Most alt-protein companies start out by making the basics, like burgers and nuggets. But US-based Prime Roots has taken a different approach, aiming to make plant-based comfort foods that aren’t widely available.
The company uses a Japanese fungus called koji to make its meat alternatives. In a 2019 interview with vegconomist, co-founder Kimberlie Le said the company could use it to make “pretty much any plant-based meat or seafood product”.
As Prime Roots releases another new product line, we take a look at the highlights of its portfolio so far.
Mac and Cheese
The latest addition to Prime Roots’ range is a selection of four plant-based, gluten-free flavours of mac and cheese. The new flavours are Lobster, Buffalo Chicken, Bacon & Green Chile, and Bacon.
While plant-based beef and chicken are relatively easy to come by, plant-based lobster is not — so it’s no surprise that Prime Roots’ lobster ravioli is a bestseller. When it launched, the company claimed it was the first vegan lobster ravioli in the world.
The company now offers a whole range of ravioli. The other flavours are Bacon & Butternut Squash, Chicken & Truffle, Chicken, Pesto, & Sundried Tomato, and Sausage.
Flavoured Koji Bacon
When Prime Roots first launched its vegan bacon made with koji, it sold out almost immediately. The company followed up by launching several flavoured varieties — Black Pepper, Maple, Sriacha, and Hickory.
Last October, Prime Roots unveiled a new range of ready meals made with koji meat alternatives. Among them was the Chicken Florentine, featuring a creamy garlicky sauce, “chicken” pieces, and spinach.
Beef Thai Lemongrass Larb
The company’s ready meal range also features this plant-based version of a traditional Thai dish. It contains koji “beef” crumbles, fresh vegetables, and spices like lemongrass, mint, and ginger, all on a bed of brown rice.
The future of Prime Roots
So what’s next for the company? In another interview with vegconomist last year, founders Kimberlie Le and Joshua Nixon said they had plans to expand beyond the US and take the brand global.
“We have a waitlist and community with thousands of people from over 50 countries who are excited for us to bring Prime Roots global,” they said. “We are constantly scaling up our capacity in order to make our products available worldwide.”