Kepak is hoping to cash in on demand for meat-free with its first vegetarian burger under the Rustlers brand.

Rustlers-Moroccan Veg Burger 2019 3D web

Kepak Consumer Foods is launching its first ever vegetarian burger under the Rustlers brand to meet the growing interest in meat-free products.

The Rustlers Moroccan Vegetarian Burger (rrp £2) is made with chickpea, grated carrot and coriander and served with mango chutney and a yoghurt and mint sauce.

Kepak said the new vegetarian line had been developed to drive penetration among younger shoppers and believes it has the potential to generate more than £2m-worth of incremental sales.

Marketing and business development director Adrian Lawlor added: “We are very excited about the category growth potential that this new launch offers. With a third of consumers actively seeking to introduce plant-based options into their diets, we feel that as a brand as synonymous with taste and convenience, Rustlers can really bring something new to the market, with convenience and enjoyment considered key requirements by flexitarians (Kantar Worldpanel Usage & Consumption, Flexitarian Need States vs Total Food, 52 w/e May 2018).”

Theburger’s flavour differentiation satisfies the increasing number of shoppers who are experimenting more with tastes, flavours and cuisines, and the 70 million snacking occasions based on enjoying the taste of a product, Kepak said (Kantar UK Consumer Usage Snacking Panel, May 2018).

The core target audience for the launch is 18-24s, who are more likely than the overall population to follow flexitarian diets.

The product will be available from the beginning of January, supported by a consumer PR, social media, shopper marketing and launch promotions to drive trial.

Next year marks a significant year for Rustlers as it celebrates its 21st birthday.