Applegate's New Blend Burgers Are Targeted Toward 'Conscious Carnivores' Who Want to Eat More Plants
The new burgers are a mix of either beef or turkey and mushrooms.
Meat or plant-based burger, or something in between?
Applegate, a producer of organic hot dogs, sausages, deli meats, cheese and other products, this month introduced The Great Organic Blend Burger, which is made with either beef or turkey, and mixed with white button mushrooms sourced from a family farm in Pennsylvania. The only other ingredient is rosemary extract. It's the first Applegate product to incorporate plants and is available nationwide at retailers including Kroger, HyVee, Sprouts and HEB.
John Ghingo, president of Applegate Farms, said the product is for those who eat meat but want to cut down on their consumption of it.
"There are more and more consumers who are looking to incorporate more plants and vegetables into their diets," he told Entrepreneur. "It's a solution that works well for those consumers without a big compromise on taste. It's a big step forward for us in continuing to look for smarter ways to make food from animal and plants."
Related: Tuna Is the Next Food to Get the Plant-Based Alternative Treatment
Rates of vegetarianism and veganism remain low. Gallup reported that just 5 percent identify as vegetarian and 3 percent as vegan. But interest in plant-based foods is growing. Sales of plant-based meats saw a 24 percent increase from 2017 to 2018, compared to the previous period, and topped $670 million in sales, according to Plant Based Foods Association.
So a Blend Burger makes sense, especially to, as Ghingo put it, to "conscious carnivores," or "people who are still eating meat but are thinking about their choices."
Applegate is not the only company to launch a blend burger. Teton Waters Ranch, a 10-year-old producer of grass-fed beef products (available in 3,000 stores nationwide), also introduced a grass-fed beef burger mixed with mushrooms this month.
"As the demand for more plant-based alternatives grows, Teton Waters Ranch wanted to provide a convenient solution," said Mike Murray, CEO of Teton Waters Ranch. "The burger blend is for the eco-conscious consumer who really cares about where their food comes from and how the animal is treated."