Hybrid burgers

Rachel Dornhelm Jul 4, 2006


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: If you’re going to a barbecue today, that burger you’re offered may be as much soy as it is beef. Rachel Dornhelm says part of a new product that gives you the best of both worlds.

RACHEL DORNHELM: The point of the so-called hybrid burger — part soy, part meat — is to rope in health conscious carnivores.

While 7 percent of Americans are vegetarians, another 20 percent of the population sometimes buys meat substitute products.

Food industry analyst Marcia Mogelonsky says it’s this crowd that holds the key to growth for the soy protein market.

MARCIA MOGELONSKY: So there’s always been a desire to find a way of making soy, more than being a meat alternative, to be a meat copier.

Mogelonsky says that meant years of research into taste and “mouth feel.”

Mogelonsky says the imitation meat soy industry was surging before the low-carb Atkins diet caught on. Then sales fell off and are only now picking up again.

The industry may be hoping new products like this will beef things back up.

I’m Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

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