Food In Canada

Plant-based news roundup: new Flora butter alternative, lauch of Vejii online marketplace in Canada, Hain sells non-dairy beverage brands

April 19, 2021   Food in Canada Staff

Upfield, the global leader in plant-based nutrition with market leading spreads and vegan cheeses under the Becel and Violife brands in Canada, has introduced Flora Plant-Based Bricks. Vejii Holdings has launched its Canadian platform, at ca.shopvejii.com, an online marketplace for vegan and plant-based products. The Hain Celestial Group has sold its North America non-dairy beverages brands, Dream and Westsoy, to SunOpta.

 

Flora Plant-Based Bricks are a vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO plant-based butter alternative; and a tasty way to eat plant-based while being a more environmentally-responsible choice for consumers looking to reduce their imprint on the planet. The new Flora Plant-Based Bricks are a culinary-inspired premium product with a rich heritage of global chef experience, made with sustainably-sourced plant oils, and come wrapped in plastic-free, paper packaging.

“Home chefs now have another easy way to add a dairy-free, buttery twist to their favourite dishes and baked goods with Flora Plant-Based Bricks, while doing their part to contribute to a more sustainable planet,” said Leesa Steiner, Brand Lead, Flora, Upfield Canada. “With more Canadians adding plant-based foods to their grocery baskets for dietary, ethical and environmental reasons, Flora Plant-Based Bricks are a delicious vegan choice for consumers looking to lighten their environmental footprint by choosing foods produced with sustainably-sourced ingredients and through production that has less impact on the environment, without sacrificing great taste.”

Flora Plant-Based Bricks are made without artificial flavours or preservatives, from a blend of plant-based oils, including 100 per cent physically sustainable palm and palm kernel oils, and a non-GMO sunflower oil. Flora Plant-Based Bricks can be swapped 1-for-1 for dairy butter in any recipe and are also kosher and halal-certified.

Production of plant-based spreads have a lighter impact on the environment. Studies show that from plant, to oil, to package, and to spread, the production of plant-based spreads on average has a 70 per cent lower carbon footprint, uses less than half the water and occupies two-thirds less land than the production of dairy butter.

Flora Plant-Based Bricks are made in Canada at Upfield’s Rexdale, Ontario facility, and in the future will be made at the company’s new facility in Brantford, Ontario, following its scheduled opening, expected in late 2021.

Online Vegan Marketplace Vejii Launches in Canada

Vejii Holdings has launched its Canadian platform, at ca.shopvejii.com, an online marketplace for vegan and plant-based products.  There are an estimated 2.3 million vegetarians and 850,000 vegans in Canada. Vejii launched its platform in the U.S. in November of 2020 and has been scaling rapidly, growing both its customer base and an assortment of vegan products.

“For our Canadian launch, we are beginning by offering a thoughtfully curated selection of plant-based meat, dairy and seafood products, based on our top selling products in the U.S.,” said Kory Zelickson, CEO of Vejii. “We are committed to making plant-based food more accessible, while also supporting plant-based food producers, especially small businesses.”

Vejii operates a multi-vendor platform and makes it possible for startup brands to list their product on the website, and gain national exposure for their brand. The platform is also an excellent channel for established brands looking to target new customers.

“There are so many innovative plant-based startup brands that we are able to assist by providing national exposure,” said Zelickson. “The Vejii platform has been inspired by the innovators and founders that our team has had the privilege of working with. By providing startups with exposure we both help the brand and provide our customers with high-quality, plant-based alternatives that they may not have had access to before.”

The platform incorporates machine learning, AI, smart lists, targeted product recommendations, and proprietary technology to provide an enhanced shopping experience to its customers. Everything at Vejii is built starting with the customer first.

Vejii will also be launching a full French version of the site in the coming week.

Hain sells Dream and other non-dairy beverages

The Hain Celestial Group, a leading organic and natural products company with operations in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, has completed the divestiture of its North America non-dairy beverages brands, Dream and Westsoy, to SunOpta for $33 million, subject to customary post-closing adjustments.