An impending meat and sugar tax is to be rolled out in the Netherlands, making traditional hamburgers three times more expensive, and making plant-based alternatives the more affordable option.
In line with this, McDonald’s Netherlands and organic food enterprise Eosta have developed a yam-based burger, dubbed Yamburger. The fast-food chain took an interest in developing the plant-based burger due to the low production cost – just 55 cents US each.
The yamburger follows a trail of plant-based launches on the Dutch market, with the trend seen in companies like Boon, Vivera, Weedburger, Violife, and Vegetarische.
Proceeds from the meat and sugar tax will finance sustainable and animal-friendly farming. The Dutch minister of agriculture, nature, and food quality, Carola Schouten, said she is working on a levy on food to finance a future earnings model for sustainable agriculture in the country.
“There is a concern in the fast-food industry because meat and sugar are the two main ingredients in this industry,” stated a spokesperson from McDonald’s.
As a countermeasure, Michelin Boudrie, MD, McDonald’s Netherlands, called on Eosta at the Sustainable Food Summit last year, urging the company to help come up with the solution if they wanted the tax to be implemented. In response, the organisation created the Yamburger.
The yam has been grown in Asia for 3000 years. It is rich in starch, contains protein, and a small amount of fat, making it a potential substitute for meat.
“You hardly need to add anything to make it tasty,” explains Volkert Engelsman, CEO at Eosta. “You need an organic bun, organic sauce and fried onions.”
McDonald’s Netherlands will place the product on a consumer testing panel this summer.