Minh Tsai, founder of Hodo Soy of Oakland, now the fastest-growing organic-tofu company in the country, also took a slow route. Mr. Tsai, who has landed contracts with Costco, Whole Foods and Chipotle over the 10 years his company has been in business, only began distributing outside the West Coast this year..
Food producers have been forced to change, too. Cheese makers who rely on milk from animals used to eating lush grass have had to contend with radically different flavors in the milk. Hodo Soy Beanery, in Oakland, had to find a way to streamline its process for making tofu, a food that takes lots of water to wash and chill.