The Perfect Blend
How Matthew Thompson and his team at Harvest Table created their satisfying blended burger.
We all know eating less meat is healthier for our bodies and our planet. But how do you convince students to put down the nuggets and choose a healthier option? The idea of blending meat and veggies to create a hybrid burger isn’t new, but it is in the higher education industry.
Facing an audience who sees meat as a staple and creating a product that tastes good and is financially stable– a blended burger wasn’t going to be easy, but Chef Matthew Thompson and his team were up for the task.
We were really worried about what students would think. – Chef Matthew
When we started concepting, we made a pact to do this right, so we could get the best outcome. Of course, choosing blended is better for health and the environment, but we refused to disrupt the students experience.
We started with vehicles they were familiar with. – Chef Matthew
A great burger experience is more than the patty. It’s the cooking technique, the bun, the toppings, the sauce. We made sure every part of the burger enhanced the flavor of our new blended patty.
Then we met with the US Mushroom Council. – Chef Matthew
The US Mushroom Council has worked with big name brands, like Sonic, to develop blended meat products. Together, we developed six new options using different percentages of meat to mushroom and various mushroom blends. Our final patty made Harvest Table the first company to blend 100% grass-fed beef with roasted mushrooms.
It was time to see what the students thought. – Chef Matthew
Part of the Harvest Table process is feedback, feedback, feedback. So, we launched our new burger for thirty days and the feedback was unexpected. Students were obsessed. The loved the flavor, juiciness, format, and that it made a positive impact on their health, community, and carbon footprint.
The blended burger project was so successful, Chef Matthew and his team are now looking for other blended strategies for taco meat, meatballs, and Bolognese sauce.