Publix Super Markets has rolled out more plant-based meat options for its GreenWise better-for-you brand.
GreenWise Chickenless Tenders are due to arrive in stores this week, joining the GreenWise Meatless Burger that began hitting store shelves in April, Publix said yesterday. The Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer noted that the two frozen products mark its first pea-based chicken tenders and burger patties. Located in the frozen meat section, the new tenders and burgers are being merchandised with the traditional chicken and burger products.
The Chickenless Tenders and the Meatless Burger provide 11 grams and 19 grams of plant-based protein, respectively, but with the texture and taste of meat, according to Publix. Both items also are nondairy and soy- and gluten-free, making them an option for customers with food sensitivities.
Publix already offers a traditional black bean burger and a veggie burger under the GreenWise brand.
The new plant‑based protein products come in response to rising customer demand, Publix reported.
“Customers are requesting more plant-based options to incorporate into their diets,” Maria Brous, director of communications at Publix, said in a statement. “By developing these meatless products under our trusted private-label GreenWise brand, we are offering our customers high-quality options to support their lifestyle.”
In 2020, growth in the U.S. plant-based food market more than doubled, with sales climbing 27% to $7 billion, according to the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA). Plant-based food sales also increased nearly twice as much as overall U.S. retail food sales, which climbed 15%.
Plant-based meat was one of two billion-dollar plant-based food categories (the other being plant-based milk) with over $1 billion in sales in 2020. PBFA said plant-based meat garnered sales of $1.4 billion last year, representing 20% of the total plant-based food market.
In addition, plant-based meat saw the largest category growth in 2020, with sales up 45% from $962 million in 2019. What’s more, plant-based meat sales growth doubled that of conventional meat and now accounts for 2.7% of all retail packaged meat sales.
Publix said that expanding its variety of plant-based meat alternatives, including popular national brands, is one way the retailer is helping customers promote their health and wellness and sustainability in the food supply chain. The grocer also offers fresh jackfruit — a substitute for shredded pork or chicken — at some Publix supermarkets and at all of the retailer’s GreenWise Market small-format stores.
Also, Publix noted that it sources local foods, including partnerships with local hydroponic growers for sustainable leafy greens, and participates in sustainable seafood sourcing and transparency initiatives. The latter include working with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to evaluate fish stock and fisheries’ impact on the broader environment, the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative to verify seafood certifications, and the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP) to help customers make more informed decisions about their seafood.
Currently, Publix operates 1,276 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.