Swiss company Nestlé S.A. will debut the vegan Incredible Burger under its Garden Gourmet label next spring. In addition to the wheat- and soy-based burger, the company plans to expand its vegan business to be worth more than $1 billion in the next ten years and is experimenting with creating purple-hued blueberry walnut milk. “While digging deeper into consumer trends, we found they changed a bit in the last couple of years depending on how consumers define a healthy diet,” Nestlé Chief Technology Officer Stefan Palzer said. “Vegetarianism has never been this popular before and it’s here to stay, I’m convinced about that.” The Incredible Burger bears obvious similarities to the Impossible Burger—a plant-based patty that debuted in upscale eateries in 2016 and has since expanded to approximately 5,000 restaurants, including 377 locations of fast-food chain White Castle, with plans to launch in the retail sector in 2019. Last year, Nestlé debuted four vegan creamers under its Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss brand and acquired meat-free company Sweet Earth. In a bid to stay relevant as consumer habits shift, companies similar to Nestlé that have traditionally profited from animal products are modernizing their portfolios with plant-based foods. This month, Danone announced the release of two vegan yogurt lines: a coconut milk version of its popular Oikos brand and new line Good Plants, a subsidiary of its Light & Fit brand. Another Nestlé competitor, Unilever, recently announced its acquisition of Dutch brand The Vegetarian Butcher—which is currently transitioning its entire line to be fully vegan—to create a foothold in the booming plant-based meat industry.
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