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Vegetarian/Vegan News

  • Vegan “Netflix” Debuts with 200 Films
    on July 10, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Today, new platform VegMovies recently debuted with a database of 200 films to make vegan-themed movies easy to access and share. The VegMovies platform—built by website design company Veg Groups—features films with strong vegan and animal-rights themes, vegan characters, and/or messages regarding climate change. It allows users to browse titles in categories such as “Animals,” “Health,” “Environment,” and “Family Friendly,” and provides information such as run time and plot summaries, along with testimonials from people that have been positively impacted by each film. The platform also organizes films based on their streaming platforms, allowing users to see which films they can view with their existing Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions, and directs viewers to where the films they wish to view can be purchased or streamed for free. In its “Coming Soon” section, VegMovies also helps films that are in development gain support by directing users to funding platforms.   “The launch of VegMovies has been three years in the making,” Veg Groups Founder Jason Schramm said. “There are so many great movies that are animal-oriented or have a vegan focus, but it can be hard to filter through all of the choices. Until now there hasn’t been a single place where all of the movies could be easily found. Somewhere that was constantly updated with the latest objective information on each film and where to watch them.” VegMovies is a living platform that will continue to update titles as they become available. Current films featured on the platform include British documentary Hogwood, popular health-centric documentary The Game Changers, and They’re Trying to Kill Us—a film currently crowdfunding for its post-production costs that focuses on the intersection of veganism, poverty, and systemic racism told through the lens of hip-hop culture. Photo Credit: Animal People

  • El Pollo Loco’s Meatless Chicken Is Now Vegan and Available at 485 Locations Nationwide
    on July 10, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Today, El Pollo Loco became the first national chain to offer vegan chicken at all of its 485 locations with the reformulation of its Chickenless Pollo. In February, the chain added Chickenless Pollo to its locations nationwide but the initial formulation could not be ordered vegan as it was simmered in a sauce that contained an egg enzyme. The new Chickenless Pollo—made from non-GMO soy—is now simmered in an egg-free adobo sauce and is certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association. “Coming off the heels of our Chickenless Pollo launch in February, our customers asked for a vegan option on social media and we listened,” El Pollo Loco CEO Bernard Acoca told VegNews exclusively. “We quickly reformulated the recipe in a matter of a few months to introduce an American Vegetarian Association Certified chicken alternative that met the needs of vegan palates. It also allowed us to take a step further in the plant-based space and continue our long-term commitment to diversifying our menu with better-for-you options.” Akin to Taco Bell’s “Al Fresco” ordering option, El Pollo Loco customers can now also state “Make it Vegan” when ordering a Chickenless Pollo burrito or taco, which removes all dairy products (cheese and Creamy Cilantro Dressing) from those options.   Acoca explained that the Chickenless Pollo is the first step to future vegan options at El Pollo Loco. “With our longstanding commitment to championing making healthier eating more accessible, customers can expect that our menu will continue to evolve and diversify with additional plant-based innovations—without leaving behind our signature flavor attributes, by taking cues from our signature fire-grilled chicken,” Acoca said.  Competing chicken chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has been slower to roll-out meatless chicken, opting to conduct test trials prior to committing to a system-wide launch. In August, KFC launched Beyond Fried Chicken at a single location in Atlanta, GA where the vegan chicken option sold out within five hours. On February 3, KFC expanded the test to include nearly 70 additional locations in Charlotte, NC and Nashville, TN, and surrounding areas but has yet to announce a national rollout. 

  • New Olympian-Backed Commercial Debuts on NBC to Urge Viewers to Ditch Dairy
    on July 10, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Several television commercials recently debuted on NBC affiliate stations featuring Olympic medalists and members of the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and National Hockey League (NHL), who share how giving up dairy brought improvements to their health and athletic performance. The commercials—created by nonprofit Switch4Good—feature Olympic medalist cyclist and Switch4Good founder Dotsie Bausch, MLB star Chase Utley, Olympic medalist volleyball player Rachael Adams, Olympic medalist sprinter David Verburg, six-time Olympic medalist swimmer Rebecca Soni, NFL linebacker Derrick Morgan, NHL champ Georges Laraque, three-time Olympic medalist soccer player Heather Mitts, and ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll.  In 2018, Switch4Good debuted a commercial starring six Olympians speaking out about the health impacts of dairy products, which aired during the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Olympics. However, it was removed from the air before it reached the West Coast following complaints by the United States Olympic Committee and the dairy industry.  “Giants such as the United States Olympic Committee and the dairy industry will never scare us into staying quiet about the health implications of consuming dairy products,” Bausch said. “The truth is that dairy is making Americans sick. Not only do 65 percent of all people suffer from lactose intolerance, but communities of color are disproportionately impacted, with as many of 95 percent of those populations enduring physical illness from consuming it.”

  • Vegan Avocadomilk to Debut in US Next Month
    on July 10, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Next month, non-dairy milk brand Avocadomilk will debut a new vegan version of its avocado-based milk in the United States. Made with oats and freeze-dried avocado, the milk is created with a patented technology that maintains the nutritional integrity of the avocado fruit, and also makes use of the “ugly” avocados that do not make it to grocery stores and would otherwise be discarded. Previously, the product included honey in its formulation but the company removed the animal-derived ingredient to make a fully vegan version. “It was a very easy decision to make—our customers told us that they wanted a vegan product,” Terry Daly, President and CEO of Avo88 and Avocadomilk, told VegNews. “All we did was listen to them and we are over the moon with the new formulation. It tastes better, it’s healthier, it’s simply beautiful.”  Daly said making the decision to bring Avocadomilk to the US was also an easy one. The brand is currently sold in New Zealand and Australia and was looking at expanding to other markets such as Asia and Europe. “On a trip to the US, I went into a Gelsens in LA and watched how the customers picked up the products and actually read the nutritional labels,” Daly said. “It was obvious to us that the US, and especially California, was setting the benchmark for the alternative milk category and we had to be here. I rang Richard at Gelsons and asked for a meeting—he agreed to talk to a crazy Kiwi who rang out of the blue and the rest is history.” Avocadomilk will be available in 122 supermarkets—including Gelson’s, Lassen’s, Vitamin City, Bristol Farms, Clarks, New Frontier, Co Op, Lunardi’s, Gus’ Luckys, Breaux Mart, and Better Health—in California, Texas, the Rocky Mountains, the Midwest, and Hawaii.

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