Nestlé has seriously beefed up its plant-based meat initiatives this week. Today Sweet Earth Foods, which is owned by the Swiss CPG company, announced that it would begin selling its plant-based Awesome burger at Ruby Tuesday’s. The Awesome burger launched in U.S. retail this October, but the Ruby Tuesday’s deal marks its first time sold in a national restaurant chain.
The pea protein burger will be available for $5 at all Ruby Tuesday’s locations for tomorrow only. After that diners can substitute an Awesome patty on any burger on the menu for $10.99 (which I’m assuming includes all the toppings). Sweet Earth’s burger will be available through mid-March, after which it has the “potential” for it to become a permanent item.
The Ruby Tuesday’s partnership will certainly expand the Awesome Burger’s footprint, but it has a long way to go if it wants to catch up to competitors Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, both of whom have already established extensive fast-food partnerships. Maybe set your sights on McDonald’s, Sweet Earth?
While its plant-based burger is making its U.S. national restaurant debut, Nestlé is also cooking up a brand new alt-meat product. Over the next few months the CPG giant will launch plant-based sausages in Europe and the U.S.
In Europe the soy-based Incredible Sausage will join the Incredible portfolio of meat alternatives by Nestlé-owned company Garden Gourmet. The Incredible burger is already sold across Europe, including as a vegan option at McDonald’s in Germany and Israel. The Incredible Sausage will hit retailers in 11 European markets, including Switzerland and Germany, this March.
In the U.S., Sweet Earth Sausage, part of the Sweet Earth brand, will be available in retailers this April. Soon after a foodservice version will roll out. Sweet Earth will follow that with a line of plant-based deli meats, which the company states will be sold at retail deli counters.
Judging by the photo (see above), Nestlé’s new plant-based sausages look an awful lot like the meatless brats from Beyond Meat. Like Beyond Meat, the Sweet Earth sausages are also made with pea protein and they both resemble uncooked sausage (though Sweet Earth’s seem to have vegetables incorporated into the links themselves). These qualities will distinguish them in the grocery aisle from sausages by Tofurky and Lightlife, both of which are pre-cooked and made with soy and wheat protein.
Details on pricing and availability for the Sweet Earth and Incredible sausages are still a mystery. We’ve reached out to Nestlé and will update the post when we hear back.