It’s ultimately not meat. But the Conagra Brands-owned Gardein brand hopes its new plant-based Ultimate Burger wins over Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods loyalists in 2020.
Gardein, acquired in Conagra’s 2018 acquisition of Pinnacle Foods, will release the next iteration of the Ultimate Burger in January. The burger is a mixture of soy and pea protein, assorted spices and canola oil. It will join several other plant-based Gardein products currently on the market, such as fishless fish and meatless meatballs (using the same proteins). The “Ultimate” label will also be used on a line of spicy sausage and hot dogs.
Wrapped in sleek brown packaging, the Ultimate Burger scores big on overall value: a six-pack of burgers will go for $11.99. A two-pack of Beyond Meat burgers could set you back about $5.99. The notorious five pound Impossible Foods “brick” can go for upwards of $250.
A Conagra spokesperson says the Ultimate Burger will quickly reach supermarkets and restaurants given its extensive network of ingredient suppliers.
It’s not surprising to see Conagra go all-in on plant-based foods. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have created a surging market, fueled by great-tasting plant-based products and new deals at restaurant chains such as Burger King and McDonald’s.
The meat alternative category has hauled in $957 million in sales for the 52-weeks ended November 2, up 10% year-over-year, according to Nielsen. Within this category, the meatless burger business has seen $272 million in sales, up 11.4% from a year ago.