SOLON, OHIO – Students at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) will be the first to to taste the first fully plant-based bacon cheeseburger to debut at foodservice. Plant-based food developer, Sweet Earth Foods, a Nestlé brand, announced the launch of their Plant-Based (PB) Triple Play at the university’s dining halls to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (Sept. 18).

“What better way to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day than with a new take on this iconic dish that is good for people and the planet?” said Mark Schneider, chief executive officer of Nestlé. “Nestlé is excited to partner with UMass to bring our PB Triple Play to students looking for a delicious plant-based option.”

The university will feature the Sweet Earth PB Triple Play in their Amherst location's dining halls, take-away, through online delivery and on their food truck. The item will become a permanent menu item this fall.

The Sweet Earth PB Triple Play includes three plant-based alternatives – the Sweet Earth Awesome Burger, Sweet Earth Bac'n and Sweet Earth Cheeze.

“We take pride in innovating in Food & Beverage with strategic partners like Nestlé Professional,” said Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass. “We are the first university in the USA to offer Sweet Earth plant-based bacon and cheese on our burgers and it's a great fit for our students who are demanding craveable dishes with better ingredients yet zero compromise to taste.”

The Sweet Earth Awesome Burger was developed by the Sweet Earth culinary team with Nestlé R&D support, using yellow pea protein and non-GMO ingredients. Sweet Earth Bac'n combines plant-based protein with smoky flavors and a blend of plant-based oils. Sweet Earth's new American-style Cheeze slices are made with a blend of plant-based fibers to deliver a stretchy and melty “cheese” texture.

“It is a priority for us to continue to support and innovate with customers, even during this very difficult time,” said Perry Miele, president of Nestlé Professional USA. “We are 'Always Open' for them and very excited about our UMASS PB Triple Play event.”

Additional college dining programs, restaurants and foodservice channels will carry the product in upcoming months.