You have undoubtedly heard of the plant-based burger trend that is slowly percolating through the country. Perhaps you’ve even tried one of the “bleeding” burgers that received so much press. With “burgers” from Impossible Foods in over 300 restaurants and making their Asia debut in 2018 this fad does not appear to be going away.
Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are the two leading brands in delivering delicious, healthy burgers made from plants. Both are based in California and have large venture capital backing. These companies are starting to make headway in challenging the meat producers and are beginning to push customers away from meat. Restaurant industry analyst Michael Whiteman estimates that demand for plant-based foods will grow by 10 percent annually in the coming years. This is because consumers are more concerned about their health, animals and the environment.
But there is more to their success than just these growing concerns. Industry experts say that this new crop of veggie burgers is having more success than any other plant based burger because they aren’t just targeted towards vegetarians and vegans. Instead, they are being marketed at good old meat eaters. Since these unique burgers offer a substitute for the the taste and texture of real meat, while also allowing vegetarians or vegans an option, it is a happy medium for all parties.
So What Are They Actually Made Of?
Impossible Foods’ burger is made from a base of potato and wheat protein, but its most unusual ingredient is heme, a molecule found in actual blood that gives the Impossible Burger its real meaty taste, sizzle and red color.
On the other hand, Beyond Meat spent several years creating the perfect burger, which uses pea protein and beet juice to mimic the texture, juiciness and appearance of ground beef and allows the burger to actually “bleed”.
Get ready to see a rise of these plant based burger offerings continuing in 2018. 2017 saw chains like Umami Burger, M Burger, and Epic Burger add meatless options to their menus. Already in 2018 we have seen TGI Fridays announce their Beyond Meat addition, Veggie Grill announce their expansion to Chicago, and Texas based vegan burger chain, Earth Burger will be heading to the Mall of America. This little meatless trend has made it mainstream and is here to stay.