We’re on a mission to make plant-based foods better tasting and so desirable that you crave them. That’s why we partnered with Coolgreens to provide consumers an exceptionally better plant-based burger made with Motif’s innovative food tech. 

This is the first time we’ve tested our food tech in a restaurant, so I sat down with Coolgreens President & COO, Todd Madlener, to dive deeper into our partnership and how their customers responded.

President & CEO of Coolgreens, Todd Madlener

Michele Fite (MF): Right off the bat, let’s talk about burgers! Though you don’t normally have them on your menu, you know a thing or two about them.

Todd Madlener (TM): I do. I spent quite a bit of time in my career at Red Robin, and helped design many of their signature burgers. So I know a thing or two about them!  I’ve always wanted to do a burger like that at Coolgreens, but something healthier that would fit with our client base but still tastes great. Your burger actually fits right in with that type of product, like something you’d find at one of the local burger joints. Only with these burgers, you got the bite, you got the chew, and all the things you’d expect when you’re eating a fantastic meat-based burger – only it was animal-free, with all of the plant-based health benefits. 

MF: We featured Motif’s innovative ingredients in this showcase plant-based burger, designed to demonstrate our Hemami™ and Appetex technologies that elevate meaty taste, texture, aroma and appearance. What did your customers have to say?

TM: We had many guests try it and insist it wasn’t plant-based. Multiple times during this limited-time trial, we actually had to show them the ingredients list to prove it, because they didn’t believe we were giving them a meat alternative product. To them, it stood levels above the competition. 

MF: That was one of my favorite feedback points. But you still had to do the work of styling those patties to integrate with your customers’ expectations of a Coolgreens meal experience, because as you said earlier, you’re not a burger-forward chain. Was that a challenge for you and your team? 

TM: To think that we were adding a burger to the menu was a bit of a reach for us as a company, but we did so because the product is amazing and we knew our customers would be open to trying it. So, we turned it into two absolute home run items, the Spicy & Feisty Burger with dairy-free cheddar cheese product, fresh jalapeños, salsa, tomatoes and greenleaf, and the Bold Balsamic Burger, a little more savory with feta cheese, fresh roasted tomatoes, spring greens, and a balsamic dressing, each served on a wheat ciabatta bun. I love the balsamic.

MF: They were delicious, and the feedback data you gave us backed that up. Ninety three percent of your customers said they would eat your plant-based offerings regularly, and sixty two percent of respondents said they would purchase the burger again. Those burgers ended up being competitive with some of the permanent options on your menu during the trial. Was that a surprise?

TM: We were pleased, and pleasantly surprised. Advancements have come along so far for meat alternatives, so we knew that our customers would be more willing to try and experiment. Those are our flexitarians or plant-based customers who would be open to an alternative form of protein. We always try to give them choices but we make sure those choices are exceptional. So for us, it’s taken a while to find a product that we feel meets the quality standards and flavor profile, texture, and taste that we’re looking for. This one hit the nail on the head. 

Thank you to all who stopped by and tried the limited time offer! We’re always looking for new ways to test our food-tech and make sure they perform well with consumers who purchase our customers’ products. And don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to come down to Coolgreens, we’ll have more opportunities to try our craveworthy food-tech in the future. Make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.