TJ fans, rejoice! As Beyond Burgers slide into restaurant menus and Impossible Burgers hit retailers, leading grocer Trader Joe’s is getting in on the animal-free party.
TJ’s enters the meaty plant-based burger space
The chain, a budget-friendly favorite with millennial hipsters and suburban parents alike, will soon sell a new burger crafted from plants, making tasty alternatives to conventional meat that much more accessible. In response to a chorus of consumer interest, the company revealed on their podcast last week that they’re releasing a plant-derived patty that will look, smell, and taste like the regular stuff.
“This is going after a meat-eating customer,” said Trader Joe’s vice president of merchandising Marcy Kopelman. “As a vegetarian, I can tell you that this is not going after me, because it really emulates meat. You want to see the interior is nice and pink.”
The product will come in twos, and each four-ounce serving will provide 18 grams of protein, according to a post by the grocer’s staff in a private Facebook group. Priced under $5 per pack, it will cost about a dollar less than some other choices out there now.
“I think this is going to be exciting,” said Trader Joe’s vice president of marketing Matt Sloan. “As an avid burger fan, I would eat this.”
TJ’s boasts a growing plant-centric selection
For years, Trader Joe’s has met the rising demand for vegetarian food with unique, satisfying offerings like chorizo, sausage, meatballs, ground beef, and a poultry-less recreation of their popular orange chicken.
Thankfully, they’re not planning to stop anytime soon. Kopelman envisions a range of innovative plant-forward meat options, such as hot dogs, on the store’s horizon.
In the meantime, as they stock their shelves with patties produced without animals, Trader Joe’s will avoid the “b” word for the time being.
“I shouldn't even be calling it a burger, because that is no longer something we're supposed to be calling these,” Kopelman said on the podcast.
“Yeah,” Sloan quipped. “The Cattlemen's Association is storming the doors as we speak.”
Hopefully not for long. GFI is hard at work to defend the First Amendment rights of Trader Joe’s and others!