Macca's McVegan burger on the rise
posted on 10th September 2018
September 2018 - Last year, McDonald's teamed up with a Swedish food company to create a non-meat burger patty. In a country where 1 in 10 Swedes is now vegetarian or vegan - and 1 in 5 of the under-30s - it was an important step in bridging the gap between the ethical and health concerns of the vegetarian population and the reputation of fast-food itself. It was also important to have something to address a potentially declining market for the company's other products.
Here's a story from the BBC that looks at the reasons behind the McVegan Burger - and tastes it, too. Is it any good, and will it be expanding beyond the borders of Finland and Sweden any time soon? Read the article and listen to the interview.
“When you have meat as a base, the meat itself has a taste,” says Karl-Johan Freelander, product developer at Orkla. “When it comes to soy protein, the little taste it has… it’s not a very pleasant taste to be honest.”
To mitigate the blandness, Freelander pressed the soy protein together with flavourful onions, peppers and tomato powder – which gives it a uniquely red colour.
But Freelander says the secret to the McVegan’s hearty taste is something called umami. “Umami is what you often call the fifth flavour,” he says. “It’s the flavour of the savoury.” In place of real meat, Friedlander was able to mimic the umami sensation with ingredients like mushroom powder.