Innovate Blog
Hottest free-from dishes 2019 – Meat-free burgers that taste just like the real thing.

Wednesday May 29, 2019

Whether it’s for health, environmental or ethical concerns, the world’s appetite for vegan food is increasing. In the UK, there is now said to be over 500,000 people who are vegan, and that number is expected to increase by a further 327 per cent by the end of 2020, according to news website Plant Based News. With the increasing number of people becoming vegan, there is an increasing demand for faux-meat products, which are now starting to appear in stores and restaurants around the UK.

A new report from Allied Market Research has predicted that the faux-meat market will reach $5.2 billion by 2020. The research revealed that faux-meat meat alternatives—such as tofu and soy products but increasingly vegetable-based proteins—are expected to experience an annual growth of 8.4 per cent overall.

The most popular faux-meat options include, Jackfruit, which is said to have the same texture as pork, Seitan, which is said to be extremely similar to chicken, and Tofu, which can be used to make a vegan alternative to turkey. One particular meat-free option that we are starting to see across menus in the UK is meat-free burgers -not a regular veggy burger made with a mix of vegetables, but a burger that looks, smells and tastes almost identical to a beef burger, except without the meat.

According to the MCA Menu and Food Trends report, the demand for meat free burgers in 2018 increased in popularity, making up almost 9.3 per cent of vegan main courses ordered in restaurants. They predict that meat free burgers will continue to be extremely popular throughout 2019.

One of the main reasons why this particular meat-free burger has become popular is because of its likeness to real meat burgers. Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have been using technology to create plant-based meat replacements that replicate the exact properties of real meat. These burgers are now for sale in the UK at supermarket Tesco and are starting to appear on restaurant menus.

There has also been experiments from American business Memphis Meats who have created a cruelty-free ground beef, which is produced from the cells of the animal. They take a cell sample of the animal, then use that to grow meat. So far, they have created chicken, duck and beef, and all are said to taste just like the real thing.

If you are interested in making a meat-free vegan burger at home, website myrecipes recommends the following recipe:

  • Blend 8 ounces of mushrooms and 2 cups of walnuts in a food processor until they are finely chopped.
  • Cook the mixture in a frying pan alongside 1 chopped onion and 4 grated garlic cloves.
  • Remove from heat and add 2 cups of cooked bulgur wheat, ½ cup of oats, 3 ounces of vegan butter, 2 tablespoons of grated beetroot, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 ½ teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of black pepper.
  • Once combined, separate into 10cm wide burger patties.
  • Fry the burgers until heated through and lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Remove from pan and serve on buns with your favourite burger toppings.

Meat free burgers are also set to hit the fast food sector with quick service restaurant Burger King announcing that they will be introducing a new burger to their menu, which uses the vegan ‘impossible’ burger. The vegan burger will have a vegan patty topped with vegan mayonnaise, vegan cheese and salad, and is set to be available at the end of the year.

If you are considering serving meat free burgers in an outdoor environment, for on-the-go or for home delivery, then it is important to make sure that you have the right food packaging for the job. At Bunzl Catering Supplies we have a wide variety of food packaging options to suit serving the perfect meat-free burger.

If serving for customers to enjoy outdoors in a street food environment, then a sturdy tray might be the best option. At Bunzl Catering Supplies, we sell food on-the-go trays in lots of materials, shapes and sizes, including foam, foil, rPET (made from recycled PET – and recyclable) cardboard and bagasse (made from sugar cane – and compostable).

Alternatively, if looking for a ‘boxed’ solution so that your customer can enjoy their food on-the-go or in the comfort of their own home, the TASTE Gastro Burger Box from our supplier of food packaging Huhtamaki is a great option . This tailor made one-piece fluted burger box with a fitted lid and greaseproof lining is suitable for over the counter, takeaway and delivery use.  It has excellent heat insulation to keep its contents hotter for longer and it can be put into an oven up to 220c for 30 minutes or microwaved so that food can be served from the box then reheated in it if the customer needs to.

To find out more about our different types of food packaging visit our Food Packaging e-brochure. For anything else, please contact Bunzl Catering Supplies today.

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