Mikuna, a plant-based nutrition company, has launched Chocho – a lupin-derived protein powder that is already outselling pea and soy protein in regional retail stores.
Mikuna is the first supplier of Chocho lupin protein in the US, introducing the many benefits of this little-known superfood to a wide American audience for the first time.
Grown in the Andean mountains at elevations of 11,000 to 14,000 feet, Chocho – the local Andean name for the bean – boasts a long list of nutritional attributes. Composed of 54% protein, the beans offer more protein per serving than virtually any other plant source, outcompeting both soy (36%) and pea (34%) while offering all nine essential amino acids. Chocho is also high in fiber and provides omegas, iron, calcium and zinc, while being lectin and alkaloid-free.
A clean-label opportunity
Mikuna’s President, Tara Kriese, previously served as Impossible Foods’ Senior Vice President of Marketing, where she helped to usher in a bolder, more appealing image for plant-based foods. With Mikuna, Kriese says she now has the opportunity to create a clean plant-based nourishment experience.
“We are focused on connecting with customers who care deeply about what they eat, building relationships based on consumer needs rather than simply making a lot of noise,” says Kriese.
Last month, Mikuna became the best-selling plant protein brand at Erewhon, a popular chain of Los Angeles grocery markets, where the product is sold at retail and as an ingredient in the store’s smoothie bar. Chocho products are also available online through Mikuna’s e-commerce store, and can be shipped nationwide.
A versatile protein
In addition to its nutrient-dense profile, Chocho’s neutral taste and high plant oil content make it well-suited for a wide variety of food and beverage applications. Going forward, Mikuna plans to release “a wave of innovation” using this regenerative and sustainable crop.
“Everything we do is rooted in catalyzing nourishment: for consumers who eat chocho, communities who grow it, the regenerative system that sustains it, and the food industry that requires it to serve a growing population,” states Kriese.