This Vegan Deli Meat Featured on Shark Tank is Coming to Costco
So long, sad hummus sandwich! Unreal Deli is ensuring that your sandwich still feels complete with fully plant-based meat options. The vegan meat brand – financially backed by Shark Tank judge Mark Cuban – will begin rolling out its selection of impressive deli meats at Costco locations in Southern California and Hawaii.
Now, shoppers will have the ability to customize their favorite subs with corned beef, roasted turkey, and steak slices made from plants. Unreal Deli will initially distribute its selection at 40 locations in California and Hawaii before further expansion. The deli meats will be sold in 1.5-pound packs for $14.69 each. The package, which contains 8 ounces of each variation, will be sold at Costco’s deli meat section.
“It’s now going to be easier than ever to stay stocked up on delicious and nutritious deli slices to satisfy those Reuben, Cheesesteak, and Turkey Club cravings with our biggest and most Unreal Costco-sized combo pack,” Founder of Unreal Deli Jenny Goldfarb told VegNews.
To celebrate the retail expansion, Unreal Deli will host a pop-up at all 40 Costco locations. The deli meats will be available to customers with Vevan Foods' vegan cheeses. Costco will host these pop-ups on June 6, 10, and 11 to advertise the vegan brand’s launch. The Southern California and Hawaii locations will serve as a trial, and depending on how the bulk packs sell, Unreal Deli may expand into other regions.
“As a busy working parent of three adorable and energetic young kids, I know how hard it is to keep everyone fed with healthy, nutritious, and cruelty-free food,” Goldfarb said. “Whether your family includes kids, roommates, or fur babies, this expansion into Costco, with our brand new (and best value) family-size combo pack, is super exciting — we’re now making even bigger deli dreams come true.”
Unreal Deli is Bringing Plant-Based Sandwiches Nationwide
As a New York City native, Goldfarb desperately missed classic bodega deli counters when she transitioned to a plant-based diet. But instead of just reminiscing, Goldfarb decided to launch Unreal Deli to satisfy her craving. In 2019, Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli – known then as Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli – managed to secure a $250,000 investment from Mark Cuban. Since then, the food startup has expanded into the retail and restaurant sectors as the demand for vegan meat continues to rise.
Unreal Deli is expanding using the ghost kitchen model – a restaurant that operates out of a “virtual” kitchen for take-out and delivery service. Now, the vegan deli operates ghost kitchens in Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, and Raleigh. This April, the company partnered with ghost kitchen managing firm Acelerate to begin a rapid expansion across the United States. The ghost kitchen also features Only Plant-Based!’s vegan mayo and Violife’s vegan cheeses.
To add to its retail expansion, Unreal Deli teamed up with Vejii to optimize both companies’ eCommerce platforms. The partnership will allow Vejii to sell Unreal Deli meats directly to consumers (D2C). This distribution expansion will provide millions of Americans with access to healthier versions of their beloved deli meats.
"We are so excited to partner with Vejii to expand and streamline our D2C capabilities as Unreal continues to build its dominance in the premium plant-based deli category,” Goldfarb. said. Vejii has already been a great partner, and we are excited to deepen our relationship.”
Costco Helps Make Vegan Eating Affordable
Unreal Deli joins a long list of companies working with Costco to make plant-based foods affordable to customers. Other companies including Violife and Field Roast have rolled out bulk packages of their signature products to bring plant-based options to American shoppers.
Costco’s bulk packaging also appeals to families, who for the most part shop on a budget. One report notes that vegan meat alternatives might reach price parity with conventional beef as soon as 2023. Fueled by consumer interest and retailers including Costco, the last remaining expensive vegan products are becoming cheaper. Otherwise, shoppers can save at least 30 percent on groceries by switching to a plant-based diet. Now, Unreal Deli is joining the ranks of companies working to make it even cheaper to follow a healthier, sustainable diet.
For more plant-based happenings, visit The Beet's News articles.