JBS-owned Planterra Foods announced this week it will launch its first Ozo product on grocery stores shelves in June, and will also make them available direct to consumers via its e-commerce site. To start, the brand will launch its burgers (two-4 oz patties), its Ground product (12 oz), and Mexican-Seasoned Ground (12 oz).
Colorado-based Planterra first announced Ozo in March of this year, saying the new line of plant-based products would include burgers, grounds, and meatballs. All Ozo products are a mix of pea protein and rice protein fermented with shiitake mycelia (root).
According this week’s press release, Ozo products will hit store shelves in several different states:
Albertsons and Safeway locations in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming; Kroger* stores in 12 states (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee) and, as well as military bases across the country.
Customers will also be able to order Ozo’s meatless meat through the brand’s website and through Wild Fork Foods for customers in Florida.
And for those looking to try before they buy, Planterra is also sending out its own fleet of vans to offer curbside-pickup samples of its products during the rest of June. Those vans will make stops in Denver, Boulder, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Additional cities are planned for the next 12 months, including Seattle, San Francisco, and Nashville, among others. Finally, “special deliveries will be made to fire stations, hospitals and other locations to serve frontline workers this summer,” according to the company press release.
Selling meatless meat directly to consumers is fast becoming a standard trend for companies, particularly with the restaurant industry — formerly a key channel for plant-based products — still in the throes of its pandemic-induced upheaval. Earlier this month, Impossible launched a direct-to-consumer channel for its “bleeding” meat products that’s available to anyone in the lower 48 states. Its chief competitor Beyond followed with an announcement of its own forthcoming D2C store, which is slated to launch at some point this summer.
Meanwhile, demand for plant-based meat keeps rising, thanks in no small part to panic buying sprees and meat shortage scares, and online grocery shopping has hit record numbers in the last couple months. That makes now an ideal time to launch direct-to-consumer stores, and also to get new meat alternatives onto store shelves across the country.
It’s unclear if the demand for online grocery shopping will keep now that economies are reopening, so Planterra’s Ozo shop, not to mention those of other plant-based retailers, may or may not be a hit. That said, Ozo’s website says products can be stored frozen for up to 60 days, so flexitarians wanting to stock up may find a D2C e-commerce site a convenient addition to their online shopping.