Neat Burger founder says poor quality pretenders have damaged the plant-based market

31 May 2023 by
Neat Burger founder says poor quality pretenders have damaged the plant-based market

The co-founder of Neat Burger has suggested that a glut of poor quality plant-based items on menus has damaged the growth of the vegan market.

Zack Bishti said that too many companies had attempted to capitalise on the hype around plant-based items without developing or sourcing a credible product.

He told The Telegraph that poor experiences offered to diners were turning them off.

Bishti said: "You get one shot. There's some people that have been diehard meat eaters their whole life, and they're open to it. But very often, they'll have a bad experience and then they'll write it off for a long time."

As a result of declining interest Pret has closed or rebranded half of its Veggie Pret sites, with five now operating in the UK.

Bishti said that too many businesses had rushed to market products that didn't meet expectations.

He added: "Every big company in the game had some sort of board meeting and they were like ‘OK, right, we need to go big on plant-based'.

"They just launched 1,001 products. And I think consumers saw fatigue."

Neat Burger has eight sites in London, serving plant-based burgers made from ingredients including quinoa, chickpea, potato, rice and beetroot. The group, which has received funding from racing driver Lewis Hamilton, has just raised £14.5m from new investors to fund expansion in the US.

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