Let's face it, a veggie burger is well... okay. It's been around for decades in some form or another. It's not something that exciting. Sometimes it's borderline tasteless, but for vegans and vegetarians, sometimes it's the only option on the menu. That's all changing. Several companies are offering beef-like non-meat burgers. Two of the most prominent are Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger.
I haven't tasted the Impossible Burger yet. However, I have to say, I really like the Beyond Burger which is available at Veggie Grill. Okay, while I haven't had a hamburger in close to 40 years, the Beyond Burger sure tastes like meat... well, to me it does. What do I know? Again, it's been almost four decades, can I really remember what beef tasted like? And in reality, does it really matter? Many people ask, if you don't want to eat animals, why eat something that taste like animal flesh? Why? Because it tastes good! I don't want to eat food that doesn't taste good. For me, food should be tasty and nutritious. Not just one or the other. For me, the Beyond Burger -- with its 20 grams of protein per patty -- satisfies both of these requirements.
The burger is not cheap, it's almost $15 at Veggie Grill, but that comes with fries too. It's becoming more readily available; you can also buy it at most Whole Foods locations. In my opinion, the $15 price tag is considerable. The Impossible Burger is available at various restaurants for even more. Chefs are charging $12 to $19 for Impossible Burgers of varying sizes, but it is expected that the price will come down as production scales up. That is, if more people were interested in and willing to eat these burgers, economies of scale might kick in thereby lowering costs which could result in a less expensive product for the consumer.
Two-thirds of consumers say they would pay more for “sustainable” brands, according to a global survey by market research firm Nielsen. Sales of goods that advertise environmental benefits grew more than 4% in 2015, versus less than 1% for those without.
Two-thirds of consumers say they would pay more for “sustainable” brands... in general, that statement may be true, but are people really willing to pay almost $20 for a one-quarter pound burger? They can get a real burger for much, much less money. Either their poll question was too broad or their audience was too specific. I can't imagine that most people would be willing to spend $15 or more for a quarter-pound faux quarter-pound burger when they could get larger burgers for far less money. I believe that most people vote with their wallet first before their beliefs. If they can "save the planet" and not have to pay too much more, they'd be happy to do it, but not for roughly twice the price as other options. Maybe I'm wrong; this is just my opinion.
Regardless, I hope all of these faux burgers catch on, and that meat-eaters start eating them, and that they become readily available -- as common as the typical veggie burger is today, and that the price comes down some. For now, I'll continue to stop by Veggie Grill every now and then and plunk down $15 and have a quarter-pound Beyond Burger and fries.