Prime Roots, pioneers of Koji-based Meat, announces the company has re-branded and is launching the first-ever line of Koji Deli Meats and Charcuterie. The new line includes sliceable hams, turkey and salami, as well as koji pâtés, pepperoni and foie gras.
Aiming to disrupt the $300 billion global bulk deli market, the brand intends to revolutionize the concept of deli meat alternatives, where it says there is currently a lack of strong leading players.
Prime Root’s koji protein platform has allowed it to create the first animal-free deli meats that can be freshly sliced and used to make traditional deli classics, like smokey ham and cracked pepper turkey sandwiches.
The groundbreaking meats and pâtés are crafted from koji – the same fungi used to make popular fermented products such as miso and soy sauce. Koji’s mycelium (root structure) naturally grows in long, microscopic fibers which excel at recreating the dense, meaty texture of animal foods, such as chicken and pork.
As an ingredient, Koji is highly versatile and can be used in a near-infinite variety of products and formats.
Leading the category
In 2020, Prime Roots released Koji Bacon to great fanfare, where the product sold out within hours and amassed a waitlist of 50,000 fans. Since then, Prime Roots has experimented with dozens of koji-based products ranging from Koji Beef Shepherd’s Pie to Pork Soba Noodles and Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese.
The deli meat category has grown much more slowly compared to other plant-based segments. Brands like Tofurky and Yves have long-offered cold cut slices, but the segment was largely dormant until 2020, when Mrs. Goldfarb’s and Sweet Earth released innovative lines of pastrami, turkey and ham.
Through its own deli debut, Prime Roots hopes to directly appeal to meat consumers by offering premium deli flavors without the environmental costs of animal protein.
As founders Kimberlie Le and Joshua Nixon told vegconomist last year: “We have a waitlist and community with thousands of people from over 50 countries who are excited for us to bring Prime Roots global. We are constantly scaling up our capacity in order to make our products available worldwide.”