The company said that it is the first food and beverage company to develop all the vegan alternatives to all the components needed for a classic bacon cheese burger: a plant-based burger patty, vegan cheese and plant-based bacon.
This complete burger solution will first be offered to professional clients such as restaurant and foodservice operators, the company revealed. Nestlé’s plant-based burger patties are already available to food professionals. The full package, including the vegan alternatives to cheese and bacon, will roll out in 2020.
‘We have raised the bar’
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said the innovation comes in response to growing demand from consumers to see plant-based options included on menus when they eat out.
“More and more consumers are looking for delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based options when they dine out. We have now raised the bar by developing a ‘PB triple play’ of ingredients for an all-time classic: the bacon cheeseburger. We’re continuing to make good on our promise to offer consumers food that is right for them and right for the planet,” he commented.
The ‘PB triple play’ is intended to appeal to consumers who are actively seeking to reduce meat in their diet by increasing their intake of plant-based meals. To meet the expectations of these flexitarian consumers, Nestlé said the new solution delivers on the ‘familiar tastes; that consumers are seeking.
The vegan cheddar cheese alternative has the texture, meltability and ‘rich taste of a dairy cheese’, according to the Swiss food giant. The vegan bacon alternative becomes ‘crispy and chewy’ when cooked, ‘similar’ to animal-based bacon in both texture and flavour, Nestlé added.
These innovations complement Nestlé’s plant-based burger patties to deliver ‘an amazing vegan burger experience’, the company claimed.
Good for the planet, good for you
Nestlé stressed the new plant-based bacon cheeseburger is also less unhealthy than its conventional counterpart.
The plant-based bacon cheeseburger is ‘significantly lower’ in fat and saturated fat, free of cholesterol and has a higher fibre content compared to a standard bacon cheeseburger, the group said.
The company also stressed that the innovation is the result of a unique combination of its R&D expertise, proprietary technology and natural ingredients, such as plant-based proteins, fibres and oils.
“In creating these ingredients, culinary chefs and food scientists worked alongside foodservice experts to tailor the products for use in professional kitchens, taking into account their specific cooking and serving requirements.”
To complement the offering, the company also offers a variety of vegan burger sauces.
As well as feeding into consumer concerns regarding health and nutrition, the move is also more environmentally friendly and part of Nestlé’s efforts to speed up the transformation of its portfolio with innovative, sustainable products.
Nestlé recently announced its ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This includes offering more plant-based food and beverages and leveraging its brands to support consumers who want to adopt low-carbon diets.
The group has made a number of moves in the meat analogue space, with the launch of its Sweet Earth Awesome Burger in the US and its Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger in Europe for retail and foodservices.
Watch Nestlé's plant-based burger on the grill: