What was once a crusade led by startupand soaring IPO Beyond Meat is now a must-do product category, offered or announced by food giants ranging from Tyson's hybrid Raised & Rooting, Nestles Sweet Earth, and now Kroger's house "Simple Truth", which is the largest natural foods brand in the United States.
"It's really the confidence of the Simple Truth brand that's going to cut through," said Gil Phipps, vice president of branding and marketing at Kroger. "Much of the success of the Simple Truth brand has made quality, natural foods available and affordable." Affordable is a key point: Prices for the Kroger burger have not been announced yet, but Phipps says it will be well below Beyond Burger, which runs between $ 6 and $ 7 for two retail chocolates, and probably under Impossible Burger which adds a considerable dollar for the price of a.
Even with a hefty premium, plant-based burgers are the hottest restaurant trend for 2019. During the first 8 months of the year, 228 million of them were ordered at US fast-food restaurants, according to the NPD. This reflects a growth rate of 10% at the time when beef cattle were flat, but almost 30 times larger. If this ratio seems to be in line with the percentage of vegans in the United States, it's because the vast majority of those who order or buy plant-based burgers also eat meat.
Together with the burger, Kroger will also in the autumn launch plant-based sausages, ground beef and deli slices. Even before, it will offer a plant-based queso that Phipps says is revolutionary. "I'm from Austin, Texas. I love the queso. I never liked the taste of it, but I never ate a bunch of it and thought & # 39; it was a good idea! & # 39; Now it becomes a great queso that I can eat, and when I'm done, I've just eaten a bunch of plants. "
A bunch of highly processed plants, for sure, that bring up an area of pushback that is greeted by burgers sprinkled with peas, rice and beets.
"I don't think it is healthy to eat highly processed foods," said Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on CNBC recently. "When it comes to health, I won't support it, and that's about as much of a criticism as I would make in public."
Kroger has not yet released ingredient or nutrition labels for their upcoming burgers or ground beef "product," but "we stand to be delicious and proud of what's not in our food," Krogers says Phipps.
"It drives me crazy when I hear the complaint that these products are & # 39; processed food & # 39; http://www.cnet.com/," said Barb Stuckey, president and chief of innovation manager at Mattson, an important food and beverage development company. "We've been working on chocolate, coffee and wine forever, and I don't hear any complaints about them."