Meal Kits, Menus and Snack Aisles are All Bringing More Vegan-Friendly Options to Consumers

Meal Kits, Menus and Snack Aisles are All Bringing More Vegan-Friendly Options to Consumers

Momentum for the vegan food market continues to grow at a rapid pace, with revenue projected to hit US$61.35 billion by 2028, according to analysis from Fortune Business Insights. Within the report titled Vegan Food Market, 2021-2028, the market is expected to grow to that figure at a CAGR of 12.95% from US$26.16 billion in 2021, citing rising demand and increasing health consciousness as reasons for the bolstered market. The vegan-friendly trend is making its way onto a vast range of menus, including from the home meal kits delivered by newly-IPO’d Vegano Foods Inc. (CSE:VAGN), inflight menus on Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), plant-based meats from Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), and a new joint venture between PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND).

To help vegans with less time to prepare their meals ahead of time, Canadian innovators Vegano Foods Inc. (CSE:VAGN) have successfully launched a home meal kit delivery platform that’s quickly gaining ground in a seemingly crowded market.

“We’ll say to people, ‘Have you heard of HelloFresh or Blue Apron? We are the same thing but vegan,” said CEO Conor Power, who describes Vegano as an “innovative food technology company.”

Where Vegano stands out is its major advantage for the vegetarian/vegan crowd, in comparison to its meal-kit delivery competitors.

Blue Apron currently offers four veggie dishes per week, while HelloFresh offers six options per week, whereas Vegano presents a selection of nearly 20 different meals that can be selected on their subscription service.

The wide veggie-dish range makes Vegano one of the current leaders in vegan-vegetarian friendly variety for the home kit delivery segment. This distinction helped Vegano Foods to garner more than $6 million in investment as a private company prior to its IPO—now trading publicly under the CSE listing VAGN.

Now Vegano is Canada’s first 100% plant-based meal kit delivery service—growing sales by 150% in the first half of 2021.

The company designs, develops, produces and sells curated 100% plant-based meal kits with pre-portioned ingredients, while also delivering through its Vegano Marketplace platform.

After establishing its meal delivery options, Vegano went on to launch its marketplace option, that sells its own proprietary branded products, as well as third party plant-based products from notable brands such as Bob’s Red Mill, Earth’s Own, and The Very Good Butchers.

The company has openly stated a goal of increasing its offerings up to 10,000 before 2021 closed out.

“We are targeting a demographic that wants to consume more plant-based foods, but needs help with recipes and techniques along the way,” said Kaylee Astle, COO of Vegano Foods. “I’m excited to help more Canadians experience the benefits of a plant-based diet, even if it’s only a few days of the week.”

While shoppers don’t have to be existing Vegano meal kit subscribers to order from the marketplace, there is a $9.99 delivery fee for non-members. Subscribers can also choose marketplace items and arrange to have them delivered on the same day as their meal kit.

Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) has stated it anticipated consumer habits would shift more towards eating at home.

“Recent studies and our understanding of habit formation tell us that this shift towards at-home entertainment is likely to continue post-pandemic,” said Conagra CEO Sean Connolly. “When consumers, particularly the younger generations move their entertainment to the home, they increase the number of at-home snacking occasions.”

Last summer Conagra put out a marketing campaign that highlighted Technomic’s January 2021 US Foodservice Planning Program, showing that 63% of operators said they planned to simplify their restaurants in 2021, while 47% of Americans stated they wanted to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets.

Through its subsidiary Gardein, the food giant has been busy developing new products that restaurants could incorporate onto their menus, including Chick’n Tenders, and plant-based burgers.

An expansion of inflight menus on Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) is set to include 5 new vegetarian meals over a range of new entrees, featuring Impossible FoodsBlack Sheep Foods and other regionally-inspired options.

“Not only are plant-based meats like Impossible Burger delicious to eat, but they’re also often better for the environment, using far less land and water to produce,” said Kristen Manion Taylor, Delta’s Senior VP of Inflight Service in a statement. “These new options are one part of Delta’s broader mission to promote a wellness-focused travel journey.”

The move comes as a relief to many vegetarian travellers who in the past have typically had to choose a pasta-based dish that’s heavier on carbohydrates as their only inflight meal option.

The 5 new vegetarian/vegan meals include an Impossible burger, Black Sheep Food lamb meatballs, Impossible meatballs, cauliflower cakes, and a warm seasonal vegetable plate.

For those on shorter flights not long enough to come with an in-flight meal, travelers could soon be snacking on a plant-based jerky co-developed by PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND).

According to PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta, the company is targeting an early 2022 product launch from the partnership.

The joint venture is led by Chief Executive Officer Daniel Moisan, a PepsiCo veteran. It will be co-located with Beyond Meat in El Segundo, California, Moisan. 

However, Beyond Meat CFO Phil Hardin said the new product uses an “expensive process” that will drag down first-quarter profits—with the expectation that costs should improve later in the year.

Conagra already markets a Gardein-branded jerky called Ultimate, that’s made with wheat and soy. The jerky from PepsiCo/Beyond Meat doesn’t contain soy, gluten or genetically modified organisms, but does contain 10 grams of plant protein per service.

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