Vegan Mac and Cheese is now available in nearly 100 Costco stores
This weekend, wholesaler Costco is expanding a vegan take-and-bake mac and cheese to nearly 100 locations in the southeast of the country. Chef Ayinde Howell’s Original Mac & Yease will be available in 32-ounce trays in the ready-made meals department in stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
Howell – the former private chef of the musician India.Arie – developed the now popular Mac & Yease recipe a few years ago as a tribute to his great-grandmother Mary’s Sunday dinner. “I’m so happy that we get the chance to bring this recipe out and find it in the south – that’s where the idea came about. My great grandmother Mary Fluker made baked mac and cheese in St. Stephens, Alabama, and my dad loved it so much that when he went vegan before I was born, he wanted me to have it, “Howell told VegNews.” I started selling, cooking, and refining Mac & Yease into what it is today at my first coffee shop in Seattle 22 years ago, and it will be available at Mobile Costco in Alabama, where I used to spend the summers . I have the feeling that [coming] the circle closes if I’ve ever seen one. “
Vegan mac and cheese for everyone
In April, Costco tested Howells Jalapeño & Cheddar Mac & Yease at 30 locations in California and Hawaii. The jalapeño and cheddar flavors are the same recipe, but with the added kick of fresh jalapeños. Howell says the wholesaler expanded the food option to more stores based on positive customer feedback. The Original Mac and Yease are available in the additional stores for a trial period limited to six weeks.
While Costco was the first retailer to offer Howells Jalapeño & Cheddar Mac & Yease, this isn’t the first time the Original Mac & Yease has been available in stores. In 2018 Howell partnered with Whole Foods Market to bring its mac and cheese to the supermarket’s hot food bar in 44 locations across the South Pacific, including California, Las Vegas, Arizona, Maui, and Oahu. In 2019, the option was expanded to Whole Foods locations in Northern California for a limited time.
More vegan options at Costco
In recent years, Costco has expanded its range of plant-based products, particularly in the vegan meat and cheese category. Select chain locations offer bulk packs of Beyond Burgers, Beyond Sausages, and Beyond Meatballs; vegan chicken pieces from the vegan brand Daring Foods; Pea-based milk from the vegan brand Ripple; Daiya cheese schnitzel and frozen dessert bars; and JUST Egg vegan liquid egg substitute.
Additionally, in May Costco launched new vegan frozen aisle breakfast sandwiches at Costco locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and the Southeast Region (including stores in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama), Florida, and Puerto Rico). The Meatless Sausage, Plant Egg & Cheeze sandwich is made by the vegan brand Alpha Foods and contains vegan cheese from the Greek brand Violife. In 2020, the brand also launched its Plant-Protein Crispy Chik’n Patties in Costco locations in the southeast, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Texas. Earlier this month, Costco expanded its vegan chicken offering with new bulk packs of Field Roast Plant-Based Nuggets in more than 50 locations in the Los Angeles area.