Vegan meat company Sunfed Meats took to social media to tease its first-ever vegan burger, called the “Bull Free Burger.”
While the post contains few details, the sneak peek at the New Zealand-based brand’s upcoming meat-free burger shows pink patties, not unlike the vegan Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger in “raw” form. The Bull Free Burger is currently in its beta stage and is expected to launch later this year.
Like the brand’s first vegan meat product Chicken Free Chicken, one can speculate that the new plant-based burger will be made from pea protein. Recent innovations in the food industry have seen the rise of pea protein as an ingredient in vegan meats as it provides a realistic meaty texture.
In a recent episode of “Business is Boring,” a weekly podcast presented by media site The Spinoff that focuses on entrepreneurs in New Zealand, host Simon Pound sat down with Sunfed Meats CEO and founder Shama Lee. Throughout the episode, the pair spoke about the meat industry, sustainability, and why brands should make vegan products that appeal to meat-eaters.
Pound opened the discussion by addressing the resource-intensive nature of the meat industry. While industrial animal agriculture calls for vast quantities of water, feed, and energy, the end result is small. Lee agreed, stating that not only is the meat industry inefficient, it’s also “highly risky.” Due to the rising global demand for meat, industries are working faster, often taking shortcuts in order to increase output.
This, Lee explained, can lead to increased environmental destruction, food safety risks, and public health risks such as those stemming from antibiotic usage; a recent study by The Environmental Group found that 80 percent of supermarket meat contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
“The bigger the system gets the worse the risk gets. It is unsustainable,” Lee said. “We need to diversify ourselves away from it towards a system that can scale but without those risks.”
Lee, however, is not entirely opposed to taking risks for the good of the planet. She revealed that Chicken Free Chicken was the brand’s first launch because chicken meat is currently the most consumed meat in the Western market and is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace. “It’s a difficult meat to make so for us to go first to chicken was bold,” Lee said.
The texture of the brand’s vegan chicken is said to mimic real chicken meat, right down to the long fibers when one pulls the meat apart. Like chicken, it can be used in a wide variety of dishes. “When you look at consumers who buy chicken they’re looking for something that is versatile, convenient. We wanted to make something for the consumer that would be a real competition for chicken,” Lee added. The Bull Free Burger, the brand’s first vegan beef option, aims to rival traditional beef patties.
In addition to launching the vegan Bull Free Burger, Sunfed Meats is aiming to scale up production to meet customer demand.
Image Credit: Sunfed Meats