The world’s second largest retailer, Costco, has been filling up pantries for nearly 40 years. And these days it’s a must-shop place for all the vegan food.
Costco is undeniably a market leader when it comes to wholesale — the superstore is known for its bulk-buy items like 500 bottles of water or 1,440 toilet rolls up for grabs. But it’s also appealing to the daily shopper for quick meal fixes, snacks and more. Many of these are everyday items like Kirkland’s (Costco’s brand name) own lattice apple pie. It carries established vegan lines including Gardein and Justin’s.
An especially successful string to Costco’s vegan bow is the top-selling Don Lee Farms Organic Plant-Based Burger, which it has stocked in US stores since February 2018. The breakthrough GMO-free patty sold an incredible one million burgers within the first two months after launching at Costco. For math lovers: that’s more than ten vegan burgers per minute. Following in the footsteps of other leading vegan meat brands such as Beyond Meat, the Don Lee Farms’ products are stocked in Costco’s meat aisle for maximum accessibility.
Speaking of the sought after vegan burger, Danny Goodman, Product Development, Don Lee Farms, said: “As people choose to consume less meat, they expect a burger alternative to be made with simple, wholesome and recognizable ingredients. This is the burger for them.
Goodman went on to add: “This product is another example of what our team develops by focusing on each ingredient’s purpose. Because we crafted this burger from organic and responsible sources, it’s truly the only sustainable replacement for a raw beef burger.”
Costco’s increased vegan food stock reflects the growing number of plant-based eaters across the US and beyond. In 2018, figures showed that the number of US vegans rose by 600 percent in just three years and the plant-based boom is showing no signs of slowing down. Only this week, comparison site Finder predicted that the number of UK vegans will more than triple in the next year alone.
The global shift away from animal products has also encouraged a new generation of meat-reducers, which describes people who consciously limit their meat intake, usually for environmental and ethical reasons. Costco has responded to the plant-based demand with a greater range of vegan products as well as more organic goods.
With 770 stores across the US, Canada, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe, Costco is constantly developing its ranges to suit the global market. This is not limited to Costco’s grocery shelves. The membership-only retailer also caters for the growing plant-based demand at its food courts.
Last year, Costcos across the US removed the popular Polish hot dog from the food court menu and introduced more vegan-friendly items. The new offerings include the protein-rich “Al Pastor Salad” and the popular acai bowls. This last item is based upon the South American acai fruit, which is served frozen like a sorbet atop Kirkland’s granola and fresh fruit.
While shoppers can start off the day with a fresh fruit salad or a kale smoothie at the store, there’s plenty of vegan variety on the shelves to take home as well.
Costco stocks the following vegan breakfast items:
1. Annie’s Organic Cinnamon Rolls, with lots of gooey icing
2. BelVita Breakfast Biscuit, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, for breakfast on the go
3. Pillsbury Original Crescents Rolls, for breakfast time baking
4. Steel Cut Oats Power Bowl, made with almonds and flax seeds
5. Love Crunch Chocolate and Red Berry Granola made with flax and coconut
6. Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal, Variety Pack, 52 easy vegan breakfasts
7. Life Cereal, Original, made of spun wheat
8. Kellogg’s Unfrosted Blueberry Pop Tarts, if you’re feeling retro. Just steer clear of the frosted pop tarts as these contain gelatin.
Alternatives to cow’s milk have come a long way from the chalky, off white products of vegan yesteryear. It is estimated that 65 percent of the planet is lactose intolerant, making new innovations in plant milk all the more necessary. Costco stocks the following dairy-free milk:
9. Kirkland’s Rice Drink, also available in soya and almond
10. Silk Almond Milk, particularly smooth
11. Pacific Coconut Non-Dairy Beverage which is great for baking or perking up a coffee
12. Almond Breeze Almond Milk with a subtle nuttiness
Heralded as the future of sustainable protein, vegan meat is a booming business. Trailblazing brands such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have become leaders in their field, using ingredients such as pea protein isolate and beetroot extract to replicate traditional meat. CEO of Impossible Foods Pat Brown estimated that the vegan meat industry could be worth a whopping $3 trillion dollars in ten year’s time. Speaking to the CNBC earlier this month, Brown said:
“[The current meat industry] is based on a prehistoric technology that hasn’t improved in thousands of years — using animals to turn plants into food,” he said. “It’s fundamentally unimprovable.”
He continued, “If there’s one thing that we know, it’s that when an ancient unimprovable technology counters a better technology that is continuously improvable, it’s just a matter of time before the game is over.” He added, “I think our investors see this as a $3 trillion opportunity.”
The market demand for plant-based meat has inspired iconic frozen foods company, Birdseye to launch a new vegan meat range. The soy free range named Green Cuisine has been rolled out to Tesco and Asda stores in the UK this week.
Naturally, Costco stocks a variety of vegan meat products, which includes the following:
13. Don Lee Farms’ organic Plant-Based Burger, which is about to go global
14. Don Lee Farms’ Superfoods Veggie Burger made with kale, quinoa and almonds
15. Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders Chick’n Strips made from soy
16. Gardein Chick’n Sliders for mini vegan burger enjoyment
17. Gardein Beefless Szechuan Strips for great kebabs
18. Gardein Szechuan Beefless Strips, flavored with tamari soy sauce
19. MATCH Meat – Premium Vegan Ground Chicken made from plant protein
20. MATCH Meat – Premium Vegan Ground Beef, also gluten-free
21. MATCH Meat – Premium Vegan Meat Variety Pack, with 6 pounds of vegan meat
22. Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages, made with wheat gluten
23. Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausages with a fiery kick
Along with Nutritional Yeast and Oreos, there are some products which it is always advisable to have somewhere in your kitchen. Costco provides the following everyday items:
24. Sweet Earth’s General Tso’s Tofu, in a sweet n sour sauce and served with brown rice
25. Dr Praeger’s Organic California Veggie Burgers, packed with veggies
26. Explore Cuisine Edamame Spaghetti, protein-rich and Vegan Society approved
27. Pulmone Organic Sprouted Tofu for jazzing up stir-fries
28. Alpha Foods’ Pizza Burritos, made with vegan cheese and vegan sausage crumbles
29. Gardenburger Malibu Vegan Burgers made with corn and peppers
30. Amy’s Organic Soups Multipack, in split pea, and quinoa, kale, and red lentil
31. Kirkland’s Organic Raw Cashews, for cheese sauce or so many other things
32. Vegan Chickpea Patties with Spinach and Sweet Potatoes, full of flavor
33. Kirkland’s Organic Frozen Fruit range, including 4 lb bags of strawberries, cherries, and blueberries
34. Banza Chickpea Pasta for a more proteinous alternative to wheat pasta
35. Urban Remedy Macro Bowls, filled with quinoa, seeds and veggies
Whether you’re flexitarian, pescetarian, vegan or personally opposed to dietary labels, everyone deserves a little treat now and then. It could be a little bit of indulgence at the end of a long day, or a boost to get you through that long car journey. There are countless reasons for having a bit of what you fancy and these vegan goodies fit the bill.
36. Coco-Roon Organic Brownie Super Cookies, made with
37. Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups covered in dark chocolate
38. Kirkland’s Lattice Apple Pie from Costco’s bakery section
39. Hail Merry, Meyer Lemon Tarts, bite-sized and zesty
40. Hippeas Vegan White Cheddar chickpea puffs, light and crisp
41. Organic Superfruit Acai Bites, sumptuous blended acai dipped in dark chocolat
42. Heavenly Hunks Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Cookies, like fancy flapjacks
43. Organic Coconut Clusters, GMO-free and packed with nutty goodness
Vegan Household Items
Not to be confused with plant-based, which describes a diet, veganism is a lifestyle. As such, vegan living impacts what clothes, cosmetics and cleaning product choices a person makes. Luckily, Costco stocks several vegan household items, in rather massive quantities.
44. Ecos Natural Laundry Detergent, made with plant-powered cleaning agents
45. Ecover Dishwasher Tablets, which are phosphate free
46. California Pure Naturals Organic Facial Hydrator Set, made with aloe vera
47. Joyful Bath Co. Hemp Balm Set, for intensive moisturization
48. Free & Clear Organic Laundry Detergent, perfume and dye free
49. Kirkland Signature Quick Dissolve B-12, vegan and $20.99 for 300 tablets
50. Wet Nose Organic Peanut Butter & Banana Dog Treats, for plant-based pooches
51. Zaaina Natural Handmade Soaps, ultra-moisturizing naturally-scented bar soaps will wash away all your woes.