Trader Joe’s is killing the snack game – the affordable grocery store chain has launched vegan jerky made from watermelon.
The Instagram Trader Joe’s List shared the photo below last month, but details are still scarce on the new vegan snack. Many commenters report that they haven’t found it at their local Trader Joe’s.
According to a Trader Joe’s employee who commented on the post, the watermelon jerky may not be officially out yet: “I work at the Trader Joe’s in Connecticut and this product is not on the official Trader Joe’s website and none of the managers have heard of it. It’s not on the official Trader Joe’s website then it’s not [out] yet.”
Watermelon jerky – which is made by dehydrating the fruit until it has a chewy, meaty texture – is just one of the types of vegan jerkys on the market.
Apart from Trader Joe’s, the brands Sakara and Watermelon Road make it. The latter also makes apple, pineapple, and mango jerky. Despite its sweet, tropical flavor coconut jerky also takes on a meat-like texture when dried. Seva Foods, which also makes vegan space ice cream and Cocoburg both make meatless coconut jerky.
There are vegan jerkys made from plant-based protein like soy or seitan, like NOBLE Jerky – which outsold other dried meat on Amazon -, Louisville Vegan Jerky Company, and Primal Jerky. Last August, woman-owned vegan jerky company Mindwell raised $100,000 to build its brand.
Mushrooms’ meaty texture and umami flavor make the fungus a good candidate for vegan jerky – the brands Shrooms and Savory Wild both offer a variety of flavors.
Vegan jerky is becoming increasingly popular among consumers seeking a healthy version of the traditional snack, according to a report from True Industry News. The World Cancer Research Fund notes that red and processed meat – like beef jerky, bacon, and cold cuts – have been linked to an increased risk of various forms of cancer. A growing body of medical studies has revealed that red meat may also raise one’s risk of heart disease and high blood pressure while a plant-based diet is known to lower the risk.