The New Plant-Based Item At Trader Joe's That Has Instagram Divided

There's no denying that plant-based protein options are on the rise, in both grocery stores and on the menus of fast-food chains and restaurants. According to a 2019 study from investment firm UBS, plant-based meats are expected to grow to revenues of $85 billion by 2030 (via Food Dive).

Right now, there are plenty of options out there from Beyond Meat's sausages, ground meat, and even jerky to Morning Star's veggie bacon strips and Impossible Foods' burgers. Each one of these companies aims to simulate meat and while some carnivores are confused by this, the truth is that there can be many benefits to swapping meat for plant-based versions of your favorite proteins. According to the Vegetarian Society, eating a plant-based diet has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 2.5 times compared to a meat-based diet. 

As Veg Blogger points out, many vegetarians like the taste of meat but don't like where it comes from. When new plant-based meat products come on the market, many vegetarians (or other people looking to reduce their meat consumption) get excited to try the product and see how it compares. There's now a new plant-based meat option at Trader Joe's, and it seems to be polarizing among shoppers. 

A ground turkey made from plants

According to Bon Appetit, Trader Joe's has been one of the forerunners in plant-based food offerings even before this trend exploded, and the store's newest item is no exception. While there are plenty of vegetarian ground meat options and plenty of turkey-style roasts available, this is one of the first plant-based ground turkey-style options on the market. 

In an Instagram post, @traderjoeslist said the product "contains 21g of protein per serving and is made with wheat and pea protein! I'd recommend making tacos and seasoning this 'meat' with Trader Joe's taco seasoning or making turkey burgers." 

Comments on the Instagram post were mixed. "Dog food," one naysayer proclaimed. "Might as well say Fresh Pet on the label. Turkey is meat. Not peas." However, others felt more positively — one commenter said "So excited – I loved the turkeyless burgers and was so sad when they were discontinued!"

YouTube reviewer Kimberley Flanagan put the item to the test this week to generally positive results. "It is good, and do I think it would be amazing in pasta and stuff? Absolutely," she said. However, she also felt the texture might deter some people and said it was definitely not for those on a gluten-free diet as it contained wheat.