Momo’s delivers mo’ faux beef

Yo, what's the story?

Yo, what’s the story?

Momo’s Veggie Kitchen, Vancouver, launched three new products in June – Mo’ Beef Veggie Burger, Mo’ Chicken Veggie Burger and Mo’ Tuna Veggie Fillet – just a little more than a year after opening its doors. At first, Momo’s goods included ‘very unique’ soy-based meat replacement products, like Veggielicious Nuggets and Veggielicious Drummettes with dipping sauces, as well as Veggielicious Slices. ‘There was no veggie chicken [on the market] and we wanted to come up with something different,’ explains general manager Vivian Chiang.

Chiang says Momo’s wants to avoid becoming pigeonholed as only for vegetarians. ‘We wanted to make more staple items [like veggie burgers that taste like meat ones], as a compromise between vegetarians and health-conscious consumers,’ she says, adding that Mo’ burgers still offer the nutrients, texture and flavour of the real thing.

Mo’ Burgers? Who’s the target market – wannabe homeys?

According to Chiang, the burgers aren’t for strict vegetarians, who would balk at the simulated taste of beef. Rather, the primary market is 20- to 60-year-old women, who are aware of the numerous health benefits of soy and want to cut down on meat consumption. Soy is believed to reduce the risk of breast cancer and coronary heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Momo’s also aims to strike a chord with teens and men, so that the burgers appeal to the entire family.

In fact, the initial ‘Veggielicious’ products were packaged in fun, kid-friendly lunch boxes, which could be taken to school. ‘It appealed to kids and moms – but we found that men didn’t react as well. They thought it was too cute.’

As a result, the Mo’ Burgers come in a more generic type of packaging, according to Chiang, who says the company changed its logo, using a less curly font, in order to be more legible. Still, the tongue-in-cheek name of the product, and the bright colours used on the box – mainly purple – will help gain access among youth, she says.

Mo’ Burgers are sold across Canada in major chains and independent grocers, and are marketed through grocery flyers and the occasional newspaper ad. There is also an insert in the package that introduces the company and offers tips about soy. In stores, reps organize demos to boost awareness.

Online, Momo’s also has a presence. It has coupon discounts and heart-healthy recipes on its Web site, www.momoskitchen.com, and sends out a monthly electronic newsletter loaded with health info. Chiang reports the site receives about 30,000 clicks a month.

Duh…

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