Freebirds’ Pork-Free Chorizo, USA Wins Veganuary and More Vegan Food News of the Week

It seems like every week in the world of vegan food news is more exciting than the last and this week is no exception. Some meaty vegan news this week included the landing of pork-free chorizo ​​on the menu at burrito chain Freebirds; the strong man Patrik Baboumian who supports the new brand of vegetable meat GREENFORCE; and new beef dishes launched by Panda Express and Beyond Meat. And if you’re wondering which country has had the most registrations for Veganuary this year, you might be surprised to learn that the title goes to the United States of America. Read on to find out more.

1 Pork-Free Chorizo ​​Lands at Freebirds

This week, Texas chain Freebirds World Burrito added pork-free chorizo ​​as a protein option in any meal at its more than 50 locations across the state. The new chorizo ​​comes courtesy of Abbot’s Butcher, a California-based company with celebrity endorsements from Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson that specializes in soy-free, whole-food vegan meats. To attract new customers with its burritos, the chain also updated its tortilla selection to include a grain-free option from Texas brand Siete Family Foods.

“You can’t have a great burrito without a delicious tortilla, and Siete’s grain-free tortillas are the perfect complement to our flour and spicy cayenne pepper options,” Freebirds CEO Alex Eagle said in a statement. . “Abbot’s vegetable chorizo ​​is so good and perfectly seasoned that some people won’t even know it’s all vegetable.”

Nowhere near Texas, but craving some vegan chorizo? You’re in luck because since January 3, Chipotle has been serving its own pork-free chorizo ​​at all of its more than 2,700 locations across the country.

2 Patrik Baboumian supports a plant-based meat brand

Elite athlete Patrik Baboumian is known for his strength and endurance and now he’s putting his full weight behind the herbal brand GREENFORCE to help it expand in the UK. The sustainability-focused brand makes pea protein blends that can be turned into vegan meats with just a little water. This makes the product shelf stable and eliminates the need for things like refrigeration during transport and storage, an environmental win.


Baboumian got involved as an ambassador to get GREENFORCE onto UK shelves after the German brand found success domestically and in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. “Our ultimate mission is to revolutionize the food industry with unique products that do not come at the expense of animals, the environment or our health,” he said in a statement. “We believe in a sustainable future that harnesses the power of plants and values ​​high-quality protein. Without any unnecessary additives, in just a few steps you can make meatballs, sausages, minced meat or a juicy burger with powder.

If Baboumian sounds familiar, it’s because he was featured in the ultra-popular documentary The game changers, a must-watch film for anyone interested in how plant-based diets fuel some of the world’s top athletes.

3 Panda Express tests Beyond Beef in new plant-based dishes

Last year, the partnership between Panda Express and Beyond Meat brought us the delicious Beyond The Original Orange Chicken (BTOOC), a vegan version of the chain’s most popular menu item, slathered in that same hot sauce but without any animal products. While Panda is still testing BTOOC, which it recently rolled out to 70 locations in 10 states, vegan chicken is already a strong regional product.


Hot on the heels of BTOOC’s sold-out success, Panda is exploring other possibilities with Beyond Meat. This week, the chain unveiled two dishes, spicy mapo tofu and garlicky green beans, each made with meat with Beyond Beef, at its innovation location in Pasadena, California. At this location, chefs can experiment with new dishes that could eventually be rolled out to other Panda outposts and even across the land.

From now until February 23, those lucky enough to live in sunny Pasadena can sample limited-time mapo tofu with Beyond Beef and green beans with Beyond Beef, two items that don’t contain any products. of animal origin but share cooking surfaces with other Pandas. washing up.

4 Starbucks gets into oat milk with new Frappuccinos

Starbucks added Oatly’s oat milk to its menu last March and customers gulped it down. In April, the coffee giant was reporting oat milk shortages in part due to the popularity of the brown sugar shaken oat milk iced espresso, a drink it introduced to promote its Oatly launch which combines brown sugar and cinnamon, and is then topped up with oat milk. .


Now Starbucks is extending its love affair with oat milk – a dairy option that’s far more environmentally friendly than dairy – to its retail arm with the launch of two new bottled Frappuccinos in Caramel Waffle. Cookie and Dark Chocolate Brownie. Arriving in stores by the end of the year, the new deliciously dessert oat milk Frappuccinos will be sold alongside Starbucks’ new multi-serve Cold Brew with dark chocolate flavored oat milk.

5 American Veganuary promises go beyond everyone else

The last week of January means the final days of Veganuary are upon us and this year’s campaign has been a huge success worldwide with a record 600,000 sign-ups. If you’re unfamiliar, Veganuary is a UK-based campaign that challenges people to go vegan for the month of January and beyond. And so far, 2 million people around the world have answered the call to ditch animal products for the month.


So which country got the most registrations in 2022? Surprisingly, the United States – where the Veganuary campaign has only had a foothold since 2020 – is the big leader this year, surpassing the other 280 participating countries. The states with the most Veganuary commitments are California, New York, Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

“It’s great to see Americans embracing Veganuary in a big way,” Wendy Matthews, US Director of Veganuary, said in a statement. “As people become more informed about the impact of our food choices on the planet, our health and animals, I predict that interest in veganism will continue to grow exponentially at both the consumer and business level. .”

For the latest vegan news, read:

Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson get vegan silk bathrobes
Dolce & Gabbana bans fur, a big deal for Italy’s luxury fashion industry
Vegan fast food chains are spreading fast. Can McDonald’s keep up?

JUST LAUNCHED! Vote for your favorite vegan products in the 2022 VegNews Veggie Awards.

Vote now