Vegetable protein no longer means dry, tasteless “meat” patties and reconstituted tofu. These innovative products are made with plants but “bleed” just like real meat with the help of beet juice.
In 2017, companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods expanded their presence in the market, partnering with restaurants and bringing their innovative plant protein to the grocery market.
“In 2018, meat alternatives are really going to launch,” Ken Harris, managing partner at Cadent Consulting Group, told CNBC.
Beyond Meat’s “bleeding” veggie burgers are available at more than 5,000 restaurants and grocery stores, and Impossible Foods’ “impossible burger” can be found in more than 350 restaurants in the U.S.
The reason for this sudden surge in burgers made from vegetables?
“It tastes good,” said Harris. “It hasn’t in the past.”
Harris told CNBC that these burgers aren’t just for vegans and vegetarians but also for people who eat meat but want to eat more vegetables.
Epic Burger, which sells Beyond Burgers at its restaurants, has seen tremendous growth since adding the item to its menu.