TryVeg had the opportunity to chat with Mark Perlmutter, the passionate vegan behind VegReady, a healthy and convenient vegan meal service. From his home in Peru where the meals are produced, Mark explained his motivation for starting the company: “VegReady strives to make ridiculously convenient plant-based meals, so that millions of non-vegans can begin replacing two fast food meals each week.”
To order VegReady and receive $15 off your order (plus, have your order benefit TryVeg!), simply order at TryVeg.com/VegReady.
TV: What inspired you to start VegReady?
MP: In the 2000’s I funded a documentary showing a plant diet reversing chronic disease in six patients. After more than 2 million views, the main feedback was: “That’s great to know in case I ever get sick.”
That was not why I made the film. I was hoping thousands would begin eating more plants in order to avoid getting chronic disease.
I learned a valuable lesson about human nature that helped me formulate VegReady. In today’s busy lifestyle, convenience wins. So even if people see compelling medical & environmental evidence, they won’t change their food choices unless it is really convenient.
TV: Why now? Where is the plant-based movement headed?
MP: That film was made in 2006. For nearly a decade I waited & watched as the market moved toward more plant-based options. Eating habits changed in big cities and suburbs as flexitarian became mainstream. During the late 2000’s and early 2010’s large investments from Silicon Valley funders poured into mass-producing plant-based alternatives for meat, dairy and eggs. I saw the future and the timing was right to develop a convenience meal for millennials and baby boomers who say they want to eat better if it is easy & convenient.
TV: What should people expect when they first receive their VegReady meal in the mail?
MP: After ordering online (or if a loved one orders for them) customers receive by mail a case containing 8 meals (3 dishes per meal). Assorted flavors are in each case and each is carefully pre-cooked and sealed. So these meals store at room temperature for 12 months without chemicals. They can be taken to the office, on a trip, or stored in your pantry until an instant meal is needed. Then just open and enjoy. No cooking or defrosting necessary!
TV: How were the recipes created?
MP: We have recipes from vegan medical experts and adjust them as needed to meet the requirements of our natural preservation process. This includes essential fatty acids for long shelf life and ascorbic acid to create a low PH environment inside the dishes. This adds to taste and satiety, as well as preserving appearance, texture and mouthfeel. In mass production recipes are called formulas, and we plan 50 formulas from 4 global cuisines for a total of 200 options. Customers will be able to personalize their meals choosing dishes from Peru, the Mediterranean, Thailand, and India.
TV: What are the unique features and benefits of VegReady meals?
MP: We are excited to be able to bring personalized food to mainstream at affordable prices. Next year we will begin a test program allowing customers to submit their DNA & Microbiome test reports from third parties so our proprietary algorithm can recommend meals matched to their body.
TV: What does the future hold for you and VegReady?
MP: Veg Ready, Inc. has huge support from the vegan community. We want to give them a role as brand ambassadors so they can feel they are contributing to a better world. Also Veg Ready, Inc will allow a limited number of fans and activists to buy early shares before we grow towards our planned IPO.
Want to give convenient vegan eating a try? Take $15 off your first order by ordering at TryVeg.com/VegReady
Stuart McDonald is a Communications Manager at Animal Outlook, a national non-profit animal protection organization based in Washington, DC. She is passionate about making an ethical lifestyle easy and accessible for all and collaborating across social movements to create a kinder world. She writes about everything vegan: from plant-based eating to activism to legislation. Read her work on TryVeg.com and AnimalOutlook.org.