CANADA – The Canadian meat giant, Maple Leaf Foods has unveiled a new line of plant-based burger under the Lightlife portfolio, an alternative offering to its range of meat products.

The range also consists of plant-based bratwurst sausage, Italian sausage and an alternative to ground meat.

According to the company, the new products offers the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of traditional meat.

Maple Leaf is responding to the rising needs of consumers who want to avoid meat in their diets while at the same time enjoying the same great taste of the proteineous meals.

The Lightlife burger has 20g of pea protein with 0g of cholesterol and 2.5g of saturated fat in a quarter-pound patty.

It was developed through a specific culinary approach using ingredients such as pea protein, coconut oil, and beet powder to give it the juicy and meaty characteristics.

The company launched the new range as part of the design to mark the brand’s 40th anniversary.

“With 40 years of leadership in plant-based food innovation, we understand taste is a priority for all consumers.

We didn’t join the plant-based category overnight; we’ve long been pioneering the industry.

“Our new burger is delicious thanks to decades of culinary know-how, and we know we’ll be serving up an entirely better experience for consumers who want a break from traditional meat or whose palates are craving a new adventure.

It’s not science, it’s just good food,” said Lightlife Foods president Dan Curtin.

Lightlife burger will hit foodservice stores this month and grocery outlets in March in the US while in Canada, they will be rolled out in April.

The launch of the burger will be accompanied with redesign and new look of the entire Lightlife portfolio.

“The new branding is more vibrant and contemporary while staying true to our rich heritage in natural foods, reflecting the category’s growing consumer base.

Combined with our core line innovation, the biggest campaign in the brand’s history, and a rich pipeline of new products across our broad portfolio, we are excited to continue to lead this dynamic category in the US and Canada into the future,” said Lightlife Foods vice president of marketing Michael Lenahan.

Meat-free alternatives sector is the space to watch out, even as manufacturers bank on plant-based counterparts to boost sales.

Don Lee Farms said it was expanding the availability of its organic plant-based burger to 15 countries in Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Impossible Foods released its meat-free burger earlier this month, featuring a new recipe, gluten-free, zero cholesterol, and contain as much iron and protein as conventional beef from cows.