Online grocer Peapod has teamed with vegan chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Chloe Coscarelli to launch a line of plant-based shoppable recipes, whose ingredients can be added to virtual carts with just the click of a button.
The Ahold USA ecommerce arm has introduced five options, all of which provide fresh, premeasured ingredients that can be purchased along with other grocery essentials. One such option is General Tso’s Tofu meal kit.
"My goal has always been to make vegan cooking easier and more enjoyable for at-home chefs," said Coscarelli. "Vegan doesn't have to mean bland and boring, and I'm really excited to share this General Tso's Tofu meal kit with everyone. This is my first meal kit, so by partnering with Peapod, I'm hoping it will solve some mealtime challenges people are facing."
Chicago-based Peapod's introduction comes the same week as another provider of plant-based meal solutions, meal-kit service Purple Carrot, received a $4 million equity investment from Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. to help expand operations, including supply chain efficiency and access to the retail channel and categories.
“Helping people eat more plant-based foods represents our differentiated, purpose-driven commitment to making the planet and the people who live on it healthier," said Andy Levitt, founder and CEO of Needham, Mass.-based Purple Carrot. "This investment by Fresh Del Monte will strengthen our ability to create meaningful and lasting change, improve our core product and open up a world of possibilities for brand expansion.”
The time for plant-based meal kits and other solutions has never been more right: Three in four consumers are trying to eat more protein or interested in doing so, although 58 percent of Americans have tried to, or are interested in trying to, consume less meat, Chicago-based market research firm Mintel says in its October 2017 “Healthy Lifestyles – US” report. This meshes well with data revealing that plant-based eating’s growth is expected to hit $25 million by 2020 (double 2015’s value), while meal kits are anticipated to hit $35 billion in 2025 (up from $1.6 billion in 2016).
"We're constantly looking for ways we can delight our shoppers with a great selection that fits a variety of today's diets," said Spencer Baird, SVP of merchandising at Chciago-based Peapod. "Partnering with Chloe and co-creating a meal kit with Chloe is the perfect way to bring fresh ideas to vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians or anyone just looking to embrace more meatless meals."