Portland IS The Epicenter of Food

The Lempert Report
April 01, 2016

The world’s first vegan only supermarket, Veganz, now in Portland.

You’ve heard me rave about Green Zebra and New Seasons, and the food innovations at the city’s restaurants and food companies. Now the world’s first vegan only supermarket - Veganz - is opening there. Not a new venture, Veganz was founded by a former Mercedes exec Jan Bredack,  who went vegan in 2009 and founded the chain 4 years ago in Berlin after he found it difficult to find vegan foods for himself. Currently, there are more than 10 stores across Europe, including Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Essen, Cologne, Prague and Vienna. Veganz’s first store in the UK will stock more than 6,000 vegan products. Veganz imports goods from 30 countries worldwide and sells thousands of vegan products, including plant milk and cream, imitation meats and fish, vegan ice creams, vegan cheeses and sweets, as well as toiletries and cosmetics.  

In Europe Bredack has launch a food truck as well - his plan is to bring the benefits of a vegan diet to the masses at concerts, festivals and the like and his strategy is to make hot dogs, burgers and other foods that look and taste like meat based products, all of which he sells in his stores. With Portland being one of the nation’s food truck capitals it seems likely that we may also see such a truck here.

Today, vegans make up roughly 6 percent of the U.S. population but as we are seeing across the nation, Americans have reduced their total red meat consumption from 145.1 pounds a year in 1970 to the USDA estimate of 105 pounds in 2015; and with the call outs in recent months including in the Dietary Guidelines to reduce meat consumption for health as well as sustainability reasons. Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, according to a 2014 Chatham House research paper, account for about 14.5 percent of the global total, more than direct emissions from the transportation sector and more than all the emissions produced by the U.S., the world’s biggest economy.