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08/13/2021

Publix furthers plant-based options with GreenWise

The retailer introduced its first pea-based, meatless items.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Under the Publix organic GreenWise store brand, the retailer has introduced its first pea-based chickenless tenders this week, joining meatless burger patties that launched in April, and a previously released traditional black bean burger and veggie burger under the private brand.

The new plant-based chicken tenders and burger patties are significant in that they answer a call for more plant-based proteins that the retailer had been relying on with national brands such as Beyond Meat and others. Maria Brous, director of communications for Publix, said customers have been requesting more plant-based options.

“​​By developing these meatless products under our trusted private label GreenWise brand, we are offering our customers high-quality options to support their lifestyle,” Brous said.

The Publix GreenWise brand is an organic line made with at least 70% organic ingredients, spanning food and nonfood categories. A few years ago, the retailer designed an organic concept store around its store brand. As of last year, the Lakeland, Fla.-based retailer had five GreenWise stores in Florida and a few in South Carolina and Alabama.

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The Plant Based Foods Association has reported that U.S. plant-based retail sales increased by 27% in 2020 while Bloomberg reported that global demand could see fivefold growth by 2030.

The GreenWise Chickenless Tenders, arriving in stores this week, and the GreenWise Meatless Burger, released in April, offer the texture and taste of meat while providing 11 and 19 grams of plant-based protein, respectively, the retailer said. As an added benefit for customers with food sensitivities, both new products are non-dairy and soy- and gluten-free.

The GreenWise products could perhaps lead to more plant-based and non-dairy items under the private label. Target this year introduced more than 30 items under its Good & Gather line and Kroger has been a plant-based leader with its Simple Truth line that is up over 75 items.

The GreenWise rollout join other from Publix, however, such as leveraging fresh jackfruit, a popular substitute for shredded pork or chicken, inside items served at select Publix stores and all Publix GreenWise Market locations, working with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) to evaluate fish stock and fisheries’ impact on the broader environment, and working with the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative to verify credibility in seafood certifications.

Additionally, Publix participates in the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP) and sources local foods, including partnering with local hydroponic growers for sustainable leafy greens. Early in the year a range of plant-based nutritional powders launched under the GreenWise brand, too.

Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. with more than 225,000 associates, currently operates 1,276 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.