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Making Whole Food Plant Based Fun, Colorful and Tasty with Jason Rosenbaum of Actual Veggies

Actual Veggies CEO Jason Rosenbaum and his co-founder, Hailey Swartz, didn’t set out to make a whole food plant-based product that appealed to everybody.

But that’s exactly what they did with their line of colorful burgers.

When Jason stopped eating meat for his health, he couldn’t find an alternative to his favorite meat, the beef burger, that met his standards. Although he recognizes plant-based meats as a tasty and helpful “next step” for people transitioning from a standard Western diet to a plant-based diet, he and Hailey wanted to go the next step and offer healthier options.

“It’s crazy to us that you can call it a plant-based product, but there’s not many plants in it,” he says of the many plant-based meat replacements on the market.

🍔 Episode Highlights

  • Jason and Hailey’s experience of growing a brand in a category dominated by big names that aren’t whole food plant based
  • How making a whole food plant-based product colorful and attractive can drive adoption across demographics and into the mainstream
  • Retailers’ and consumers’ increasing demand for healthier plant-based products
  • How you don’t need to scream “healthy” to sell products when you have something tasty and attractive
  • Innovative ways Actual Veggies is broadening their concept beyond the burger category
  • Why customer feedback is critical in product development
  • The “plant-forward” trend that’s taking plant-based food to the next (healthier) level
  • The changing narrative around plant-based eating and whole food plant based in particular
  • Walmart’s potential role in advancing the plant-based movement into the mainstream
  • How having advocates who can positively influence the public toward plant-based can help brands in the space grow

Their philosophy is simple: Make something from 100% whole plant foods that looks good, tastes good and is easy to prepare. Without compromising on these principles, Jason and Hailey worked with their team to create a line of burgers in a rainbow of colors—all crafted using veggies, beans, grains and spices.

To their surprise and delight, everyone liked the product. Customers from all across demographics—adults, kids, omnivores, flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans—embraced the burgers and offered feedback that helped Jason and Hailey iterate and make their burgers even better.

Jason encourages other whole food plant-based brands to stick to their principles and persevere through the ups and downs of business.

“Don’t compromise on your foundation or on what you set out to do,” he advises. That’s how he and Hailey turned their passion project into a business they love and that’s making a difference in the plant-based movement—and the world.

About Actual Veggies and Co-Founders Jason & Hailey

Jason and Hailey cofounders Actual Veggies

Founded in early 2020 and headquartered in New York City, Actual Veggies is redefining what retail and food service consumers consider a plant-based burger with its four different varieties of its ÂĽ-pound, chef-crafted veggie burger patties made with only fresh, actual vegetables, grains and spices. Actual Veggies can be found at Sprouts, HungryRoot, and online at and

A serial entrepreneur by nature, Jason Rosenbaum co-founded Actual Veggies in March 2020 after he personally revamped his diet and realized that “better for you” imitation meats and veggie burger options were highly processed, frozen, bland or loaded with preservatives. He set forth on a mission to create a brand that offers better, healthier and real plant-only veggie burgers.

Jason on LinkedIn

Hailey Swartz is an accomplished digital strategy and partnerships leader who is tapping into her passion for connections and relationships for Actual Veggies. Along with Jason, Hailey is managing the marketing, visibility and partnership opportunities to help grow and expand the reach of the company to other channels.

Hailey on LinkedIn

Find (and Follow) Actual Veggies


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