The race to revolutionize how we consume protein has been a nail-biter. Hoping to convert life-long meat eaters, many plant-based brands claim to match the real thing. In some cases, respectable results have been achieved, yet most have fallen short.
Coming fast around the bend is Slovenia-based upstart Juicy Marbles — a company we reported on last year for their plant-based filet mignon — who's intent on recreating plant-based steak that meat-lovers will enjoy. Still in its early stages, the brand has been whetting appetites by releasing monthly limited-supply drops. Their recent US launch sold out in under eight hours due to hungry plant-based and curious carnivores alike waiting in mouthwatering anticipation.
Surprisingly, Juicy Marbles is spearheaded by scientists with varying diets. Using advanced science, they aim to find the flavor and texture sweet spot and satisfy palates that simply enjoy delicious food. Their dynamic team underscores the brand's goal of changing how we view and talk about meat made from plants.
Often in the plant-based world, branding leans heavily on product benefits. Vladimir Mikovic, Chief and Brand Creative for Juicy Marbles straight-shoots, "We [the plant-based category] need to stick our heads out of our asses. I've noticed that telling people how much water, land or animal lives they saved makes them feel challenged or guilty. Using such messaging as the top marketing hierarchy for selling food is something that I believe we need to challenge if we are to grow as a category."
He believes many people think eating more plant-based foods requires an identity shift, and he wants Juicy Marbles to show that that is just not the case.
Using their patented Meat-o-matic Reverse Grinder™ 9000, Juicy Marbles’ team of scientists have combined their genius to mimic the muscle texture and marbling of actual meat. A simplified explanation of the process is that it involves layering fibers from the bottom up with all-natural ingredients, no printing, GMOs or laboratory alterations. The meat itself is mostly composed of soy and sunflower seed oil which provides the fatty texture.
According to Mickovic, the flavor and aroma are the most challenging parts to get right. Since joining the team in 2020, he’s lost count of how many iterations of Juicy Marbles he’s taste tested. While the current version hitting the streets is certainly delicious, they still feel it isn’t quite market-fit yet and continue to make improvements.
From your average food blogger to popstar Lizzo, word of mouth has been spreading like wildfire. While the buzz builds, Mickovic says what’s most important is offering a healthy product without requiring a lifestyle change.
“Perhaps you don’t have to change who you are as a person in order to eat more plant-based,” Mickovic emphasizes.
Interested in trying plant-based steak? Make sure to visit their site and join the list for the next limited-supply release. The goal is to enter restaurants later this year with retail shortly following.
Mickovic looks to strip away the plant-based pretense and have you walk away from the Juicy Marbles experience feeling like, “Fuck, this is sick!”