Shake Shack rolls out veggie burger that involves actual vegetables

The new Veggie Shack, made with mushrooms, sweet potato, carrots and grains, goes national this week. It's not vegan, but aims for consumers looking for less-processed meat alternatives.
Veggie Shack
Shake Shack has been testing iterations for about five years, but this new Veggie Shack was deemed a hit./Photo courtesy of Shake Shack.

Step aside, meat-like plant-based burgers. The old-fashioned hippie-style veggie burger is back.

At least it’s back at Shake Shack, which is rolling out its new Veggie Shack burger at restaurants across the country this week, the company said Tuesday.

Unlike the wave of plant-based products that attempt to simulate the beef burger, the Veggie Shack involves distinguishable vegetables. The patty is made with mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, farro and quinoa. Served on a potato roll, the burger is topped with American cheese, crispy onions, pickles and Shack Sauce, and prices start at $8.29.

It’s not vegan (there’s dairy in the cheese, bun and sauce). But the company said fans asked for a “Shack-worthy veggie burger.” After testing various iterations in New York City, this version was deemed a hit.

Shake Shack’s Veggie Burger tests go back as far as 2018, and earlier attempts were not deemed terribly successful. CEO Randy Garutti during an earnings call in February, however, described the latest version as “a delicious alternative to the highly processed meatless offerings in the market today.”

The Veggie Shack will be available nationally starting May 5, but fans who order through the app can get early access starting May 2.

And even further adding to animal-free options, the chain is also rolling out a new non-dairy chocolate frozen custard made with NotMilk, a plant-based alternative made with pea protein.

Shake Shack plant-based

The non-dairy custard is made with NotMilk, a pea protein-based milk alternative./Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

Shake Shack is serving the custard as a Non-Dairy Chocolate Shake, with prices starting at $6.39, or in scoops, with pricing starting at $4.69.

An estimated 41% of Americans eat a vegetarian dish at least once a week, according to sister company Technomic. And restaurants in part are fueling that demand, with almost half of all operators offering alternative proteins on the menu.

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