American grocery chain Trader Joe's just launched vegan gnocchi made with kale. The new vegan pasta is high in protein and contains more than 50 percent fresh kale. The new Trader Joe's product follows the successful launch of its cauliflower gnocchi in 2018, which is also vegan. Both items are lower in carbs, fat, and calories than traditional potato-based gnocchi. The new kale gnocchi also contains chickpea flour, potato starch, salt, and olive oil. "They boast the same, satisfyingly chewy texture of 'regular' gnocchi," says Trader Joe's. "And the same earthy, slightly nutty flavor of 'regular' kale." Trader Joe's suggests eating the vegan pasta with its dairy-free kale, cashew and basil pesto\u2014another one of the company's many vegan offerings. Last year, Trader Joe's launched its own fortified vegan oat milk. The company has also launched a number of vegan burgers. In addition to personal health and the environment, the financial cost of eating meat is a major concern for many flexitarians\u2014those who follow a meat-eating but primarily vegetarian diet. Affordable Vegan Food According to the "2018 Total Consumer Report" from Nielsen, the sale of own-brand and private-label products is on the rise. These grew three times faster than national brands between 2016 and 2017. Many consumers choose store brands for their affordability. American shoppers are also increasing their purchases of vegan and plant-based foods. According to market intelligence company Numerator, the ongoing boom in plant-based products is primarily driven by curious meat-eaters and flexitarians. \u201cNearly half of meat alternative buyers (48%) have no meat-avoidant members in their household,\u201d explains Numerator, adding that \u201conly 30% have a vegetarian or vegan in the household.\u201d The more consumers continue to experiment with plant-based foods, the cheaper it will become. While many find that adopting a vegan diet generally lowers their grocery bill, some vegan alternatives can be expensive. But as demand increases production and market competition, it becomes likely that more and more vegan alternatives\u2014and particularly private-label items\u2014will achieve price parity with animal products in the near future. Trader Joe's kale gnocchi is available now for $2.69 per 12-ounce bag.