Plant-based grilling isn’t just for burgers anymore—although burgers remain popular with new entrants this year from Amazon and the refinement of formulations from brands such as Beyond Meat. The category is also heating up with new innovations that include plant-based sausages and plant-based chicken.
Impossible Foods, which says its mission is to make the global food system more sustainable by eliminating the need to make food from animals, launched Impossible Sausage Links Made From Plants in March. Available in Bratwurst, Italian and Spicy flavors, the pork-free links, which can be grilled on an open flame or in a pan, feature seasoned ground sausage that is into a plant-based casing before being twisted off, similar to how animal sausage is formed, the Redwood City, Calif.-based company said. “We didn’t compromise when it came to making sure Impossible Sausage Links deliver all the satisfying snap and sizzle that consumers love about pork sausage,” Laura Kliman, director of new product development, said in a release.
Earlier in February, Denver-based plant-based protein company Planterra Foods’ OZO brand launched “tender and juicy” and “easy-to-prepare” plant-based chicken cutlets in Garlic & Herb Cutlet and Sea Salt & Pepper flavors. It also released plant-based bacon—a topping for a plant-based burger, perhaps—in Cracked Black Pepper, Applewood Smoke and Spicy Jalapeno flavors.
Speaking of burgers, in March Seattle-based Amazon expanded its Fresh food brand with the addition of Fresh Plant-Based, a portfolio of plant-based products—including what it described as “grill-worthy” patties with 21 grams of protein per serving—available online and in-store at Amazon Fresh; and Wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. added plant-based burger patties to its Wild Harvest brand.
Meanwhile, El Segundo, Calif.-based Beyond Meat, which recently introduced plant-based Beyond Chicken Tenders (an option for kids at the summer barbecue?), last year debuted a new version of its Beyond Burger. “We are continuously working on understanding beef flavor at a deeper level to ensure our plant-based beef platform delivers a delicious and satisfying sensory experience,” said Dariush Ajami, chief innovation officer of Beyond Meat. “The new Beyond Burger’s rich flavor profile resembles that of ground beef, and extensive testing with our consumers validated this new flavor direction with likeability scoring on-par with 80/20 ground beef burgers.”