Finding Falafel Republic

The worst thing about falling in love with a product is becoming obsessed with it and then having it get discontinued.  This is why I have a love/hate relationship with Trader Joe’s and Costco.  I LOVE when I discover awesome new CHEAP veggie products.  But I HATE when I return to the grocery store to replenish my stash and it’s nowhere to be found.  And it happens ALL the time!

Case in point: peanut flour

Over a year ago, I bought a big tub of Falafel Republic’s falafel balls.  They were outstanding – the perfect blend of beans and spices.  And they didn’t get dried out when reheated, which is a miracle for a frozen product!  I blogged about them a few times, raving about the aforementioned qualities. 

So imagine my heartbreak when I went back to Costco and couldn’t find the falafel.  I tried again a few months later.  Nada.  I shed a tear, and moved on.

Unfortunately, it’s been a long time since I’ve found a proper replacement.  I stopped buying falafel from the Whole Foods hot bar because they were so dry, it was like biting into the desert, forming a lump in the back of my throat no matter how long I chewed (and there’s only so much water I can chug with a meal!).  I tried making my own, but they weren’t authentic and I didn’t really like the spice blend. 

Now, months later, I get an email from Falafel Republic saying they are going to be selling their products again at Costco. 


The best part of all is that they wanted to send me some of their NEW items to try out.  Weee!! 

Since I was insanely sick when this package arrived, most of the items went straight to the freezer.


But this weekend I was back at work which meant I was looking for quick and easy portable healthy vegan eats. 


How perfect is this individual on-the-go container of falafel/hummus?

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I had some with the salad (spinach and leftover pickled cucumber salad) and some with the Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks tortilla chips.


The chips are multi-grain, gluten free, and vegan – made from brown rice and seeds.  And not just your typical flax and chia seeds.  They have radish and broccoli seeds too!!  Crazy right?


Both the chips and the falafel were excellent.

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The falafel was soft and flavorful on the inside and authentically crispy on the outside.  So good.  Unfortunately, the hummus was rather acidic for my taste buds.  I prefer my chickpea dips thick and creamy, with an emphasis on the tahini.

As for the Simply Sprouted snacks, they reminded me of FSTG chips.  They were WAY salty, which I happen to like, but I have a salt tooth.  In other words, people with hypertension should proceed with caution. 

I have more flavors of the chips to review, but what I’m really excited for are the rest of the goodies Falafel Republic sent me, especially their new wraps with falafel, hummus, and salsa.  Yummmm. 


Here are the nutritional stats for the individual falafel and hummus.  Obviously I had both servings (who eats half a tub of hummus?). 

Here’s my entire collection of work eats.


I already showed you lunch, but breakfast was grits.  I made them in the crock-pot (this was the last of the three servings it yielded), so I owe you guys a recipe. 


Hint: it had Sabra roasted red pepper hummus and tomatoes.  I topped it with an egg which I microwaved for 45 seconds in a glass bowl sprayed with canola oil.  Simple as that.

Some candied ginger, Adora dark chocolate (my stash is done-zo), and a banana rounded out the day’s food.

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These other snacks were brought to restock my locker stash.  It’s been running on low for a while, so I’m bringing in a few bars every shift to make sure it remains a fully loaded emergency stash.  I’ll review the NuGo bars when I try them.

Any items you’ve fallen in love with and then never seen again?

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Comments (37)

  1. Abby

    I kind of hate you right now, as although I’ve never had that particular brand of falafel, I want it in my freezer ASAP. The thing is there’s only ONE store in my area that has any frozen falafel and it’s one brand and one item. Sigh…that’s the problem with not having a TJs or WF nearby (or a Costco membership.)

    Anyway, jealousy aside, I always get addicted to things that are promptly discontinued–mostly gum. That’s a big deal, as I love my sugarless gum, but my favorites always leave me. FAIL, universe. FAIL.

  2. Kristen

    i can totally relate to this! i had fallen madly in love with TJ’s super protein organic tofu. it was vacuum sealed, so it didn’t sit in water, and it was the BEST for snacking on or for stir fry’s. It’s no where to be seen now 🙁
    on the other hand, i like the looks of those falafel, and they appear to be gluten free, right?

  3. Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie

    I’ve been aimlessly trying to find powdered peanut butter for MONTHS after trying it and falling head over heels in love. I ended up having to order it online but it was SO worth the wait. I’ve had peanut butter smoothies daily and its almost time to restock again!

  4. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    There needs to be a petition started about TJ’s peanut flour! I don’t know WHY they would ever discontinue it!!! And that food looks delicious! Did they tell you when it would return to Costco? I might be going this weekend! (I can only go when my brother or cousin go… haha I don’t have my own card).

  5. Jill in Chicago

    Those chips look awesome! Visiting the site now to see where I can get them….thanks for the link!

  6. Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon

    I’ve never seen these falafels before!!! I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out!
    I fell in love with this boullion last year. It is vegan and has no salt added to it. I have nothing against salt but it’s nice to control just how salty you want something to taste! But, I haven’t seen it in the store for the past few months! I bought normal veggie boullion and had to throw out the rice I cooked in it because it was so horrendously salty!

  7. elaine c.

    i was trying to find frozen falafels back in january at costco and didn’t find any – i wonder if they will be there in a couple weeks when i go??

    did they say if they’re planning on having all of those items at costco? i love the idea of the grab and go!

  8. janetha

    that’s so cool they sent you some goods! and yay for being back in costco. i hate that.. you are right, happens ALL the time.

  9. Stacy

    Just got those from Costco a couple of weeks ago! I too have been disappointed by Costco way too many times. They had soy chicken fingers for a hot minute. Then those disappeared. They had chobani for a while. Then those disappeared. And there were definitely a couple more items that disappeared. But at least the Marina Del Rey Costco is much better about stocking veggie options than the one in Los Felix.

  10. Courtney

    I am still crying about the peanut flour at Trader Joes…

    Costco does things by “region” which is really annoying. I got some really great stuff when I went to Costco with my sister on the East coast, but when I came home to the “mid-west region” they didn’t have any of the same things. I was so bummed! I asked about them, which is how I found out about the “regions” 🙁 I am pretty sure that the falafel never left our Costcos here, but I could be wrong since I have never tried them. I always see them, put them in my cart, and then take them out at the last second. Crazy, I know.


  11. Elise (Post author)

    yes, the new items are going to be sold in LA area costco stores. They are selling 6 wraps for 9.99. Not sure about their availability in other regions though…

  12. Elise (Post author)

    these are really really good, you have to promise youll get them next time. we gotta keep costco thinking theres a demand for vegan products!! youre lucky your region carries them…ours didnt even have veg broth or brown rice ’til i wrote in and complained.
    i only wish i had space for the bulk buys…

  13. Elise (Post author)

    if they ever get rid of the almond milk i will seriously cancel my membership.

  14. Elise (Post author)

    which brand? im looking for a low salt one, so im gonna try to order it online if you can remember what kind it was.

  15. Elise (Post author)

    not sure…its by region though, so i know they are going to be in the LA region soon. not sure about chi town though. id write to costco and ask (they have an online place to contact them with requests, etc). i know this because i wrote in about them getting brown rice (vs white) and veg broth (vs chicken stock).

  16. Elise (Post author)

    i bought 15 bags at TJs when i heard they were d/c-ing it. im on my last one right now 🙁

  17. Courtney

    That is why I haven’t gotten them–I don’t have room for them in my (not full sized) fridge/freezer! I SO wish I had a chest freezer or something…

    I can’t believe you guys don’t have brown rice or veg broth. That is crazy! You are in CA! We have qunioa, chia, flax, we even have Amy’s soups at Costco here. Maybe you need to move to MN 🙂


  18. Elise (Post author)

    honestly courtney, it would be VERY dangerous for us to live near each other. we would end up quitting our jobs and eating hummus all day long. local grocers would run out of apples.
    btw, our costco does have quinoa and flax in bulk (even organic!) and certain amy’s goods (frozen pizzas that dont fit in our freezer). but i dont think i have seen any soups. are they variety packs? which soups? i think its so odd how they pick which places to supply things. the northwest costco stores have daves killer bread, but not LA. i want it SOOOO badly.

  19. kelsey

    They are at the Costco by me in the Chicago suburbs!

  20. Sherry

    I’m so jealous, I’ve been craving falafels lately too, how funny. I just checked and they don’t sell them in my area. I’m going to print the form they have and take it to my store. We’ll see if anything comes out of it.

    I hate when I find products that I love that they stop selling. Happens with food and hair products. I have crazy curly hair so I can’t just use any old product. It’s the worst when they quite selling products I love.

  21. Ellie @ healthy belly ellie

    I bought some Sol Frozen Falafel at whole foods but wasn’t too pleased with the texture… very mushy! Hopefully this will come to the Costco near me as well so I can give it a try!! Falafel is wonderful… I do want to try to make homemade falaf’s too!

  22. Michael Maguire

    As a current employee at Falafel Republic, I could not agree more that this is absolutely a problem, and our most heard about complaint! With the tight space in many grocery store plan-o-grams, and the presence of many brokers who decide where our product goes, it can be tough to keep track of.

    Elise, as you mentioned Costco is carrying many of our products around the US. Roche Bros and Shaws around Massachusetts are a go-to as well as BJ’s in the next coming months. Also, we are always open to sending free coupons to anyone who likes our facebook page. So, go over there and like it then email me your mailing address and I would be happy to send you one!

    Excellent review, Elise, we really appreciate it and are happy you liked it!


  23. Lisa

    Ah I hate when stuff gets discontinued! I’ve been ordering peanut flour online. Iherb has great prices I find! And thank goodness they have it there, I can’t imagine going on without it. Is that sad?

  24. Elise (Post author)

    hey mike! thanks for the heads up, ill definitely pass that tip onto my readers…its such a tragedy when you find amazing products and then you cant find them again, so im SOOOOO glad falafel republic is returning to the so cal region. im going to spread the word as much as possible in the hopes that big business will keep costco supplying it. thanks again 🙂

  25. Elise (Post author)

    totally not sad. im right there with ya.

  26. Courtney

    Ha! I think we would just need to move into Whole Foods and set up camp 🙂

    The soups at Costco come with two different soups in the case/package/whatever. One is lentil and I forget what the other soup is…I haven’t bought them before, but I did taste the lentil one day when they were sampling it. We have Kashi pizzas at Costco here, but I don’t think I have seen Amy’s. It is completely random what they supply where and also pretty annoying! At least they have apples at every Costco I have ever been to…thank goodness 🙂

  27. Courtney

    PS Thank you for the iherb tip–I finally ended up ordering peanut flour on-line through them!

  28. Lindsay

    I fell in LOVE wth Nasoya Dijonaisse when my grocery store had it on sale a few months ago. I used it as a sandwich spread, in tuna salad, as a dressing, as a veggie dip…everything! Little did I know that it was on sale because it was being discontinued! Their website says they are redoing the Nayonaisse formula for release in the fall, but I’m not sure if my beloved Dijonaisse will be back. 🙁 So disappointing!

  29. elaine c.

    Mike: i just asked this on your FB page, but in case you pop back over here to check…i’m curious is your products will be hitting the costcos up here in portland, or? thanks!!

  30. Susan Helfeld

    We have the falafel at the Costco in Chicago. It rocks!! I’m going to be on the look out for the bulk quinoa and chia seeds. I also love their big size bag of Popchips. The plain ones are gf and vegan. Oh, and their big bags of Skinnypop!! I need to make a trip out there asap!

  31. Elise (Post author)

    popchips are awesome. i dont think ive tried skinnypop though. i love riceworks chips too – they only have them at the costco near my parents house in northern ca though…they are super addictive. i had to stop buying the family bags of stacys pita chips because they took over my life for the week after i got them. seriously. it was a problem.

  32. Greg

    Susan, thanks for buying our falafel, but just to give warning, the Chicago division will be cycling out of our product in June. Tell your friends but also don’t be afraid to ask for the manager when you can’t find it. Ask them to bring it back.
    Thank again,

  33. Cyn

    So . . . we bought a double-pack of the falafel at Costco a while back and they quickly became a favorite in this house. I love them on pita or flour tortillas with hummus and cucumber. BUT. We just went back to Costco yesterday and they were nowhere to be found. Maybe I didn’t know where to find them? I couldn’t remember where I found them the first time. Obviously, they are in the freezer or refrigerator section, but there are several of these. Any ideas? Thanks! Oh . . . and yes, I asked a couple of employees, but they had no idea what I was talking about.

  34. Elise (Post author)

    i dont think they carry them anymore 🙁 i havent seen them in my last few visits. i found another kind but its not as good. the employees are pretty hit and miss in their knowledge of the stuff they have stocked. id try writing or emailing your local costco.

  35. Gregory Bukuras

    Hi Elise, I hope you are well. The best thing for the customer to do is go to the store and ask for the main office number. Call up and ask for the falafel buyer. Ask if they can bring them into a couple of stores and then talk it up with your friends. Elise you have alot of pull and can get the shoppers going. Cyn, Thank You for your business and keep asking for us it helps.

  36. Elise (Post author)

    thanks greg. i just moved so i plan on asking our new costco about it once i sort out which that will be…sacramento, woodland, dixon, etc.
    thanks for the advice!

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