This Canadian-based tech company is revolutionizing the way people shop

(Viki Mohamad/Unsplash)

15 years ago there used to only be 900,000 vegetarians in Canada. There are now 2.3 million. Together with another 850,000 identifying as vegan, a total of 9.4% Canadians are now either vegetarian or vegan.

With this proliferating market for plant-based living, customers are no longer wanting to wade through the aisles of non-vegetarian products. Instead, they’re opting for vegan and vegetarian-only marketplaces that can make shopping for their specific lifestyle more convenient. 

So it only makes sense that vegan grocery stores have been disrupting your regular go-to grocery stores—and why Kory Zelickson’s business idea came at the perfect time when it launched recently.

Combining the gap in the market for vegetarian and vegan-only grocery shopping with the pandemic’s e-commerce boom, Zelickson has successfully launched Kelowna-based online vegan marketplace, Veiji.

“There are so many innovative plant-based startup brands that we are able to assist by providing national exposure,” says Zelickson.

“The Vejii platform has been inspired by the innovators and founders that our team has had the privilege of working with. By providing startups with exposure we both help the brand and provide our customers with high-quality, plant-based alternatives that they may not have had access to before.”

The new marketplace has an array of vegan and vegetarian vendors on its site, including sought-after brands like Barvecue and Before the Butcher, and has a unique business model in that it allows brands to be directly listed with the store.

Vejii is not a normal e-commerce website. We are an integrated marketplace, which means that we offer the ability for brands to list directly on our site, and process and ship their own products,” Zelickson says.

With its line of plant-based patties, including chicken, turkey, and breakfast sausage, Before the Butcher is one of the pioneers in the plant-based space. The brand just launched Mainstream, its plant-based burger that was designed to compete with traditional burger patty prices, in an aim to make meatless burgers more accessible to the general public.

Another cutting-edge vegan brand that customers can find on Veiji’s website is Miyoko, the dairy-free brand leading the animal-free transformation of the dairy industry. Lead by cheesemaker, celebrity chef, best-selling cookbook author, animal advocate, and environmentalist, Miyoko Schinner.

Veiji also stocks vegan favourite Barvecue, the world’s biggest plant-based smokehouse. The North-Carolina based company is building the best-tasting wood-smoked and plant-based meats on the market, and is on a mission to build a company that cares about people, animals, and our planet.

Veiji is committed to making plant-based food more accessible, while also supporting plant-based food producers, especially small businesses—and the marketplace has been gaining a lot of momentum in the plant-based grocery space.

“In just a few short months, we’ve made great traction in onboarding top brands and in supporting smaller startups who are looking to sell their products online,” says Zelickson.

It’s even got celebrities onboard, with vegan pro-surfer Tia Blanco, who has been utilizing the marketplace to offer her own personal brand of vegan cruelty-free products, Dear Self Skincare, as an official ambassador. 

Veiji is intending to go public soon. If you’re keen to catch this early opportunity to capitalize on the booming vegan e-commerce market, keep an eye out for its public listing.

 

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