In Depth

‘Bleeding’ vegan burger arrives in UK supermarkets

Beyond Burger that oozes a beetroot juice-based meaty hue stocked at Tesco

A “bleeding” vegan burger is now on sale in Tesco supermarkets across the UK made by cult US brand Beyond Meat.

The Beyond Burger - the company’s flagship vegan-friendly product which sold out after its May 2016 launch in the US - “will be stocked alongside conventional fresh meat patties in more than 350 branches of the UK’s largest supermarket”, reports The Guardian.

The product - which will cost £5.50 for a pack of two - “had been due to arrive in Tesco in August but its launch was delayed after huge demand in the US put pressure on its UK supplies”, the paper adds.

Unlike other vegan burgers, the Beyond Burger “does not try to distance itself from meat. In fact it actively tries to impersonate its animal cousins in appearance, smell and even taste”, adds HuffPost.

Each burger contains 20g of pea protein, coconut oil, potato starch and uses beetroot juice to create a meaty red hue.

It’s called “bleeding” because “when perfectly cooked, it should bleed through the middle - but with beetroot juice rather than animal blood”, says The Independent.

The burger “has been developed to replicate animal meat using solely plant-based ingredients - it’s not really being targeted at veggies, but meat eaters”, the paper adds. And the idea “is that it’s a lot more environmentally friendly than a regular burger”.

“We see the growing global demand for delicious, plant-based proteins and are excited to serve that demand in the UK with the revolutionary Beyond Burger,” said Seth Goldman, Beyond Meat’s executive chair. “Bringing our innovative approach to merchandising to the UK, Tesco will sell the Beyond Burger in the chilled meat aisle alongside animal-based proteins.”

“The Beyond Burger has been one of the most eagerly anticipated food launches of the year and we believe that this fantastic tasting patty will be a real game changer for anyone considering going vegan or trying a flexitarian diet,” said Tesco’s Martyn Doble. “The most common reaction from those that have tried it is that they cannot believe it is made from plants.”

Describing it as “definitely passable as a meat burger”, in their review HuffPost adds, “99 per cent of the time [you are] thinking you might be eating meat (right texture, almost the right flavour) only to be reassured by the weird processed casing”.

The UK launch for the brand follows Beyond Meat’s strong growth in the US, “where it counts Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio among its investors”, says The Guardian.

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