Cajú Love’s Cashew Fruit Meat Makes Its Retail Debut
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Cashew fruit meat startup Cajú Love has made its retail debut with placement in select retailers across Los Angeles, Portland, and New York.
Hawaii-based Cajú Love is carving a new category in the booming vegan meat market. But unlike the majority of products made from processed soy, pea, and wheat bases, it’s jumping on a vegan meat trend that started with jackfruit and tacking on food waste commitments as well.
Cajú Love is using cashew fruit as its meaty substitute. The meat not only offers a sustainable replacement for conventional meat, but it also reduces the agricultural waste left over from the cashew industry. The company says since its 2021 launch, it has upcycled more than 100,000 cashew apples by turning them into vegan meat. It says one 200g pack of cashew fruit meat uses five cashew fruits.
Agricultural waste is a big problem, contributing to the global food waste issue. The United Nations says about one-third of all food is wasted — about 1.3 billion tons annually. This isn’t just a waste of food, but a key contributor to global warming. The United Nations says it adds about 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year, costing the global economy nearly $1 trillion.
Cajú Love says more than two million tons of cashew fruits go to waste in Brazil every year. But uses run the gamut from juice — which uses up about eight percent of the fruits — to jam, wine, candy, and animal feed.
The global Products from Food Waste or upcycled food market size was valued at nearly $53 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6 percent to reach $83.26 billion by 2032. The Upcycled Certified program is estimated to prevent 840 million lbs. of food waste each year.
The hyped-up cashew fruit meat is now ready for consumers with the company announcing placement at Besties Vegan Paradise in Los Angeles, Food Fight! Grocery in Portland, Ore., and Orchard Grocer in New York City. It’s also available on Amazon.
“Cashew fruit meat has the potential to feed a growing population without putting pressure on the environment,” Cajú Love founder Alana Lima, said in a statement.
“Cajú Love has been a pioneer in the upcycled food movement by creating a new plant-based staple from upcycled cashew fruits. We have built a new supply chain system to upcycle cashew apples that helps conserve energy in food production, reduce food waste, soil exploitation and water usage, and provides an additional income stream for local farmers,” she added.
Beth Sullivan, owner of Food Fight! Grocery says that her customers have been very excited to try Cajú Love. “We have had several add it to their weekly shopping list,” she said.