Foods locations across the US this Friday, June 24th. The launch entails three top-selling flavors for dairy dips: French Onion, Spinach & Artichoke, and Ranch, which are all free from dairy, nuts, soy, gluten, and preservatives. “Consumers love the taste and convenience of dips, and we are excited to bring Violife’s delicious plant-based take on these classic flavors to life!” said Debra Yoo, Senior Brand Manager at Violife. “We know that these new dips will appeal to consumers across the country, whether they are vegan, dairy-free, or curious about plant-based foods.” Speaking in interview with vegconomist earlier this month, General Manager Andy Reichgut said of …


Miyoko's Creamery liquid vegan mozzarella

©Miyoko's Creamery

Cheese Alternatives

Miyoko’s Award-Winning Liquid Vegan Pizza Mozzarella in Whole Foods Launch

Miyoko’s Creamery’s award-winning new Liquid Vegan Pizza Mozzarella is launching in Whole Foods Markets in the South and Southern Pacific regions. The liquid cheese innovation offers superior melting qualities when cooked, according to CEO Miyoko Schinner, who told vegconomist the product will “revolutionize vegan pizza cheese”. The unique Liquid Vegan Pizza Mozzarella format differs from the conventional block or shredded cheese approach, which is made from organic cultured cashew milk, which is the brand claims is fermented according to traditional cheesemaking techniques. This format means the product does not have any added flavors or excess ingredients.  After recently winning the Best New Product Supporting a Plant-Based Lifestyle at the Expo West 2022 NEXTY Awards, Miyoko’s Liquid Vegan Pizza Mozzarella will be hitting shelves at Whole Foods …