‘Flexitarians’ behind growing popularity of plant-based burgers
More and more people are celebrating the 28th of May – International National Burger Day – with a big juicy slab of… plant-based protein. And Coles is getting in on the act with two new meat-free burgers that even diehard meat eaters can’t pick from the real thing.
Coles Category Manager for BBQ, Harriet Wischer says the popularity of meat-free burgers has been largely driven by meat-eaters.
“Our customers are becoming more and more interested in plant-based foods, but people are not so much switching to a full vegetarian diet – they’re substituting veggie options a couple of times a week.”
The shift is part of a global trend, with UK research finding more than a third (34%) of consumers now have meat-free or meat-reduced diets – comprising 21% flexitarian, 9.5% vegetarian and 3% vegan.
“We launched the Beyond Burger late last year in 200 of our New South Wales stores and had nearly 1,500 new customers in the first 10 weeks – two-thirds of these customers were existing BBQ meat shoppers,” said Ms Wischer.
The Beyond Burger, which is made from pea-protein and has become a global sensation for its convincingly meaty flavour and texture, will this week be rolled out to selected stores throughout Australia after a successful trial in New South Wales and Queensland.
“Despite only being available in stores for 13 weeks in Queensland, a state that loves its beef, one in every 25 burgers we sell is now from Beyond Beef – and that proportion is only going to grow.” said Ms Wischer.
And from tomorrow (29 May), a locally-produced meat-free burger will launch in selected stores across Australia. Like Beyond Meat, The Alternative Meat Co. burgers provide a meat-like flavour and texture and are a long way from the days where “meat alternatives” tasted more like cardboard substitutes.
The Alternative Meat Co. burger is 100% plant-based and high in protein, vegan-friendly and free from preservatives and artificial flavours.
“The burger is nice and juicy – and it tastes great. If you didn’t tell me, there’d be no way I’d know it wasn’t beef” said David Lindrea, an upholsterer from Cremorne, Victoria, trying one of the burgers for the first time.
The Beyond Burger ($12) and The Alternative Meat Co. Burger ($8.50) will be available at more than 700 Coles stores throughout Australia from this week.