In the growing frozen-nonmeat category, there's a lot more diversified product for consumers to try, as manufacturers launch new flavors in veggie burgers, as well as variations like frozen vegetarian-chicken patties and hand-held vegetarian snacks.
For instance, Gardenburger has just introduced flame-grilled patties, one a soy-based product and the other a vegetable-based product. Both have a smoky, flame-grilled flavor, and will be fully available at retail by Memorial Day.
"The soy product will taste more like an all-meat burger, while the veggie version is a new style of vegetable burger," Mary Dillon, vice president of marketing and sales for Gardenburger, pointed out. Gardenburger has also improved its hamburger-style fat-free veggie burgers. While not flame-grilled in flavor, the Hamburger Style Classics have improved taste and texture and are more like a hamburger.
Boca Burger also has just released new flavors of its soy-based veggie burgers, including a grilled vegetable variety, roasted onion and salsa flavors. "As consumers decide they want to incorporate more meat alternatives into their diet, they want variety," Mark Zander, vice president of marketing for Boca Burger, explained.
The firm also offers other burger alternatives -- Chef Max vegan product and a hint-of-garlic product; chicken alternatives, nuggets and tenders products; breakfast sausages in links and patties; and a Recipe Basics product, a ground-beef alternative that can be incorporated into many recipes calling for ground meat. Boca Burger just switched the Recipe Basics line from a bag to a 12-ounce box to increase customer convenience. Morningstar Farms offers a range of products from veggie breakfast patties and links to veggie buffalo wings and chicken nuggets to a full line of burger products. Its Morningstar Farms Veggie Stuffed Sandwiches and Veggie Mini-Corn Dogs were designed to meet the demand for hand-held snacks that don't have all the fat and cholesterol of the traditional meat-filled varieties.