MANILA -- Late last year, Shakey's Philippines rolled out a new product called Goood Burger, which consists of 100% plant-based patties.
The burger patties are from a brand called UnMEAT by Shakey's Philippines' sister company Century Pacific Food Inc., which is also the manufacturer of pantry staples such as Century Tuna and Argentina Corned Beef.
Just recently, Century Pacific formally launched its UnMEAT brand, featuring an initial lineup of ready-to-cook burger patties, sausages, giniling (minced meat), and nuggets as its response to the growing demand for plant-based food products.
In a virtual event with local and international media, Century Pacific executive chairman Chris Po said the positive feedback from their test market with Shakey's Philippines was "significantly better than expected," prompting the eventual rollout of their new products.
"Throughout the test, we have received a lot of support and buzz on social media, from the vegetarian, vegan, and flexitarian communities," Po said. "I personally believe that plant-based food will move from a niche item into a mainstream and will be a high-growth category."
"I am pleased to find that there is an emerging market for better-for-you, better-for-the-planet food products," he added.
The four UnMEAT products are now available in supermarkets as well as Lazada, Shopee, and Swift Meat E-Tindahan. Each comes in 200-gram to 226-gram packs, with prices ranging from P120 to P135.
Century Pacific general manager Nikki Dizon said that while the UnMEAT products were made to look and taste like meat, they are also made of simple ingredients such as soy protein, oils, onions, salt, vinegar, and soy sauce.
"These are ingredients you can easily pronounce and understand, and stuff you can see in the kitchen and pantry," she said.
"UnMEAT is made with non-GMO plant ingredients with zero cholesterol and trans fat while offering a healthy source of protein and fiber," she added, pointing out that UnMEAT items are also cholesterol-free, trans fat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free.
Dizon said that with their new offerings, Century Pacific hopes to target not only vegan and vegetarian customers, but also "flexitarians" or those who are into both meat and plant-based alternatives.
"We are aware that there are already several players in this space, but we still see an opportunity and an offering in the market for really tasty, meat-like options that are priced competitively," she said.