Is hybrid meat a gimmick or creating a new plant-fluid sector?
The fact that Plants = Good Ethics has become firmly embedded in the consumer’s mind. Whether this is for animal welfare, the environment, or eating healthier, the switch from animal to plants is becoming easier for people to achieve, either full time or part-time.
But not everyone wants to give up the mouth-watering taste of meat for a plant-based alternative, so when I came across the Blended Burger Project™, it really got me thinking about hybrid meat products – do we have to be so black and white about meat reduction?
For the last four years, chefs across the US have joined The Blended Burger Project™, a movement that strives to make the iconic burger even better for customers and for the planet by blending at least 25% fresh mushrooms into their burgers, and thereby reducing the amount of water, land, and electricity used to get that patty between the buns.
Advocates of hybrid meat products argue that a move away from the meat vs. vegetable binary approach might encourage more people to give vegetarianism or veganism a whirl. Any product that makes it easy for consumers to reduce their meat consumption and add more plants to their diet must be another good step in the right direction. It’s a change that we’ve already seen companies and restaurants move to embrace by broadening their vegan and veggie offerings, but is hybrid meat destined to remain a gimmick?
US meat companies Perdue and Tysons both announced hybrid products last year. Perdue
launched Chicken Plus, chicken nuggets that feature a blend of chicken meat, plant-based protein from The Better Meat Co and veg. Tyson, the biggest US meat processor, offers a hybrid product that is half-pea-protein, half-Angus-beef burger under their Raised & Rooted brand.