Ruby Tuesday Inc. is dipping its toes into the plant-based burger pool and becoming the first restaurant brand to partner with a Nestlé USA subsidiary, the companies said this week.
The Maryvale, Tenn.-based casual-dining brand is offering the Sweet Earth burger for $5 on Friday and will make it available as an off-menu option through mid-March, or while supplies last, for $10.99 starting Saturday, a spokesperson said.
The Sweet Earth Awesome Burger will be available at more than 450 locations of Ruby Tuesday, which has closed a number of restaurants in the two years since being acquired by Atlanta-based NRD Capital in 2017.
“The Classic Sweet Earth Awesome Burger is served on Ruby Tuesday’s toasted brioche bun with fresh lettuce, onion, tomato and pickles,” a spokesperson said. The burger also comes with fries or potato tots. A gluten-free bun is available for an additional $1.
“At Ruby Tuesday, our focus is to provide freshly prepared, high-quality meal options that are full of flavor at an affordable price,” said Jenifer Boyd Harmon, Ruby Tuesday’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.
“We know many of our customers have an appetite for delicious meat-free options, which is why we're excited to partner with Sweet Earth Foods to offer a plant-based, meatless burger that not only mimics the look and taste of a traditional burger but also boasts great flavor every burger lover can appreciate,” she said.
“Many consumers are looking to cut back on meat despite how much they enjoy eating it, and a plant-based protein option like our Sweet Earth Awesome Burger is the perfect no-compromise way to balance their diets,” said Fleur Veldhoven, vice president of food marketing at Nestlé Professional, in a statement.
Ruby Tuesday customers can also substitute the meatless Awesome Burger patty for any of the restaurant’s signature burger offerings.
Sweet Earth said its Awesome Burger was developed with Nestlé research and development support with no genetically modified ingredients and U.S.-sourced yellow pea protein, natural plant extracts and coconut oil.
Ruby Tuesday was founded in 1972 and went private in 2017 after closing about 100 restaurants. It has restaurants in 38 states and 11 other countries and territories.
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