Abbot's Chopped Chick'n now available as a protein option at Tocaya Organica.

© Abbots Butcher

Food Service

Abbot’s Butcher Chopped Chick’n Added to Menus at All 20 Tocaya Modern Mexican Restaurants

Casual chain Tocaya Modern Mexican, a Mexican concept chain with over 20 locations in California and Arizona, launches plant-based Chopped Chick’n made by Abbot’s Butcher across all menus as a suggested protein pairing for many of Tocaya’s dishes as well as a protein option for any entrée. The product expansion means that Tocaya is the only restaurant to carry Abbot’s Butcher Chopped Chick’n in the Greater Los Angeles area, though the “Beef” and “Chorizo” are offered at independently owned restaurant menus including Chicas Tacos, Pizzanista, and Mohawk Bend. Tocaya’s chefs offer various suggestions for the plant protein such as the Tocaya Salad tossed with Chick’n and a spicy cilantro-lime dressing; Grilled Pineapple Al Pastor Bowl with Chick’n and cilantro-lime rice; and the Fajita Burrito with …


Taco Bell UK

© Taco Bell UK

Fast Food

Taco Bell UK Launches Plant Protein at No Extra Cost

Mexican-inspired chain Taco Bell has launched plant-based protein at all 132 of its UK restaurants, targeting the country’s growing flexitarian population. Made from peas and other legumes prepared with Taco Bell’s “bold” seasoning, the protein can be ordered instead of meat as part of any menu item, at no extra charge. This includes the Crunchwrap Supreme, Volcano Burrito, Quesadilla, and Crunchy Taco. The plant protein will also be offered as part of Taco Tuesday deals, where customers can get a taco and a regular drink for £2. While all the ingredients used to make the protein are plant-based, Taco Bell warns that there may be cross-contamination as meat-free options “are handled by our employees in common with meat ingredients”. Additionally, customers will have to order …


A plant-based taco

© Propel Foods

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Propel Foods is Developing AI-Powered Plant Proteins Backed by Mexican Government

After winning the Hult Prize 2021, with a proposal to help local communities and the environment with alternative foods, Joel González, Sofía Hillman, and Jayat González received a US $150K prize which they used to fund their startup Propel Foods. Based in Mexico City, Propel Foods is an AI-powered startup that creates plant-based and hybrid-protein foods. The company says it combines the best of the vegetable and animal worlds in foods that are good for your health, delicious to eat, and good for the planet’s health.  Propel Foods commented in an interview: “Since we won the prize, we have continued turning our idea into a viable business. We were recognized in Mexico as a National Interest, were featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, and have entered into talks …


Baja Fresh Impossible Beef Tacos

© Baja Fresh

Gastronomy & Food Service

Baja Fresh Adds Impossible Beef to Permanent Menu at All Locations

Mexican fast-casual chain Baja Fresh announces it is adding Impossible Meat Made From Plants as a permanent menu item across all 90 US locations. The rollout follows the chain’s successful trial of Impossible Meat that first launched in 2021.  In addition to keeping the current selection of Impossible dishes, Baja’s guests will also be able to choose the brand’s plant-based beef as a protein on almost any menu item. The three staple Impossible dishes include:  Impossible Taco Combo – Three tacos with grilled corn tortillas filled with Impossible meat, topped with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa baja and non-vegan cheese.  Fuego Impossible Burrito – Guacamole, black beans, Impossible meat, diablo salsa, salsa 6 chiles, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, shredded lettuce and non-vegan …


© Micro Meat

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Mexico’s First Cultured Meat Startup ‘Micro Meat’ Selected for Newchip Accelerator

Micro Meat, a startup funded by Y Combinator in the summer of 2021 and the first startup of its kind from Mexico, announces it has been accepted into Newchip’s renowned global accelerator program. Micro Meat is a “platform that helps businesses grow and thrive by providing them with the resources they need to produce cultivated meat,” co-founded by Anne-Sophie Mertgen, a tissue engineer, and Vincent Pribble, an ex-NASA and Blue Origin engineer. The company states its mission is to end animal suffering and prevent climate catastrophe by enabling businesses of any size to create and sell cultivated meat. Designed to help startups to rapidly fund, build and upscale, past cohorts at Newchip are said to have averaged more than 17.5 times the average funding amount. …


Maciel's Deli

©Maciel's Plant-Based Deli/ Anna Beeke

Gastronomy & Food Service

Maciel’s Plant-Based Butcher is Opening LA’s First-Ever Vegan Butcher Shop

On July 8, Maciel’s Plant-Based Butcher & Deli is opening in LA’s Highland Park neighborhood, becoming the city’s first-ever plant-based butcher shop, reports Eater LA. Offering a rich, Mexican-influenced menu, Maciel’s will serve a variety of scratch-made animal-free meats, cheeses, and sandwiches.  A neighborhood butcher-deli Maciel’s was created by Maciel Bañales Luna, spouse Joe Egender and business partner Dustin Lancaster. The concept was inspired by Bañales Luna, a Mexican native who worked as a nutrition researcher and experimented with plant-based meats at home. According to the founders, Maciel’s aims to offer the same comfort and familiarity as a traditional corner deli.  “We see it as a neighborhood butcher-deli,” said Egender. “You come and get your weekly meats, but also grab some sandwiches and aguas frescas, …




Fairs & Events

Best of Mexico’s Plant-Based Brands Steal the Show at ANTAD

As IFFA 2022 took place in Germany last week, Mexico held its own key food industry trade fair ANTAD. The Expo ANTAD & Alimentaria México 2022 brought together the major players of the food and service industry in the country, with this year seeing increased participation from plant-based producers.  Held between 17 and 19 May at Expo Guadalajara, the ANTAD trade fair saw five Mexican plant-based brands unite under the concept of VEGETAL REVOLUTION to showcase their products and projects to international buyers and suppliers. The brands present were Benji, Delike, Leaf, Veganisimo, and Zahini, in conjunction with the Association of Vegan Entrepreneurs of Mexico (EVM). Despite its retail footprint being relatively small compared to other international markets, Mexico’s plant-based economy is a growing market …


Oumph! Chiquito Vegan Burrito Bowl

© Chiquito

Retail & E-Commerce

Oumph! & Chiquito Burrito Bowl “Out-Performing” Forecasts at 1000 UK Locations 

Oumph!, the Swedish alt meat sensation, has made a retail collaboration with Mexican restaurant Chiquito which is sold exclusively at over 1000 Iceland and Food Warehouse stores across the UK. Supermarket chain Iceland is now reporting the Chiquito Vegan Burrito Bowl’s success as the product out-performs against initial forecasts. “Since launch, the Chiquito Vegan Burrito Bowl is out-performing against our initial forecasts, with some incredibly encouraging reviews from customers both in-store and online” The Chiquito Vegan Burrito Bowl, which contains Oumph! Salty & Smoky soya protein retails at £4.00 (450g) and can be cooked straight from frozen – with the brand advertising it as ideal for snacking and packing on the go. Since 2019 Oumph! has featured in two popular vegan dishes on Chiquito’s menu.  It …


Vegan/ Plant-Based Tacos

Photo by Jarett Lopez on Unsplash

Products & Launches

Upton’s Naturals Debuts First Fava Bean Taco Crumbles

Plant-based food company Upton’s Naturals has launched Fava Taco Style Crumbles, one of the first plant-based meat fillings made from fava beans.  Coming to Sprouts Farmers Markets this spring, the fava crumbles are made to recreate the mouthfeel and texture of slow-cooked ground beef, the company says. The product is seasoned with a custom taco seasoning blend, and each serving offers 9 grams of protein with minimal fat and calories. The fava crumbles are also Kosher Pareve and free from soy, gluten, oil,  added sugars and cholesterol.  As a heat-and-eat product, the fava crumbles cook within minutes and can be enjoyed as a stuffing for tacos or burritos, served with nachos or any Mexican-style dish. Upton’s crumbles will be available in chilled 8 oz packages at …




Products & Launches

Former KIND Snacks Execs Launch SOMOS Mexican Meal Kits

In another seemingly “accidentally vegan” Mexican product launch following yesterday’s US rollout of Chocke-Obleas, new brand SOMOS launches DTC meal kits today saying: ” fluorescent molded hard-shell yellow corn tortillas… don’t actually exist in Mexico”. SOMOS is produced entirely in Mexico and the brand says it sources the majority of its ingredients from local Mexican family farms. The products are not specifically marketed as vegan but the FAQ page confirms that the products are 100% vegan friendly. Co-founded by former KIND Snacks executives Daniel Lubetzky, Miguel Leal and Rodrigo Zuloaga, the freshly launched DTC kits supply consumers with the core ingredients necessary to make meals such as tacos, tostadas, nachos, or chilaquiles. The product range includes shelf-stable, slow-cooked rices, beans, “Unusually Thick & Crunchy” tortilla …


Boojum Marketing Manager Paul McCullagh with Head of Operations, Robert Powell

Boojum Marketing Manager Paul McCullagh with Head of Operations, Robert Powell ©Boojum

Company News

Ireland: Boojum Partners with Oumph! to Add Plant-Based Mexican Meat to Menus

Mexican QSR chain Boojum has announced a new partnership with plant-based producer Oumph! to bring vegan chicken to its menus for the first time. The Ireland-based restaurant chain is making the move as popularity for its meat-free choices has “skyrocketed” over recent years. In celebration of Veganuary, Boojum is partnering with Oumph! – one of the UK and Europe’s leading alt meat brands. The result is a plant-based chicken to add to any of the main meals on the menu and seasoned with the Boojum blend of spices. The vegan chicken option will be available at all Boojum restaurants across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Boojum states that its meat-free choices have grown significantly in popularity in the past few years, giving the …


Casa Verde Plant-Based Latin Meals

©Casa Verde/ Ilinel Food Co.

Company News

Ilinel Food Co. to Disrupt Latin Food with New Casa Verde Plant-Based Meals

Casa Verde, a brand by Ilinel Food Company, is launching four ready-to-cook Latin-inspired meals.  Created to “disrupt the Latin market”, the new shelf-stable products recreate traditional recipes using exclusively plant-based ingredients.  Available on Casa Verde’s direct-to-consumer site, the entrees include Garbanzos Al Pastor, Lentil Mole, Coconut Chowder, and Red Bean Pozole. In addition to being completely plant-based, all of the meals’ ingredients are organic, kosher and sustainably sourced. The meals can be cooked on a stovetop or microwave and are ready to eat within 60 seconds.  Founded by Guatemalan native Harry Lewis, Casa Verde wants to make healthy and delicious food accessible throughout Latin America. By incorporating culturally relevant flavors and new technologies, the brand is innovating meat-heavy Latin cuisine while respecting the region’s rich …


Chipotle Vegan Chorizo

Image courtesy of Chipotle

Gastronomy & Food Service

Chipotle Launches Vegan Chorizo in All US Restaurants

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the nationwide rollout of the chain’s highly-anticipated Plant-Based Chorizo, available for a limited time.  Made from pea protein, Chipotle peppers, tomato paste, garlic, Spanish smoked paprika, and extra virgin olive oil, Chipotle says the new chorizo offers the “rich flavor” and “slight kick that chorizo fans crave.” The Plant-Based Chorizo will also be featured in Chipotle’s new Lifestyle Bowls, pre-arranged entrees designed to appeal to different dietary preferences and make healthy eating more accessible. The new chorizo-centered bowls include the Whole30Ⓡ Salad Bowl (Supergreens Lettuce Blend, Plant-Based Chorizo, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Fajita Veggies, Guacamole) Vegetarian Bowl, and Vegan Bowl (White Rice, Black Beans, Plant-Based Chorizo, Corn Salsa, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Shredded Romaine Lettuce.) The company says the Plant-Based Chorizo is certified …


Mexico vegan

© nik0.0kin -

Market & Trends

Vegan Economy Thriving in Mexico Due to Consumer Shifts, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Last year reported that 20% of Mexicans are already vegan or vegetarian. Although some dispute this figure, the trend is clear: consumer habits in Mexico are shifting towards animal-free products, for a variety of reasons including health, the environment and animal welfare. This transformation has been more pronounced in Mexico than in many countries in The Americas thanks to the drive for entrepreneurship and innovation. Mexican vegan companies continue to emerge and grow, for example, Delike, which was founded in Mexico City in 2019 and this year launched its first Veggie Bites, continuing its presence on the shelves of supermarkets and restaurants in the country. Mexican plant-based food company Heartbest Foods, which distributes its products around the country, announced this year the launch of …




Market & Trends

Plant-Based Chicken Set to Overtake Real Chicken as Most Popular Option at Barburrito

Recently acquired Mexican chain Barburrito, which operates 14 locations across the UK, reports that in what it claims to be the first for a UK restaurant that sells both meat and plant-based options, its plant-based chicken filling is on course to overtake real chicken as the most popular item on its menu this month. The UK has seen a 40% increase in consumers switching to veganism since 2020, rising from 1.1 million people to 1.5 million people at the start of 2021.  The plant-based option at Barburrito –  THISTM Isn’t Chicken – is reportedly close to surpassing its most popular filling, grilled chicken, and has already overtaken chicken and chorizo, spicy shredded beef and pulled pork menu options in the past six months. Lynsey Hutchinson, …


Heartbest Foods milk

© Heartbest Foods

Company News

Heartbest Foods’ Innovative Plant Milks to be Available Throughout Mexico

Mexican foodtech company Heartbest Foods, whose investors include Blue Horizons Ventures, recently announced that its plant-based milks will be available nationwide across Mexico, according to its co-founder and CEO, Aldo González. The company produces a range of vegan milk, cheeses and creams including unique drinks such as pea & amaranth.