Purple Carrot Brings Plant-Based Frozen Meals to Whole Foods

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Purple Carrot Brings Plant-Based Frozen Meals to Whole Foods

By Thad Rueter - 07/06/2020
Purple Carrot Brings Plant-Based Frozen Meals to Whole Foods
Whole Foods' deal with plant-based meal-kit provider Purple Carrot reflects larger consumer pandemic trends.

Plant-based meal-kit provider Purple Carrot has launched a line of single-serve meals for sale in the frozen food sections of “most Whole Foods Market stores across the country,” according to Purple Carrot.

According to Purple Carrot, it “created these meals with the same flavor profiles and nutritional philosophies that are core to its meal-kit offering.”

Developed with Chicago-based Conagra Brands, the new single-serve meals include:

  • Plant-Based Meatball Marinara, made with Gardein Meatless Meatballs
  • Maple Chipotle Veggie Bowl
  • Sweet Corn Elote Bowl
  • Fiesta Pepper Bowl, made with Gardein Beefless Ground 

"As more and more consumers are seeking to add plant-based options to their weekly routines but aren't ready to commit to a full lifestyle change, these single-serve meals offer a perfect way to get a taste of what plant-based foods can offer," said Andy Levitt, founder and CEO of Needham, Massachusetts-based Purple Carrot. "From the beginning, Purple Carrot has been dedicated to creating incredible plant-based meals that even non-plant-based consumers will love, and our new frozen line is no different."

Plant-based meals and meat substitutes are gaining ground in the food retail space.

For example, Redwood City, California-based Impossible Foods — owner of the Impossible Burger plant-based meat substitute — is also in the midst of a retail growth spurt. The company has increased its retail footprint nearly 20-fold since the start of 2020, and its flagship product is now available in more than 3,000 grocery stores nationwide, including Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Gelson’s, H-E-B, Kroger, Ralphs, Safeway, Smith’s, Wegmans, Impossible Foods said in revealing its direct-to-consumer offering. The product debuted in grocery stores last September.

Purple Carrot's move also comes as meal kits are becoming more attractive to many consumers because of the pandemic. In fact, a recent survey report from Jacksonville, Florida-based Acosta found that 3% “of shoppers said they will not or may not go back to the self-serve food bar after the pandemic [and] 31% will not or may not go back to self-serve bulk. An additional 31% will not or may not go back to the store-made to-go area.” Such concerns could lead to more purchases of meal kits and single-serve meals from food retailers.

The first national certified-organic grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The grocer is No. 24 on the PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food retailers in North America, while its parent company, Seattle-based Amazon, is No. 2 on the list.

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