Costco, one of the leading American discount stores, is known for a few things – bulk products, free samples, unfathomably long lines for slightly cheaper gas, and cheap pizza (of equally enormous proportions). However, the warehouse-style club store is slowly becoming a bit more health conscious and vegan-friendly. Beginning in July, the infamous Costco food court will sell plant-based acai bowls in all locations nationwide.
The retailer’s new acai bowl will offer a fresh addition to the otherwise meat and dairy-heavy Costco menu. The $5 bowl includes a generous swirl of Sambazon’s acai mix, topped with blueberries, strawberries, banana chips, and Costo’s own-brand Kirkland granola. The company confirmed that all ingredients are vegan. The bowl has been available in select California, Oregon, and Hawaii locations as part of a trial period, and the positive customer reaction gave the business the green light to distribute this vegan option across the country.
This may be one of the first nods to veganism in Costco’s food service branch, but the company has already made strides toward incorporating more plant-based options in the store itself. Customers will not only find “accidentally vegan” products such as Oreos and 10-pound jars of peanut butter, veggie burgers are now part of the company’s offerings. Costco first stocked Don Lee Farms Organic Plant-Based Burgers back in February, and the brand reported it had sold 1 million units after just 60 days of its Costco premiere. With the success of this product, this warehouse behemoth may begin to stock more vegan brands (because who wouldn’t want a gallon of NadaMoo or a 25 unit box of Field Roast Mac N’ Chao?).
Many grocers are making an effort to provide more plant-based options for the ever-growing demographic of conscious consumers. In the US, Whole Foods is regularly adding new vegan items to its hot bars, such as vegan meat dishes and vegan mac and cheese. Generic supermarkets such as Stater Bros. are also hoping on the plant-based trend, stocking the entire line of NadaMoo vegan ice creams and the Beyond Burger. In the UK, Tesco is leading the charge selling ready-made plant-based meals from the Wicked Kitchen, and Waitrose is also in the game, offering a dedicated vegan section with clearly labeled vegan products and grab-and-go options from The Happy Pear. Some stores are even developing their own vegan products, such as Iceland’s No Bull Burgers, which were recently reported to outsell the store’s wagyu beef.
Image Credit: Dear_Leah