- Taiwanese plant-based grocery chain VegeFarm has opened its second U.S. location in San Francisco's Outer Sunset neighborhood, the SF Gate reported. The retailer's first U.S. store is located in San Jose, California and a Seattle store is in the works, according to its website.
- The retailer stocks more than 300 prepared and frozen plant-based products in its store. Some popular products include spicy veggie nuggets, veggie fish filets, veggie BBQ pork, vegan tuna rolls and plum mimic pork belly. It also sells noodles and vegetarian snacks.
- VegeFarm's newest location had its grand opening earlier this month. The chain has been operating for over 70 years and has over 25 stores worldwide.
VegeFarm hasn't shared its strategy around expanding in the U.S., but the consumer craze over items like Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger has created a larger potential customer base with more people looking to explore plant-based options.
Though the chain isn't new, VegeFarm's merchandise and mission fall in line with growing U.S. consumer sentiment toward meat alternatives and plant-based diets. Global meat alternative sales grew 30% in 2018, according to Nielsen. Retail sales of plant-based meat in the U.S. are up 9.6% year-over-year and outpacing conventional meat sales, based on data from the Good Food Institute and Plant-based Food Association.
California in particular has the largest number of vegans and vegan restaurants in the country with the city of Seattle close behind. Just 2% to 6% of the population are self-identifying vegetarians in the U.S. and although that number has been increasing, Mintel found that 51% of Americans don’t think a meal is complete without meat and 67% believe meat is important to a balanced diet.
Other countries have a higher rate of strictly plant-based eaters. Vegetarians make up about 13% of VegeFarm's home of Taiwan, and more than a quarter of all dinner meals in the U.K. were found to be meatless, according to Kantar research.
VegeFarm's prepared and frozen food offerings will appeal to U.S. shoppers' need for convenience. It also offers low prices, which falls in line with the growth of discount grocers in the U.S. where discounters will account for more than half of store openings this year.