Kellogg’s-owned veggie meat brand MorningStar Farms is going vegan – and it’s launching a new meat-free, dairy-free cheeseburger.
MorningStar Farms’ new vegan “Cheezeburger” will debut this week at the Natural Products Expo West, the largest natural, organic, and healthy products show in the world. The new meatless burger adds dairy-free cheddar cheese to the old-school brand’s Meat Lovers quarter-pounder patty, which contains 23 grams of plant-based protein.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for us – by making this change, MorningStar Farms favorites can be enjoyed by even more people at home and on-the-go who strive to add plant-based proteins to their plate,” said Mel Cash, head of global marketing for plant-based protein at the Kellogg Company, in a statement.
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MorningStar Farms Goes Vegan
In addition to the new product, MorningStar Farms plans to make all of its existing products, including its vegetarian Breakfast Sausage Patties, vegan by 2021 in order to meet consumer demand and reduce its carbon footprint. Pivoting to a completely plant-based range will eliminate the use of 300 million egg whites annually. The switch is similar to that of UK-based veggie meat brand Quorn, which announced last August that it would switch to a vegan range in order to keep up with demand.
“This will also help us further our commitment to a greener world by helping to reduce the water waste, land usage, and carbon emissions associated with egg production,” Cash continued.
Kellogg’s notes that about half of MorningStar Farms products have been made vegan. Last July, the brand announced that its veggie chicken products, including Chik’n Nuggets and Buffalo Chik Patties, transitioned to a plant-based recipe. In September, it launched vegan BBQ Chik’n Nuggets. MorningStar Farms hopes to make 65 percent of its products vegan by the end of 2019.
“MorningStar Farms’ decision to make their entire product portfolio 100 percent plant-based is a huge win for both consumers and the planet,” said Bruce Friedrich, co-founder and executive director of The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit organization for the advancement of plant-based and clean meat.
The transition to a vegan range includes MorningStar products served at 25,000 restaurants and dining facilities in schools, universities, and hospitals nationwide.
Kellogg’s is well aware of the rising demand for vegan food. Speaking at the Good Food Conference last September, Nigel Hughes, SVP for global R&D said, “This is a paradigm shift…Plant-based protein will play a much, much larger role than it plays today.”
Earlier this year, Kellogg’s and meat giant Tyson Foods invested $30 million in food tech company MycoTechnology, which makes vegan protein.
MorningStar Farms has not announced a launch date for its new vegan cheeseburgers.