It seems like every week in the world of vegan food news is more exciting than the last and this week is no exception. Atlanta chain Slutty Vegan is set to “sluttify” New York with its first location in Brooklyn. German candy brand Katjes is still expanding its gelatin-free gummies to new US retailers. And Canadian smoothie chain Booster Juice just got a plant-based boost thanks to Field Roast’s vegan Italian sausage crumbs. Read on to find out more.
1 Slutty Vegan stretches out in Brooklyn
Entrepreneur and social justice advocate Pinky Cole is building a plant-based empire, one slutty vegan burger at a time. It’s hard to believe that Slutty Vegan has only been around since 2018 because the company is now an institution that has “sluttyed” everyone from Usher to Snoop Dogg to Tyler Perry. The chain has grown steadily and now operates four locations in Georgia, where people wait hours to try slutty sauce-coated burgers, plant-based chicken sandwiches and Slutty Vegan sides.
This week, Slutty Vegan announced that its first New York location is also on the horizon with plans to open an outpost in Brooklyn this spring. Slutty Vegan Brooklyn is set to open in the Fort Greene neighborhood and will serve as a bit of a homecoming for Cole, who previously operated a restaurant in Harlem that she sadly lost to a fire. In addition to Brooklyn, Slutty Vegan is planning locations in Birmingham, AL, Baltimore, MD and other areas.
We’re queuing now because once word of Slutty Vegan Brooklyn gets out, it might be a bit (worthy) of the wait to get your hands on a Sloppy Toppy, Fussy Hussy, or One Night Stand.
2 Vegan pepperoni pizzas are coming to Rapid Fired
Rapid Fired Pizza boasts that it can get a hot pizza in your hands in a quick 180 seconds. Now the chain is adding new plant-based options to make its pizzas ready in two minutes even better.
While Rapid Fired already offers vegan mozzarella cheese and other plant-based toppings, this week it turned two of its fan-favorite pizzas into plant-based superstars using vegan pepperoni and cheese crumbles. Italian sausages made by MorningStar Farms.
Quick Cook Pizza
The PBD (Plant-Based Deluxe) is made with MorningStar Farms sausage crumbs, plant-based pepperoni, vegan mozzarella, green peppers, red onions, and classic red sauce; while the PepperNoMeat features plant-based pepperoni, vegan mozzarella, and classic red sauce.
“We have always prided ourselves on having quality and tasty ingredients. For these new toppings, there was no difference in the selection process,” Mike Kern, president and CEO of Rapid Fired Pizza, said in a statement. “With all the requests we have received from the community, it just felt right to launch these two new products. We are excited to expand our already popular plant-based line and encourage all pizza lovers to try the products at herbal basis.
The new options are available now through April 15, 2022 at all 31 Rapid Fired Pizza locations in the Midwest, Southeast and Texas.
3 New dairy-free cheese at Sprouts
The only thing better than vegan cheese is more vegan cheese and this week Grounded Foods’ delicious dairy-free creations are coming to 364 Sprouts stores nationwide. Founded in 2019 by Australian duo Veronica Fil and Shaun Quade (an award-winning chef), Grounded Foods uses a proprietary fermentation process to create realistic vegan cheese using imperfect cauliflower and the proteins and fats contained in the hemp.
“It’s the taste for us. It comes first with everything we do,” Fil said in a statement. “We strongly believe that it is possible to satisfy people’s craving for cheese by using existing, natural and underutilized plant resources, things that come from the ground.”
The brand currently makes three vegan products: hemp seed cream cheese, hemp seed goat cheese, and a cheese-free cheese pressing sauce. In addition to Sprouts, Grounded Foods cheeses can be found at Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Gelson’s, Harmon’s, Festival Foods and Pete’s Fresh Market.
4 Gelatin Free Gummies Galore
German gummies brand Katjes has worked to replace animal gelatin (made with boiled connective tissue from pig or cow bones, ligaments and tendons) with a plant-based substitute (which contains none of the that). The brand’s palm oil-free gummies landed in the United States in 2021 via Walgreens where they come in different shapes such as unicorns, fairies and hearts.
Currently, the convenience store chain offers Katjes gummies in Rainbow, Sour, and Love & Stars variety packs (a patriotic nod to its US debut). In 2022, Katjes is working to expand its selection of vegan gummies with a new innovation that it will announce in May at the Sweets & Snacks Expo 2022. This week, Katjes announced that it is also expanding to other retailers Americans outside Walgreens.
5 Vegetable paninis arrive at Booster Juice
This week, Canada’s largest juice and smoothie chain, Booster Juice, got a boost to its plant-based menu with the addition of Field Roast’s vegan Italian sausage crumbs. The 410-location chain is now serving two menu items made with the new plant-based garlic and fennel sausage: the Italian Plant-Nini Crumble (vegan sausage, mix of peppers, onions, spinach and pesto served on a focaccia flatbread grilled) and the Italian crumble. Plant Wrap (which has the same fillings as the plant-nini but served in a toasted tortilla).
“Booster Juice is thrilled to partner with plant-based industry leader Field Roast to launch new items on our healthy food menu,” said Dale Wishewan, president and CEO of Booster Juice, in a statement. . “We know our customers know Booster Juice for our quality products and this addition is a perfect fit with our other premium offerings.”
6 Burger King UK’s new vegan options
Burger King invested heavily in adding plant-based options to its menus around the world following the launch of the Impossible Burger in 2019 at its US locations. At Burger King UK, plant-based options, such as Rebel Whopper, Meatless Nuggets and Vegan Royale, have been on the rise in recent years too. So much so that Burger King UK CEO Alasdair Murdoch has said plant-based products will gradually replace meat options, leading to a Burger King UK menu that is 50% plant-based by now. 2031.
Burger King United Kingdom
On March 8, Burger King UK is expanding its vegan menu with two new Japanese-inspired options: the Katsu Vegan Royale (which includes a breaded vegan chicken patty, katsu sauce, marinated coleslaw, crispy onions and vegan mayonnaise) and the Katsu Plant-Based Chilli Whopper (made with two meatless patties, chili sauce, crispy onions, marinated coleslaw and katsu curry sauce). As is the case with most fast food restaurants, Burger King UK cooks its vegan items on shared equipment.
“We know katsu curry is one of the nation’s favorite flavors, so we can’t wait for people to try these twists on our classic Whopper and Royale,” said Katie Evans, Marketing Director of Burger King UK, in a statement. “We promise new specialties that maximize flavor, with nearly identical-tasting vegan and vegetarian options.”
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