Fast food outlet Hungry Jacks has launched a completely meat free burger in Australia.
Called the Rebel Whopper it's being promoted as having zero per cent beef but 100 per cent taste, with its burger patty developed by the company working with the CSIRO and plant-based meat start-up v2food.
Earlier this year the US fast food giant Burger King, which Hungry Jacks is the Australian franchisee of, started selling its meat free burger, labelled the Impossible Whopper.
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The CMO of Hungry Jacks Scott Baird said its target is a new set of customers.
"There is a growing number of flexitarians and meat reducers who, while not necessarily vegetarian or vegan, welcome a plant-based option in their diet," he said.
"The Rebel Whopper will appeal to these people without compromising on the taste, and we hope to attract even more guests to our restaurants."
It's launch comes as the alternative protein market is being promoted as a major future industry.
Last month the CSIRO released economic analysis of future market opportunities in the food sector which found Australia could increase the value of what it produces by $25 billion, by 2030.
While it forecast a healthy outlook for red meat, alternative protein production was one of the opportunities identified.
That same week the alternative protein think tank Food Frontiers released its report which forecast that Australia's plant-based meat sector could contribute up to $3 billion to the national economy by 2030.
Labeling the worry
For Australian producers the concerns aren't so much that these products are available but they way they are labelled.
Paul Richards from the Hunter Valley in NSW told Farm Online last month he doesn't lie awake at night worrying about fake meat.
"But it's hard to swallow the idea something so highly processed with so many added flavours and ingredients is being talked about as a naturally good alternative to meat," he said.
Fake meat and labeling was also a hot topic at the recent Victorian Meat Standards Australia Excellence in Eating Quality forum and awards in Victoria.
MLA's general manager of producer consultation and adoption Michael Crowley told the forum that while food standards has a clear definition of what is actually meat, various industry councils were working to ensure that doesn't change.
"The challenge for us is that if these products, which aren't meat, are allowed to call themselves meat," he said.
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