THE race to feed the world’s growing vegan population is heating up as Nestlé SA unveiled plans to introduce its soy protein-based burgers across Europe and the US this year.
Nestlé’s meatless Incredible Burger will go on sale in Europe under the Garden Gourmet brand this month, starting out in countries including Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Near the end of the year, it will become available as the Awesome Burger under the Sweet Earth brand in the US, the world’s largest food company said in a statement on Tuesday.
As consumers reduce their meat intake, food companies are rushing in to sell new products to them. Nestlé’s announcement comes the day after Restaurant Brands International Inc.’s Burger King said it will start a test run of meatless burgers using patties from Impossible Foods Inc. in the St. Louis area.
Nestle’s product includes wheat and extracts of beetroot, carrot and bell peppers to help make it look like meat. The field is growing, with new entrants like Beyond Meat, backed by Bill Gates, competing with The Vegetarian Butcher, recently acquired by Unilever.
The Swiss company’s plant-based business may reach more than 1 billion francs ($1 billion) in sales within a decade, Laurent Freixe, chief executive officer of the Americas region, has forecast.
In February, Nestle put its Herta lunch-meat business up for sale.