Food News of the Week: Jif Takes on Nutella, Plus Fudge Cake and Cinnamon Buns for Mom

Move over, Nutella! Jif is slaying chocolate cravings with its new cocoa-infused peanut butter spread. Plus, Mother’s Day brunch is easier than ever at Cinnaholic, where you can order a dozen tiny pink cinnamon buns to show your mom some love.

This year’s Met Gala turned out to be a plant-forward affair. And there’s a decadent chocolate fudge cake made by a Tokyo brand in Los Angeles this weekend. 

Read on for more. 

Food news

From pool parties to strawberries, summer is about many things. For us, this warm season always means tacos and vegan taco shop Tacotarian is heeding the call with a retail line of its famed plant-based meats. 

Tacotarian at Home

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Known for creating mouthwatering vegan versions of traditional Mexican dishes, Tacotarian has launched Tacotarian at Home, featuring shelf-stable taco fillings such as jackfruit barbacoa and jackfruit Birria made with Beyond Meat. 

Available on its website (for pre-order), Tacotarian’s new vegan meats allow taco enthusiasts everywhere to enjoy its signature flavors regardless of their proximity to the physical locations in Las Vegas and San Diego. 

“We’ve been fortunate to have such a core group of Tacotarian supporters that have begged us to come to their city,” Kristen Corral, Co-Founder of Tacotarian & Tacotarian at Home, said in a statement.

“While we are continuing to expand, we are elated to meet people where they are and present them with a retail line that allows them access to our plant-based offerings regardless of location,” Corral said. 

For more meaty innovation, we turn to United Kingdom-based company This which just launched a plant-based version of skin-on chicken thighs. The impressive new product is made with a trio of patent-pending technologies aimed at replicating the complex structure of chicken meat. 

First, it incorporates extrusion technology to render soy and fava bean proteins into a fibrous, meat-like texture. To mimic the juiciness of chicken, an olive oil-based fat is used, while a seaweed-derived component is crafted to emulate the texture and appearance of chicken skin.

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“Whole-cut animal meat products, such as chicken wings and legs, have a complex three-dimensional architecture in which protein fibers are bound together by a network of connective tissue and intramuscular fat,” Luke Byrne, R&D Director at This, said in a statement. 

“This structure provides juiciness and incredible texture when eaten—which we’ve now been able to mimic,” Byrne said. 

Offered in packs of four at UK retailer Tesco starting next week, This Isn’t Chicken Thighs can be conveniently pan-fried or oven-cooked to complement a variety of filling dishes. 

If you’re craving more chicken news, tofu giant Nasoya has two new plant-based meats coming to market. The latest addition to its Plantspired line Plant-Based Chick’n is now available in Kung Pao and Bee-Free Honey Garlic flavors. 

Initially available at Albertsons and Meijer, this launch marks Nasoya’s continued expansion into diverse and innovative plant-based alternatives which includes vegan steak under its Plantspired line. 

Jif-Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Spread2Jif

For a little sweet news, Jif just launched its largest flavor innovation in nearly 10 years, stepping into the chocolate spread category right next to Nutella. However, a key winning difference is that Nutella contains dairy and Jif’s new chocolate peanut butter does not. 

“Jif Peanut Butter & Chocolate Flavored Spread combines the irresistible deliciousness of Jif Peanut Butter that our fans love with the sweet flavor of chocolate, striking the perfect balance of salty and sweet,” Nicole Massey, Vice President of Marketing at The J.M. Smucker Co., said in a statement. 

Another win? Jif’s new Jif Peanut Butter & Chocolate Flavored Spread contains 50-percent less sugar than the “leading hazelnut spread with cocoa.” 

Jif’s new spread, in a 15-ounce jar and 1.1-ounce to-go cups, is rolling out to retailers throughout the spring and summer. 

Celebrity news

Sure you’ve seen all the outfits by now but did you know that the 2024 Met Gala turned out to be a plant-forward affair? At the Mark Hotel’s pre-show Met Gala event, Impossible Foods was serving celebs and fashion icons plant-based sliders and passion fruit barbecue nuggets. 

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The Met after-party went on until 5am and was attended by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Usher, Sza, Lil Nas X, Serena Williams, and more. Celebrities got a chance to nosh on Tindle’s meatless chicken and Neat Burgers topped with Stockheld Dreamery’s dairy-free cheese.

In more entertainment news, the vegan culinary scene is getting a fresh spotlight with the premiere of “Kale Krew” on UnchainedTV. This new series, hosted by Nemanja Golubovic and Tamika Price, takes viewers on a gastronomic journey through Chicago’s vegan eateries, exploring and celebrating the plant-based culinary innovations that the city has to offer.

From the local comfort foods at Golubovic’s Kale My Name to innovative creations at Spirit Elephant and Alice and Friends Vegan Kitchen, “Kale Krew” offers a diverse palette of flavors and dishes that showcase how satisfying and varied vegan eating can be. 

This steaming series also aims to educate viewers on the benefits and joys of vegan living, promising a mix of laughter, learning, and delicious dining experiences.

Tokio Hotel McDonaldsMcDonald’s

In Germany, McDonald’s is tapping rockstars Tokio Hotel to go hard on plant-based food with its new “Famous Order.” The Kaulitz twins, Bill and Tom, known internationally for their music and now as the faces of this innovative campaign, are personalizing their own McPlant menus.

Bill’s includes the McPlant Mango Chilli burger with curly fries and a vanilla milkshake, while Tom opts for the McPlant Tomato Chargrill with McPlant Nuggets, sweet and sour sauce, and a large Coca-Cola. 

This initiative marks McDonald’s first venture into celebrity-curated plant-based menus in Germany. 

“The Famous Order menus are a huge success in the USA and we are delighted to have secured Bill and Tom for our first campaign of this kind in Germany, stars who are just as iconic in this country as our brand,” Tomasz Debowski, Chief Marketing Officer at McDonald’s Germany, said in a statement. 

“Just like us, they have remained relevant in the young target group for many years—which is why this collaboration is the perfect match for us,” Debowski said. 

Meanwhile, in the US, McDonald’s has yet to add one good plant-based option to its menu.

Restaurant news

If your travel plans take you to Canada this summer, there will be three new outposts of vegan fast-food chain Odd Burger to choose from. This expansion marks the largest number of locations opened in a one-month period in the company’s history, bringing the total to 16 operational sites across the country.

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The first new location is slated to open this weekend in Edmonton, Alberta—the second outpost of Odd Burger in Alberta. Following that, Odd Burger is set to open its first British Columbia location in the heart of downtown Victoria followed by its first Ottawa outpost next month. 

These new locations offer excellent opportunities for both locals and visitors to enjoy Odd Burger’s innovative, plant-based takes on fast-food favorites in some of Canada’s key cities this summer.

Likewise, if you’re headed to Maui for vacay, there will be a new vegan food truck there for you thanks to Tabay Atkins, the 18-year-old yoga teacher and visionary vegan chef. 

Starting on June 1, Atkins will reopen his acclaimed Southern California food truck, Tabay’s Mindful Kitchen, in Maui to offer fan favorites such as the Mexican Pizza and the Persian Burger, alongside new dishes inspired by local Hawaiian flavors, including a vegan twist on the Loco Moco.

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Los Angeles-based Italian mainstay Pura Vita just upped its dessert game with a limited-time Gâteau Chocolate Fudge cake. Made by Tokyo-based 2foods, this cake—available through May 11—is topped with macerated strawberries, whipped cream, and strawberry coulis. While you’re here, check out other items from the Vegan Women’s Summit Restaurant Week menu, including plant-based crab cakes and cannelloni stuffed with spinach ricotta.  

Cinnaholic-Mothers-Day-BunsCinnaholic

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and for the easiest brunch plans, national chain Cinnaholic has a selection of sweet treats that’ll impress your mom or mother figure. It’s offering delightful Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, hand-dipped in dark chocolate, available until May 12th in half or a full dozen, which require advance notice.

Also on the menu are Dozen Mother’s Day Baby Buns, adorned with fresh strawberry frosting and white sprinkles, perfect for a sweet celebration.

In addition to the Mother’s Day specials, Cinnaholic is introducing limited-time summer rolls: the Strawberry Shortbread Roll and the Churro. Both are available online and in-store, adding a festive touch to any summertime gathering.

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