DALLAS (CBSMiami) – On July 4th millions of Americans will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers.
Recently there’s been a growing demand for meat substitutes like veggie burgers.
Now companies are making vegetable based patties that actually taste like beef.
It’s a concept many thought was impossible, including Jonathon Lemon, Culinary Director at Bare Burger Restaurants. He said when the Impossible Foods company tasked him with coming up with a plant-based burger he was more than skeptical.
“I thought it was going to taste terrible,” said Lemon. “I cooked and messed around with it for a couple of weeks and days and was like, ‘Wow, this is awesome’.”
Impossible Foods COO David Lee said the burgers are made from a high-tech process of pulling protein from plants.
“We have a protein from a wheat plant, a protein from coconut essence that gives it its juiciness. It’s why it sizzles. There’s protein from a potato,” he said.
The demand for meat substitutes is on the rise. Sales in the U.S. are up from $812 million in 2011 to more than a billion dollars last year. Products include everything from veggie burgers to veggie chicken nuggets.
More companies are also making products that taste like meat. Whole Foods sells Beyond Burgers not only in the vegetarian aisle but also right next to the beef.
Right now Impossible Burgers are only sold in restaurants. Customers say the veggie burgers taste pretty close to the real deal.
It’s that taste that companies are banking on.