Whole Foods' New Vegan Risotto Is Turning Heads

Today, RightRice announced the launch of its vegetable-made risotto rice, available exclusively at Whole Foods, RightRice.com, and on Amazon. "As consumers are looking to incorporate more plant-based products into their diets without sacrificing taste or flavor, RightRice Risotto continues our focus on reimagining the rice aisle and redefining classic rice dishes," Keith Belling, CEO of RightRice, said in the press statement

The risotto comes in four varieties: Creamy Parmesan, Wild Mushroom, Basil Pesto, and Creamy Cracked Pepper. For those curious how a parmesan-flavored risotto is plant-based, RightRice lists the ingredients on its website, stating that they use lentil flour, chickpea flour, and dehydrated garlic and onion among others, which also include "natural flavors."

They are sold in 6-ounce pouches for $3.99 each, with 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber for a serving size of 50 grams. The vegetable-based risotto is labeled as gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO, and has a low glycemic index. Whole Foods is evidently excited, as they have included RightRice's vegan risotto under its "Basics on Fire" section for the Top 10 Food Trends of 2021, including it with other goods that promise to offer new takes on staples (via Whole Foods Market).

It's been a popular year for rice dishes like risotto

In their report on the newly launched vegan risotto rice, Forbes notes that this is the third product launch from RightRice since they incorporated in 2019. Their founding proved fortuitous, as Americans bought over 300 percent more rice and other dried grains during the pandemic than beforehand, allowing for the company to quickly capture most of the essentially non-existent vegetable rice market. 

Food Navigator writes that RightRice more than doubled in growth during this time, generating $7.5 million in revenue and with an expectation to sell at least 50 percent more this year. "We think we will be a business that does $50 million in five years," Belling told them. Considering the last brand that Keith Belling made was Popchips, as Force Brands includes in their profile of RightRice, this should not be treated as an idle boast. Competing vegetable rice brands are nearly non-existent and if RightRice can pull off a good-tasting risotto that can be made in less than 15 minutes, they will probably have a foothold in the rice world.