Global food giant Nestle intends to take advantage of the growing plant-based burger market in the U.S.
Purchased in 2017, the Nestle Sweet Earth brand will debut its ‘Awesome Burger’ this fall. The burger, which will have vegan meat, will be sold in restaurants, grocery stores and at universities.
Sweet Earth founders Brian and Kelly Swette had started developing their personal plant-based burger way before other restaurants thought of it and launched a plant-based option, including Beyond Meat that went public recently.
The Swettes have been in the plant-based meat options too. Their company on average makes 13,000 pounds of meatless bacon and ham- which are plant-based proteins daily. Sweet Earth has come up with the veggie burger to simply be closer to the real burgers available.
Nestle has offered to help Sweet Earth to source materials and production, giving the company added advantage over rivals.
Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are the top producers of plant-based burgers. However, these companies have found it hard to meet the huge demand as a result of their limitations in production capacity.
The main ingredient for Sweet Earth’s burger will be yellow pea protein.
Impossible Foods burgers will have a soy protein base while Beyond has substituted its beef with pea proteins.
Awesome Burger will also have an organic option. As Kelly notes, the burger is not different from the traditional beef once cooked. Nonetheless, it is high in protein and fiber.
The price of Awesome Burger will be close to other plant-based burgers. However, as time goes on and manufacturing as well as sourcing gets better, Awesome Burgers will be priced almost similar to a beef burger.
Other companies are also shifting to veggie burgers as consumer’s interest begins to shift away from meat. Tyson Foods is among those who are moving into a meatless burger. The company sold its shares in Beyond just before the latter’s IPO. Kellog’s Morningstar Farms brand has also planned to shift to be plant-based in the next two years.