Nestlé upgrades vegan burger with meatier texture, launches plant-based mince

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Garden Gourmet Incredible Mince ©Nestlé
Garden Gourmet Incredible Mince ©Nestlé

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The food giant is expanding its Garden Gourmet range with a new ‘cook from raw’ plant-based mince, and swapping out its vegan Incredible Burger for a juicier, meatier version.

Nestlé has today (23 August) announced two developments in its plant-based Garden Gourmet range: a new ‘cook from raw’ mince product and an ‘improved’ version of its Incredible Burger.

The Garden Gourmet Incredible Mince is designed to be ‘just as versatile and juicy’ as its conventional beef counterpart. The meat analogue is ‘easily shapeable’, according to Nestlé, which means it can be formed into balls or used for skewers, or else crumbled in a pan to make a plant-based Bolognese sauce.

Its main plant-based ingredient, soya, contributes to its 17.3g protein per 100g. This is blended with a variety of vegetable concentrates – beetroot, carrot, and bell pepper – alongside rapeseed and coconut oil.

Per 100g, the mince contains 165kcal, 5g fibre, 7.9g fat (of which 2.9g are saturated fats) 1g sugar, and 1g salt.

“This is another big step for us on our ‘cook from raw’ platform,” ​global head of Nestlé’s food business, Wayne England, told journalists during a pre-launch press briefing. “We are excited about mince because it opens the door to so many opportunities.

“[The burger format] is big, but mince, just the versatility of it and its use in recipes, will give consumers and the people that want to enter into this plant-based eating flexitarian world lots more opportunities.”  

Garden Gourmet Incredible Mince will be available from September in a number of European countries, including Austria, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

‘New and improved’ Incredible Burger

At the same time, Nestlé announced its development of a ‘new and improved’ Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger, just seven months after it first launched. The renewed recipe aims to increase its juiciness, its ‘umami’ flavour, and meat-like texture.

“In continuous improvement, we…[are not sitting] still after the launch of version one of our Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger, and…are therefore launching the next generation of this burger,” ​said England.

nestle burger
Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger ©Nestlé

“This brings more meatiness, more crumbliness, and some better consumer attributes which we are sure consumers will be excited about.”

Its ingredients list includes soy and wheat protein, vegetable concentrate (beetroot, carrot, and red pepper), coconut and rapeseed oils, and a proprietary method of fermenting plant-based ingredients that boosts the ‘umami’ flavour. Per 100g, the burger contains 197kcal, 14g protein, 3.8g fibre, 13.3g fat (of which 4g are saturated fats), 1.3g sugar, and 0.84g salt.

The Nestlé executive described the recipe update as an “evolution rather than a change”​, prompted by a variety of factors including consumer feedback and looking at how its ‘competitors have moved’ in what is an increasingly fast-paced sector.

“This is a very dynamic space as we all look to be the closest to the meat analogue and bring the attributes that consumers are asking for,” ​England added.

Cleaner label for EU expansion

Both products are made from similar recipes, with the burger containing an added binding agent, as is also required in conventional burger recipes.

Nutrition-wise, the food giant said its Garden Gourmet range prides itself on using clean label ingredients. “[We bring our] cuisine and cooking understanding, … the right taste profile, a cleaner label and…nutritional advantages – so lower fat, the correct amount of salt, [and] the right vitamins and minerals to the products,” ​said England.

Nestlé is focusing on German, Austrian, Norwegian and Swedish markets at the moment, but has plans to launch into more European markets in the ‘near future’.

Will this include a launch in the UK? “The UK remains interesting, we are still looking at it,”​ revealed England. “Incredible Burger by Garden Gourmet has never been tested or launched there. We did test some other products and did stop our tests,” ​he said, suggesting that the UK is on the agenda for future expansion.

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