In the plant-based burger substitutes game, the two dominant companies for a few years now have been Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. Their replicas come so close to the original that it's convincing many to adopt more flexitarian lifestyles.
As those diets become more mainstream, rivals are starting to emerge to the two vegan burger giants, one of which just got their competing product in grocery stores nationwide.
Photo courtesy of Lightlife
These substitutes come courtesy of Lightlife, whose new Lightlife Burger, Sausage, and Ground beef replicas are hitting shelves during this month. While the name may sound new, Lightlife is responsible for some vegan products you may already recognize, including Smart Dogs and Smart Bacon.
Lightlife's version is more similar to Beyond's Burger than the Impossible Patty, as it is predominantly made from pea protein and uses other similar ingredients like coconut oil and beet powder. There are some slight differences, as Beyond opts for annatto as an additional color source and Lightlife adds onion and garlic powder into its patties, but the similarities are quite notable.
Foodbeast had the chance to recently try this new faux burger at the recent Natural Products Expo West. Based on texture, taste, and color alone, it's a strong indicator that the rest of the industry is catching up to what Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have to offer. While it seems like Impossible Foods has the intellectual property advantage with their legume-based heme, pea protein-based burger substitutes more like Beyond Meat are coming fast.
With other companies like Nestle and Tyson Foods also working on their own meat substitutes, plant-based's cost should plummet as its availability increases to an industrial scale as we close out the decade.
LightLife's replica can be found in stores like Albertson's, Vons, Sprouts, and Safeway this month. Other retailers, including Whole Foods, will also start carrying them some time this summer.