Nearly half of Americans agree that plant-based proteins are better for you than animal-based options, according to Mintel. But just how healthy are vegan options like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat? While these vegan meats offer marginally healthier options than conventional beef, processed vegan meats contain high levels of saturated fats and sodium. Spain’s food tech company Heura is determined to create a tasty, sustainable burger that fixes the final problem with leading vegan brands.

Launching its first vegan burger in 2020, Heura’s plant-based meat uses a proprietary fat analog to transform extra virgin olive oil into a solid form, giving consumers a far-healthier burger without sacrificing taste or texture. By using olive oil, Heura’s plant-based burger contains far less saturated fat and features an increased protein content when compared to leading brands such as Impossible and Beyond. Now, the company’s year-over-year growth rate is surging by 93 percent.

Heura claims that its burger is the healthiest option available to consumers. Compared to beef burgers, the Heura Burger contains 64.25 percent less fat, 85.6 percent less saturated fat, and 11.3 percent more protein per calorie. The burger also contains approximately 40 percent fewer ingredients than other alternatives on the market, according to the company.

“When we visualize the fat from a burger or the coconut oil in the supermarket, they are solid. This is because they both have high contents of saturated fat. We had to reproduce that with an oil that is liquid,” Heura’s Product Development Manager Lorena Salcedo said in 2020. “We have analyzed both structures separately, the beef burger one and extra virgin olive oil to get the experience of one from the nutritional values of the other. When you see the essence of what you really need it’s easy to see the most efficient way to get there.”

Heura’s Growth Could Signal a New Meatless Favorite

The Spanish alternative meat brand just reported that its turnover almost doubled within the first half of the year, reaching €14.7 million (the equivalent of $15 million). Currently, Heura is available in Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, the United Kindom, and more. This growth follows the company’s announcement that Heura experience a record-breaking year in 2021, increasing its retail footprint by 300 percent.

“The current food system is broken but we are seeing the power we all have to accelerate change,” Heura co-founder and CEO Marc Coloma said. “We aren’t making animal meat alternatives, but successors – foods that are delicious but also nutritionally superior and more sustainable. We have a clear roadmap for 2022 growth focused on expanding the plant-based category across Europe, and we are committed to providing better food options to people all over the world."

Heura is Challenging European Traditions

This March, Heura launched a campaign that encourages Italians to eat plant-based meat on Good Friday. The campaign helped usher in its retail expansion across Itay, becoming available at 300 carrefour stores across Europe. The company intends to challenge tradition, providing consumers with a plant-based, sustainable, and healthy alternative that rivals traditional meat in countries with meat-heavy diets.

“Having already established itself as the preferred plant-based meat brand in Spain, with rapid expansion across the UK, France, and Italy, Heura is committed to creating an international presence reaching new markets,” co-founder Bernat Ananos Martinez told Vegconimist. “It will also continue to prioritize achieving price parity, to help make plant-based foods more accessible to all.”

The Best Vegan Burgers Available in the U.S.

While Americans wait for Heura to make its stateside debut, there's a growing list of healthier, more sustainable burgers available in the United States. Sales of vegan burgers are outpacing most other food categories and what is interesting is that 93 percent of people buying Beyond Burgers are meat-eaters.

Check out The Beet's guide to The Best Vegan Burgers That Taste as Good as the Real Thing.  Looking for something healthier? Here are The Best Veggie Burgers to Buy That Are Actually Healthy.

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