In just a few short years the vegan burger scene has begin to change almost beyond recognition.
Gone are the days of dry, flavorless patties, which feature unrecognizable mushed together pulses. A new generation of high-tech plant-based options have sprung up in their place - offering a trendy, tasty alternative to the less than exciting vegan burgers of the past.
Here are five of the top vegan or plant-based burgers to sink your teeth into.
California-based tech start-up Beyond Meat has seen epic success with the launch of its flagship product the Beyond Burger, which is available in well over 10,000 retailers and eateries across the States and beyond.
The company is working towards building an exact replica of meat - entirely from plants. After studying animal meat in an MRI scanner, Founder Ethan Brown and his team discovered all the components - water, fats, amino acids and more - could be found in plants.
Seth Goldman, Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat, says: "We were the first meat-free burger to be stocked in the meat section at Whole Foods. When we first went there we thought could we hold our own. Now, in one of the California chains, this is the top selling burger in the section, which shows the kind of people we are bringing to this space."
The Beyond Burger will launch in Tesco in the UK this month.
Another US high-tech option is the plant-based Impossible Burger*, which uses a special ingredient to recreate a classic 'meaty' texture.
The ingredient - soy leghemoglobin - contains heme, an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every animal and plant. According to the company, heme plays a fundamental role.
Earlier this year, New Zealand's blasted the burger after it was served on the country's national airline carrier - fretting that it posed an 'existential threat' to traditional animal meat products.
Labeled the UK's answer to the Beyond Burger, the B12 Burger is starting to roll out to various eateries in England.
The patty, which took scientist two years to develop, is made from mushrooms, pea and potato protein, and coconut oil.
Speaking previously about the innovation, Moving Mountains Founder Simeon Van der Molen, said: "Moving Mountains is a British brand launching the UK's first ever raw bleeding plant based meat burger.
"This marks a huge leap in innovation for humanity and will allow consumers to bite into a future that is better for their health and the health of our planet. Without any compromise on taste, the Moving Mountains B12 burger provides a viable alternative for flexitarians, vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike."
As a lower-cost alternative to some of the other burgers on this list, supermarket Iceland's £2 No-Bull Burger is developing somewhat of cult following.
Crafted from soy, beetroot, and paprika, Executive Chef Neil Nugent tried to create a patty which is similar to traditional animal meat. Much like Beyond Meat, Iceland's goal is to appeal beyond the vegetarian and vegan market - with the UK's estimated 22 million flexitarians in mind.
He said: "We are trying to get those people who want to drop meat once or twice a week."
It was recently revealed that the patty, which was launched instore in April, has been outselling its wagyu beef counterpart.
Naturli' Foods burst onto the retail scene among a slew of mainstream media attention as the creator of the first plant-based meat products to be sold alongside animal meat in the UK.
Two products - mince and the burger - launched across 400 branches of supermarket Sainsbury's this Summer. The brand uses porcini mushrooms, as well as almonds and tomatoes in its recipes, in order to create an umami flavor. Beetroot juice is used to replicate bloody juice.
Henrik Lund, Chief Executive Officer of Naturli Foods says: "We’ve developed this product assuming that many people want to eat plants instead of animals, but are afraid of compromising on flavor and maybe even missing out on their favourite dishes such as lasagna or burger patties."
*Because Impossible Foods tested an ingredient on rats, the company brands its burger plant-based and not vegan. The company has explained its reasoning for the testing - which you can read about here
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.Reuse this content
Maria is the head of written content for Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
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