By Richard Mann, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are getting a next-gen plant-based burger of its own soon. A new company, Fazenda Futuro, announced recently that it is pioneering a beef-sans-cow in Brazil with the plant-based Futuro Burger.
Like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat catalyzed a sea-change for plant-based meats in the U.S. (and now globally), Fazenda Futuro aims to revolutionize Brazilian conceptions of plant-based meat and satisfy meat-eaters while bypassing the animal intermediary.
This is a big challenge in a country, where meat is very affordable and has been part of the food culture for centuries. Brazil is the world second largest producer of beef followed by the European Union.
The Futuro Burger is made of pea, soy, and chickpea. It will launch soon in restaurants and at retail at a suggested price of R$ 16.99 (US$ 4.50). That is roughly the same price as a couple of steaks in supermarkets.
Fazenda Futuro’s starting production capacity will be 20 tons per month, with plans for broad product distribution over the next few months.
Founded only month ago by entrepreneur Marcos Leta, the startup uses artificial intelligence to help approximate the taste and texture of beef with plant-based ingredients.
After visiting the United States to learn about how other companies create technology-driven vegan food, Leta worked with Good Food Institute to develop a local vegan burger.
“By developing technologies capable of creating identical animal-free foods in taste, texture, and meaty smell, we want to show that it is possible to revolutionize the food industry without hurting the environment,” Leta says.
Starting in May, the Futuro Burger will be sold at retailers in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in packs of two.