I tried the plant-based burger Nestlé is launching to compete with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Here’s what it tastes like.

I tried Nestlé's new plant-based burger that's launching in September.

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I tried Nestlé’s new plant-based burger that’s launching in September.
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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

  • Nestlé’s Sweet Earth brand is launching a plant-based burger to compete with burgers from Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.
  • It’s called the Awesome Burger, and it will be available in grocery store meat aisles this September.
  • Nestlé sent me two frozen Awesome Burgers to cook at home.
  • My verdict: the Awesome Burger didn’t mimic the texture and taste of beef as well as its competitors do. It definitely evokes the flavor of meat, but it tastes more like nutty spam and has the texture of a salmon burger. While it’s pretty satisfying in its own way, there’s still room for improvement.
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Plant-based “meat” is the future, and food giants like Nestlé want a bite out of the market, too.

Burger King recently announced it is taking its Impossible Whopper national, and Impossible Foods just won its battle with the FDA over the right to sell its plant-based “meat” in grocery stores. Its main competitor, Beyond Meat, is already there.

But when the Impossible Burger hits the aisles in September, it will be next to yet another competitor: the Nestlé-owned Sweet Earth brand. Sweet Earth’s Awesome Burger will be available in the meat section of grocery stores in September, along with the brand’s ground beef alternative, Awesome Grounds.

Unlike Impossible and Beyond, Nestlé’s Sweet Earth brand sold vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives before turning its focus towards plant-based “meat” that mimics beef. Also unlike Impossible and Beyond, which spent years on R&D for their products, Sweet Earth repportedly spent only about a year and a half developing its Awesome Burger.

Read more: These are the 21 ingredients that make an Impossible Burger look and taste like meat

The Awesome Burger is higher in protein, fiber, sodium, and calories than its Impossible and Beyond counterparts, according to FoodNavigator. It’s made out of yellow pea protein, whereas Beyond gets its protein from green peas and Impossible gets its protein from soy.

Nestlé sent two frozen Awesome Burgers to my Brooklyn apartment for me to try. Having only one stomach, I enlisted the help of my intrepid foodventuring vegetarian roommate, Jen. Armed with a frying pan, canola oil, and some scrapped-together burger ingredients, we set off together into the great culinary unknown.


The Awesome Burger came with handy-dandy cooking instructions. They are pre-seasoned and salted, but you can add your own seasonings, too. I chose to cook mine plain.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Straight out of the package, the burgers didn’t quite have the look, texture, or feel of ground beef patties. They were stiffer, smoother, and pinker.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

When they went into the pan, a delicious nutty fragrance filled the room. The scent reminded me of spam and pine nuts, or perhaps of meaty popcorn.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

I was surprised by how much they frothed. Maybe I’d added too much oil, but the patties also produced their own oil.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

As they cooked, they shrank much like real burgers, and a red oily film oozed from their skin.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

There was a lot of foam as well as some globs of beef oil-like fat. They were starting to look crispy.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

They didn’t quite reach the dark brown of beef, but rather stayed a pork-like caramel brown.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

There was a visible layer of crisp on the outside.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Read more: I compared Dunkin’s new Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich with the real deal and was surprised to find the plant-based ‘meat’ was better – here’s why


The patties actually reminded me of salmon burgers, which tend to have a similarly crispy outer texture and caramel brown color.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

I plopped the Awesome patties onto toasted ciabatta and topped them with slices of tomato, onion, and avocado.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

The Awesome Burger looked more like fried spam or a salmon burger than like a beef burger. But appearances can be deceiving.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Not in this case, though. The texture was very similar to that of a salmon burger, and the taste was very spam-like. The patty was very crispy on the outside, although that may simply be because I’d added too much oil.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

It did taste vaguely meaty, but not at all like beef. I thought it tasted kind of like processed meat. As my ex-carnivore roommate Jen noted, it didn’t burst with flavor the way beef burgers do.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

It also tasted like Worcestershire sauce — somewhat wine-like and vinegary. But it wasn’t as salty or flavorful as a beef burger. Jen felt it needed additional seasoning. Still, it was pretty satisfying in its own way.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

I’d use it as a substitute for a salmon burger. I enjoyed its nutty, spam-like flavor and outer crisp, but it didn’t imitate the taste and texture of beef as well as its competitors. For a year and a half of development, though, it’s not bad. And hopefully Sweet Earth will make like Impossible and Beyond and continue to improve its recipe.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider