There is a fast-growing new trend in the burger industry. And surprisingly, it’s not meat. Plant-based burgers have quickly become a rage throughout the country and becoming increasingly available in popular fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and on the dinner table throughout the country, says Gaurav Mohindra.
Vegetarian or “Veggie” burgers are not a new concept. Vegetable based burgers have been around for years and available in the frozen food section of grocery stores. However, the rise in plant-based burgers that getting much recent attention is different. These burgers look and taste like beef burgers. They go as far as having a similar texture, smell, color, and look – of typical burgers. With the similarities being so striking, the transition for meat eaters to sample the new plant-based burgers are rather simple. In addition, the plant-based burgers are healthier than their red meat, nitrate-laden, and counterparts – and leave a smaller ecological footprint. As consumers become more health conscious and environmentally aware, these alternatives are becoming more attractive, says Gaurav Mohindra.
Beyond Meat made recent headlines with their IPO last month. The IPO shot up in value and received significant attention by earning a large valuation. Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown. The company’s products became available across the United States in 2013. In May 2016, it released the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section of grocery stores, on an international basis. The company has products designed to replace chicken meat, beef, and pork sausage. Beyond Meat is offering its burgers in a number of fast food restaurants, such as Del Taco, Epic Burger, Angel Stadium, Harvard University, Stanford University, TGI Fridays, Yankee Stadium – they are in over 15,000 restaurants, stadiums, and universities.
Impossible Foods Inc. is another plant-based burger company that develops plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy products. The company was founded in 2011, and headquartered in Redwood City, California. The Impossible Burger recently made headlines by testing an Impossible Whopper at Burger King Locations in the St. Louis market. The test was wildly popular and resulted in an increase in over 18% foot traffic for the participating locations. As a result, Burger King decided to expand the offering to all of its US locations by the end of the year. The fact that a large fast food restaurant is willing to provide the offering is a testament to the existing demand, says Gaurav Mohindra.