Vegan food aims for mainstream success

The Alabama native behind Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo has many, many more tricks up his sleeve. All the upcoming offerings are vegetarian, perhaps even vegan (we’ll know when they hit the shelves); they make use of low-impact crops; and they’re going to have widespread distribution:

Mayo is just the beginning of Hampton Creek’s plan to carry the natural-foods zeitgeist into the middle aisles of supermarkets everywhere. Walmart stores nationwide recently rolled out Hampton Creek’s new salad dressings and will soon carry the company’s cookie dough and pancake mix; they join a line of flavored mayos including sriracha and chipotle. Even more significant is the five-year agreement Hampton Creek has signed to supply these items and more to Compass Group, the planet’s biggest food-services company—which dishes up some 4 billion meals a year to clients ranging from universities and hospitals to IBM and the United States Senate. (According to Compass executive vice president Susie Weintraub, the company saw in Hampton Creek an important opportunity to position itself as healthy and mission-driven.) Nearly four dozen products are in the pipeline for the near future, including pastas, cookies, cake mixes, and, most impressively, totally eggless scrambled eggs. In the long-term, the company has plans for some 500 other foods. “When I went to San Francisco and met Josh and his team, I was pretty blown away,” says Hampton board member Kathleen Sebelius, former governor of Kansas, and the Obama administration’s secretary of health and human services until 2014. “They were rethinking the entire food chain.”

 

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