Waitrose UK launches seitan-based burger amid plant-based boom

UK – The British supermarket chain, Waitrose & Partners has launched the first seitan burger made from wheat gluten and mushrooms to meet the growing demand for plant-based products among British consumers.

The product can be barbecued or cooked in the oven, targeting to offer consumers with vegan dishes during the summer and barbecue season.

According to the retailer, demand for vegan dishes is quickly increasing and searches for vegan burgers on Waitrose.com website has increased by 86%, with seitan searches up by 148%.

There has also been a growing trend for vegan barbecue products with searches up by 175% compared to last year, said Waitrose.

Innova Market Insights research reveals that there has been more than 45% average annual growth in food & beverage launches with a vegan positioning (CAGR, 2013-2017).

Meat substitutes accounted for 14% of global meat launches in the first nine months of 2018, up from 6% in 2013.

“We are launching the first seitan burger,” said Simona Cohen-Vida, Waitrose & Partners Vegetarian & Vegan Product Developer.

“The modern barbecue is an inclusive affair with delicious products catering to all tastes and demands and we are able to offer a good selection of vegan options.”

Waitrose has also launched new Mediterranean style sausage whirls in two flavors: Italian style whirl which contains aromatic roasted garlic, fennel, basil, porcini powder and sun-dried tomatoes; and Spanish style version boasting a smoky flavor.

In addition, a new Korean style vegetable burger has been introduced, featuring meaty textures from the soy and a kick of chili heat on the finish.

Plant-based boom is not only unique to Waitrose, Burger King has launched plant-based Impossible Whopper throughout the US, while McDonald’s unveiled its first vegan burger in Germany.

Nestle launched its new 100% plant-based burger in Europe, with plans to roll out the same in the United States.

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