Nestlé announced April 2 its biggest move yet into the alternative protein market, launching a new "cook from raw" plant-based burger in Europe and unveiling plans for the U.S.
"These new burgers don’t compromise on flavor, texture and cooking experience. They underline Nestlé's increased focus on tasty, authentic, plant-based food. We believe this trend is here to stay, as consumers look at different ways to enjoy and balance their protein intake and lower the environmental footprint of their diets," Wayne England, the head of Nestlé's food business, said.
The Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger will launch in Europe starting this April, first coming to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
The Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger is 100% plant based, with natural protein from soy and wheat. Natural plant extracts – beetroot, carrot and bell pepper – help create the look of a beef burger before, during and after cooking. The burger will be found in the chilled or frozen aisle, complementing Garden Gourmet’s existing range of products.
Beginning this fall, Nestlé will also roll out a cook-from-raw plant-based burger in the U.S. under the Sweet Earth brand, customized for the American consumer. Called the Awesome Burger, the new burger, to be sold fresh, will complement Sweet Earth’s existing veggie-centric burgers sold today.
“Many consumers recognize that less meat in their diet is good for them and for the planet, but plant-based meat alternatives often do not live up to their expectations,” Nestlé said. “The new burgers allow even meat lovers to enjoy a veggie burger that hardly differs from a traditional burger. They even make the sizzling sound of a regular beef burger during cooking.”
The company said it used its expertise in food to develop the new burgers in line with its purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. They are the result of collaboration among culinary chefs, alternative protein researchers and local food experts at both Garden Gourmet and Sweet Earth.
"We’re proud of our ability to make healthy and sustainable food accessible to everyone through our trusted brands,” England said. “This includes plant-based food products under our Garden Gourmet range in Europe and the Sweet Earth brand in the U.S."