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Trader Joe's rolls out its own plant-based burger
February 4, 2020
Source: Grocery Dive

Trader Joe’s is the latest retailer to launch its own plant-based burger, joining the likes of Kroger and Aldi in riding the wave of demand fed by branded pioneers Impossible Foods and Beyond Burger by releasing their own versions.

Given Trader Joe’s loyal following and expertise in private label development, its Protein Patties could steal some of the momentum other retailers have tried to generate. Kroger’s new Emerge plant-based burgers — part of the Simple Truth Plant Based line the company launched late last year — sell for $4.99, though they’re discounted to $3.99 on the company’s e-commerce site.

In addition to private label development, grocers are bringing more meatless burger companies onto their shelves. Target recently brought new Tofurkey soy burgers to 600 stores while Costco and H-E-B are bringing in plant-based burgers from Don Lee Farms, a former Beyond Meat co-packer.

Trader Joe's says its new product grills just like a beef burger and has a similar savory flavor and “meaty texture.” The burgers are pea-protein based, similar to the Beyond Burger, while the Impossible Burger features soy and potato proteins.

According to UBS, the market for plant-based protein and meat alternatives will grow 28% a year to $85 billion by 2030.​

Jim Hertel, senior vice president with Inmar Intelligence, believes grocers will continue to develop new plant-based private label products to meet consumer demand. They’ll have to move fast, however, as branded suppliers continue to innovate and co-packers get snapped up.

“I don’t know that there’s enough making capacity right now to satisfy the demand,” Hertel recently told Grocery Dive.

Trader Joe’s also just released its yearly list of its most popular products, which altogether reflect the increasingly adventurous yet wellness-focused preferences of shoppers. Shoppers’ favorite overall item was Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning, while packaged mandarin orange chicken was the favorite entrée and cauliflower gnocchi was recognized as the chain’s favorite vegan/vegetarian item.

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