Despite only operating a single location thus far, vegan burger joint Nomoo is well on its way to becoming a household name. This week, the California plant-based eatery announced it's teaming up with Nestle Professional to develop a self-branded selection of plant-based meats. The two companies will work together to create a unique line of vegan hamburger patties, plant-based chicken, and non-dairy cheese to accompany the fast-food chain’s planned national expansion.

Nestle and Nomoo’s partnership aims to create a selection of plant-based meats under the NoMoo name that will lower the fast-food chain’s food cost while also producing less waste and reducing labor. The companies will initially release a pea protein-based burger in October 2022. With the help of the world’s largest food producer, Nomoo is among a handful of vegan fast-food chains ushering in a new era of American fast food restaurants.

“With a partner like Nestlé, renowned for its commitment to the finest ingredients, operational knowledge, and uncompromised support to foodservice operations, Nomoo is sure to attract the right multi-unit franchise partners to accelerate our national growth,” Nomoo founder George Montagu Brown said in a statement.

“Nomoo was born from the idea that fast-food favorites can be 100 percent plant-based without sacrificing flavor, so it was critical that we not only had the right partner, but also a proprietary, great-tasting, better-for-you product that surpasses rivals Impossible and Beyond Meat. Together, we’ve created the most flavorful plant-based beef patty in the business.”

Noomo Challenges Fast-Food Industry

Nomoo originally gained national attention when the vegan burger concept took over the flagship location of popular burger chain Johnny Rockets. On February 28, 2020, Nomoo opened just weeks before the COVID-19 lockdown, leading to its temporary closure. Undeterred, Brown reopened and gained a significant following in Los Angeles. Now, Nestle will help expand Nomoo’s outreach as it begins national expansion.

“Nestlé Professional is committed to plant-based innovation that is crafted in a kitchen and leaves a smaller footprint on our planet — a major reason consumers are choosing more plant-forward meals,”  President and CEO of Nestlé Professional USA Perry Miele said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be able to leverage our plant-forward manufacturing expertise and align with Nomoo on our vision of bringing nutritious and sustainable products to the out-of-home industry.”

This June, the company announced that it partnered with Fransmart – the franchise development company responsible for Qdoba Mexican Grill and Five Guys. Currently, the Nomoo Burger (served with secret sauces, pickles, vegan American cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, and pickles) uses a Beyond Meat patty, but as Nomoo grows, the company will source its own plant-based meats.

“Plant-based is the next big thing and I believe that Nomoo is poised to become the next (plant-based) Five Guys,” Fransmart CEO Dan Rowe said in a statement. “With a partner like Nestlé, Nomoo has the ability to drive profitable growth because of its streamlined operations and supply, making it one of the most attractive fast-food franchise opportunities at this time.”

The Future of American Fast-Food Chains

Nomoo joins a growing list of vegan fast-food options popping up around the United States. Not only is plant-based meat appearing on restaurant menus over 1,320 percent more than before the pandemic, but other vegan burger concepts have started expanding nationally. For example, Plant Power Fast Food just joined Scale x Management closely after opening its 10th location.

Major fast-food corporations have adapted their menus to cater to the growing plant-based demand. Current estimates predict that the vegan fast food market will reach $40 billion by 2028. With McDonald’s McPlant, Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, and KFC’s Beyond Tenders, the fast food world is becoming increasingly sustainable at an unprecedented rate.

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