Tofurky Expands Vegan Cheese and Spreads Under Its “Moocho” Brand
Tofurky may be known best for its Thanksgiving Roast and faux-meat deli slices, but now consumers will get a taste of new products under its sister brand, Moocho. The latest products to be announced under Moocho are a line of dairy-free cheese shreds and dairy-free cream cheese spreads, set to hit the market in the summer of 2020.
The Moocho brand debuted last year at Natural Products Expo West, with a line of dairy-free cheesecakes. With the further expansion of the Moocho brand, Tofurky continues to make sure Moocho stands alone. Consumers will notice that the Tofurky brand will no longer be on the label, and for all intents and purposes, it looks and will operate publicly as its own, unique brand—including a separate Instagram account to follow.
Moocho may be an effort to target a wider audience base; appealing to people that don’t know Tofurky, or might know the brand, but not like the idea of fake meats. “Consumers [thought] the Tofurky brand represented savory flavors and high protein meat alternatives,” Tofurky and Moocho CEO Jaime Athos told NOSH in an interview. “A lot of [new shoppers] don’t really have a great understanding of what Tofurky represents or how long we’ve been around. So Moocho has to not just lean on that Tofurky relationship, it has to stand alone.”
The Moocho branding and messaging noticeably leads with “dairy-free” rather than “plant-based” (the more common and “safe” word used these days to convey animal-free products) or “vegan.” Many brands have attempted to disassociate themselves from leading to overtly with the word “vegan,” since some still consider it stigmatized and a potential turn off for the wider consumer segment. Athos has no reservations about a new-generation of verbiage. At a recent industry event, "Plant the Revolution" hosted by
Elmhurst 1925 at Gracias Madre in LA, Athos shared his perspective: “Vegan is a problematic word...we need to move on from that to the new reality,” Athos said sitting amongst other leaders in the plant-based food space. “You don’t have to be vegan to eat vegan.” Moocho is perhaps among some of the new-generation of animal-free brands trying to ensure they portray a more inclusive message without alienating any one group.
For now, perhaps what customers care most about is not the branding, or the words used, but the taste. Time will tell how Moocho’s cheeses and spread stack up against competitors. At launch later this year, shredded cheeses will be available in Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Fiesta Blend; its spreads will be available in Garden Vegetable, Plain and Strawberry.