Dallas-based MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a fast-casual “better burger” franchise, is the latest to offer lifestyle menu items. With these new offerings the company now has options to readily meet the growing range of consumers’ dietary preferences.
This is smart business strategy, as one in three US consumers indicate they are following a specific diet or eating pattern, with many increasingly averse to carbohydrates and sugar, according to the 2018 Annual Food and Health Survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation, Washington, DC. These lifestyle diets are expected to increase in popularity. Currently they are mostly followed by younger consumers (ages 18 to 34) who will eventually influence household eating patterns once they partner and parent.
The new MOOYAH Lifestyle Burgers complement keto, paleo, Whole30, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. The gluten-free offering includes a quarter-pound Certified Angus Beef patty, pepper jack cheese and applewood smoked bacon on a gluten-free bun while the vegetarian features a black bean veggie burger on a multi-grain bun.
The other three burgers are all bun-less, with the patty and toppings sandwiched between iceberg lettuce leaves. This is a creation the company refers to as an “Iceburger.”
The keto burger follows the 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein and 5 percent each simple carbohydrates and non-starchy vegetables keto diet daily recommendations. It includes an all-natural Jennie-O Turkey patty for protein. To boost fat content, there’s cheddar cheese, sliced avocado and real mayonnaise.
The keto diet is a weight-loss regime rather than a long-term lifestyle eating approach, as it does not provide the body with adequate, balanced nutrition. By eating a lot of fat and very few carbohydrates, the body is forced into a metabolic state known as ketosis. This is when the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. The liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, with the latter traveling to the brain and fueling the body, the traditional role of glucose obtained from carbohydrates. Burning ketones in place of glucose is associated with weight loss, reduced inflammation, sustained energy and more.
The keto diet was identified as the most popular consumer diet for 2019, according to more than 1,300 dietitians surveyed in the 7th annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey from Pollock Communications, New York and Today’s Dietitian. Keto ousted clean eating from last year’s top spot, with intermittent fasting making its debut as number-two.
“It’s not that clean eating has declined in popularity,” says Jenna Bell, senior vice president at Pollock Communications. “We are still seeing the consumer push for cleaner labels and the industry continues their work to deliver it. But what’s different here is that millennial consumers are going beyond eliminating a food group, like cutting gluten, to making more drastic changes that require real lifestyle adjustments.”
The survey respondents convey that consumers are looking for diets that primarily drive weight loss. They agreed that the keto craze will continue in 2019, with consumers significantly reducing carbohydrates, grains and sugar in favor of vegetables, animal fat and meat. What will be next? According to the survey, the dietitians believe the next big diet — or lack thereof — will be intermittent fasting, with clean eating coming in as third most popular.
MOOYAH has always made clean and simple a formulating priority. This is showcased in all five lifestyle burgers.
MOOYAH’s paleo-friendly Iceburger, for example, features a ½-lb. Certified Angus Beef patty with applewood smoked bacon, sliced avocado, pickles, diced onion, tomato and simple mustard condiment.
The basis of the paleo diet is clean and simple. It’s all about meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats and oils. Foods to avoid include anything processed, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
The Whole30 Iceburger is made with a ¼-lb. Certified Angus Beef patty, sliced avocado, diced onions, tomato and Cholula sauce. The latter is an approved Whole30 condiment.
Whole30 is a 30-day nutrition reset eating plan designed to help put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract and balance the immune system. Created in 2009, Whole30 has helped millions of people change their health, habits and relationship with food. Meat and poultry are a prominent component of this elimination diet that excludes grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, sweeteners and specific controversial ingredients, such as monosodium glutamate and carrageenan.