Grill’d Burgers is meat free today.

Good luck getting a juicy beef patty in your burger today as the burger chain goes meat free for 24 hour.

Australia’s largest privately-owned burger restaurant group, Grill’d, is giving cows the day off and going meat-free for 24 hours across its 137 restaurants nationwide on Monday 15 April.

The initiative encourages more customers to go plant-based – a new consumer food trend whereby meat-eaters are increasingly substituting meat for plant-based protein alternatives driven by both health and environmental factors.

Grill’d’s Meat Free Monday coincides with the recent launch of four new meat alternative menu items and marks a key turning point for the company which turns 15 this year and plans to make 50 per cent of its menu plant-based by 2020.

A recent study shows that Australasians are the biggest consumers of red meat in the world but the tide may be turning.

New national consumer research released by Grill’d shows that more than half of Australians eat less meat than they used to and more than one third say they would like to eat less meat if tasty alternatives were easier to find. Meanwhile, 83 per cent of us enjoy a meat-free meal at least once a week.

The plant-based trend is skewed to the younger generation with under 30s eating more meat-free meals than their parents. Grill’d’s research reveals that two in three of those aged 18 to 29 enjoy eating meat-free meals compared to less than half of those aged 50 to 65.

Interestingly, the research highlights that younger Australians are more likely to eat less meat for environmental reasons whereas health is a bigger driver for their parents’ generation.

With more than 1.1 billion visits to a burger outlet in Australia in 2018, the plant-based trend is extending into a sector that is traditionally meat-centric.

Simon Crowe, Founder and Managing Director of Grill’d, has seen these new consumer food habits gathering momentum first-hand over the last five years and says it is here to stay.

“Sales of Grill’d’s meat-free burgers grew more than 100 per cent in the past year alone. The biggest increase we’ve seen is in the number of meat-eaters who are now choosing plant-based options – especially in the under 30s age group. Whether it’s for health reasons, animal rights or climate change; the demand is very real,” said Crowe.

“We genuinely believe plant-based alternatives will form a huge part of the future of burgers, especially with our new menu selection of Beyond Burgers that taste just like beef. That’s why we are encouraging all our customers to go meat free with us this Monday and try out our new plant-based menu. This new launch is a part of Grill’d ongoing commitment to innovation,” he said.

Grill’d’s new burgers feature patties by Beyond Meat – a US based company whose investors include Leonardo Dicaprio and Bill Gates. Using proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, minerals and vitamins that are found in the plant kingdom, the patties replicate the taste and texture of a beef burger.

The patties pack four main ingredients: water, pea protein isolate, canola oil, and refined coconut oil. These provide the protein, heft, and moisture/juiciness of the burger. Plus, they contain minimal amounts of other ingredients, like potato starch, natural flavour, yeast extract, and beet juice extract – it’s the beet juice that gives it the ‘bleeding effect’

Recognised by the UN for its trailblazing global sustainability efforts, the Beyond Meat pattie is produced using significantly less water (99 per cent), less land (93 per cent), generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions (90 per cent) and uses less energy (46 per cent) than a traditional beef burger.

The company says 86 per cent of Beyond Meat consumers are meat eaters, and 90 per cent of consumer decisions to eat Beyond over traditional meat are for health reasons with environmental concerns and animal rights also driving factors.

Grill’d’s new meat-free line-up fit for a carnivore includes:

  • Beyond Simply Grill’d: Beyond Meat pattie with salad, relish and herbed mayo
  • Beyond Garden Goodness: Beyond Meat pattie with beetroot, tasty cheese, avocado, salad, relish and herbed mayo
  • Beyond Chipotle: Beyond Meat pattie with jalapenos, chipotle mayo and salad
  • Beyond Crispy Bacon & Cheese: Beyond Meat pattie with crispy bacon, tasty cheese, salad, relish and herbed mayo  (note this option will not be available on 15 April)