Shack Shack Adds First Ever Vegan Burger Patty To US Menu Nationwide
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Fast casual burger chain Shake Shack has debuted its first-ever vegan burger patty in a new vegetarian burger addition dubbed Veggie Shack.
Fast casual burger chain Shake Shack has debuted its first-ever vegan burger patty. The patty, made from a blend of vegetables and grains including mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, farro, and quinoa, will feature in a new menu addition dubbed the Veggie Shack, retailing at $8.29. While the patty itself is vegan, the burger comes with melted American cheese, crispy onions, homemade pickles, and the QSR’s signature mayonnaise-based ShackSauce, making it suitable for vegetarians only.
Shack has been testing different vegetarian patty versions at select New York City locations since 2018 and in 2020, the operator trialed a 100% vegan burger at a few UK locations called the Vegan ShackBurger served with vegan cheese and vegan ShackSauce for a limited time, but this is the first time the vegan patty makes its debut at all 260+ US stores.
Veggie Shack is one of three new items being added to Shake Shack’s permanent menu across all 262 locations in the United States. The other two items include a non-dairy chocolate milkshake ($6.39) and a non-dairy frozen custard ($4.29). Both of these are vegan-friendly and feature Chilean plant-based unicorn NotMilk’s dairy milk alternative. Vegans can also enjoy Shake’s signature Crinkle fries.
In 2021, Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer invested in the AI-driven alternative protein startup, which counts Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as a backer, via his growth equity fund Enlightened Hospitality Investments(EHI). Last year, NotCo and Shake Shack announced a partnership to test out a plant-based milkshake and custard at ten locations in New York and Florida.
The Veggie Shack is Shake’s second vegetarian sandwich, joining its ‘Shroom Burger, a deep-fried portobello mushroom ‘patty’ stuffed with cheese. Unlike other fast food chains such as Burger King, who launched the Impossible Foods burger in its US stores in 2019 and McDonald’s, who trialed a limited edition McPlant burger made with a Beyond Meat patty stateside, Shake has opted to develop its plant-based patty in-house.
Shake Shack, founded by New York restauranteur Meyer in 2004, is having a strong 2023. Not only did the company announce plans to open over 40 new stores across the country before the year is out, its stock price up 32% since January. As Yahoo Finance points out, this is “higher than McDonald’s, up 13%, Burger King’s parent company Restaurant Brands International, plus 9.4%, YUM! Brands, which is up 11%, and Wendy’s, minus 1.9%”.
Meyer appears bullish on America’s growing appetite for vegan burgers. In May 2022, Meyer’s fund co-led a $25 million Series A funding round wth New Voices Fund into Atlanta’s 100% plant-based burger chain Slutty Vegan to help it expand into new cities with founder Pinky Cole sharing at the time that she was looking to open 10 more restaurants with the funding.