Don’t know what a meat analog is? Think it’s something out of a Star Trek episode? That’s a good guess, but it’s a reality that’s on the grow.
Meat analogs are products designed to look, feel and – so they say – taste like meat. It’s a growing product category designed for vegetarian consumers.
For the most part, meat analog purveyors have focused on ground beef patties, attempting to mirror that product. More recently, the Portland, Ore.-based Gardenburger rolled out a soy-based, Herb-Crusted Cutlet. The point is to offer a meatless alternative for recipes that call for breaded pork, veal and chicken products.
According to a company news release, the Herb-Crusted Cutlet is “high in protein, full of flavor, easy to prepare and versatile.” A four-serving, 10-ounce box of the heat-and-eat frozen product will sell for $3.50, and will be available nationwide.
Here’s a point worth noting for pork producers and marketers: “Increasingly, contemporary cooks are looking for meat alternatives, whether for health, safety or ethical reasons,” says Wendy Preiser, Gardenburger’s vice president of marketing. “The Herb-Crusted Cutlet is a taste-good, feel-good, meatless alternative for diners who want to give up meat without giving up taste.”