- Slovenian-based vegan meat company Juicy Marbles is launching a limited batch of plant-based ribs with edible bones on August 28 in the U.K., U.S., and E.U., the company said.
- The product will only be available to customers who sign up for an exclusive email link, as the first batch has limited quantities.
- The new product for Juicy Marbles comes as many players in the plant-based arena are looking to innovate as a way to stand out in a depressed market. With consumers growing skeptical of plant-based meat alternative’s texture and taste, and inflationary pressures leading to more mindful grocery shopping patterns, alternative meat sales in U.S. retail locations have fallen by 19.8% year-over-year, according to data from Circana.
After the launch of the first batch at the end of August, Juicy Marbles will gather feedback from consumers to tweak the recipe, name and packaging before a full launch, of which the date has yet to be announced, the company told the Guardian.
The rib ‘bones’ are made of predominantly soy-based plant protein. Once consumers finish eating the ‘meat’ off, the bones can be transformed into “puffy, crisped snacks,” by air-frying, roasting or frying them.
Big players in the plant-based category are continuing to innovate as the space saw a slump in recent sales with inflationary pressures affecting consumer spending and more and more consumers feeling that alternative meat options fall short in the categories of taste and texture, causing headwinds for the space.
Beyond Meat recently reduced their 2023 outlook as the brand saw revenues plummet by almost a third in their second quarter earnings results. Meanwhile earlier this year, Impossible Foods did a round a layoffs, letting go 132 employees in California, including more than 20 scientists, about a dozen engineers and over 12 researchers. Juicy Marbles is looking to set themselves apart in the struggling space, utilizing proprietary protein texturing technology to create plant-based whole cut meats, resulting in thick, juicy, and marbled plant-based steaks, that the company thinks is what is lacking in the plant-based sector full of burgers and sausages.
Juicy Marbles’ new product will be more expensive than regular ribs (a normally cheaper meat product), and has the same amount of protein as beef jerky. The ‘bone-in ribs’ join the brand’s product line which features a plant-based filet mignon and whole-cut loin.
Vladimir Mićković, one of the four co-founders and the Slovenian company’s chief brand officer is looking to innovate in the plant-based space with a sense of humor.
On the product labels, the description of the texture of the company’s steak says it comes from an “elixir of happy tears from the biggest cuddly teddy bear ever listening to ASMR of Keanu Reeves helping an old lady cross the street.”
Delving into plant-based meat’s taste
According to a study done by the Plant Based Foods Association and 84.51º, one of the challenges facing the plant-based category is achieving a satiating texture — similar to that of regular meat — with the biggest turn-off for consumers being texture and consistency,
Juicy Marbles’ products are made from ingredients like soy protein, sunflower seed oil, beetroot coloring and methylcellulose, which the company believes gives a satisfying, meat-like experience to the consumer.
The startup is also looking to differentiate itself in the plant-based space by its proprietary technology known as Meat-o-Matic Reverse Grinder 9000, which attempts to mimic the texture of marbling in meat.