Fast casual burger chain Smashburger announces it is partnering with jackfruit meat producer jack & annie’s to trial a new menu item: the Plant-Based Classic Smash Burger. For a limited time, the jackfruit-based burger is now available in select US Smashburger locations in Colorado, New York and New Jersey.
According to the chain, the new patty can be substituted for any traditional protein across its menu items.
“This partnership felt like a natural next step… to offer more diverse and clean plant-based options”
The Plant-Based Classic Smash Burger features lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, American cheese (non-vegan), Smash Sauce (non-vegan), and ketchup on a toasted bun.
1st plant-based patty
According to jack & annie’s, this burger marks its first branded partnership with a fast-casual restaurant chain, though it has been supplying jackfruit products to other restaurants for several years, the company told SFA News Daily.
Smashburger, which operates over 200 locations in 34 states and seven countries, is known as a “better burger” brand that offers burgers and sandwiches made with higher-quality ingredients than standard fast food chains. Previously, the company offered black bean burgers, though the patties contained egg and cheese and could not be made vegan.
In 2022, Smashburger joined with plant-based dairy startup Eclipse Foods to launch six dairy-free milkshakes across its US locations. Described as the QSR industry’s first nationally available plant-based milkshakes, the flavors included Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, Tangerine Dream, and Oreo.
“As part of Smashburger’s aggressive approach to menu innovation and catering to our guest’s evolving tastes, we have continued to diversify our product portfolio with the test of our new Plant-Based Classic Smash Burger, made by jack & annie’s,” said Carl Bachmann, President of Smashburger.
He added, “This partnership felt like a natural next step in Smashburger’s journey to offer more diverse and clean plant-based options for our guests, while still delivering the premium, top-quality menu items our fans know and love.”
Both Smashburger and jack & annie’s are based in Colorado. Founded in 2020 by Annie Ryu, jack & annie’s offers a full line of burgers, chicken tenders, meatballs, sausages and more made with whole-plant jackfruit.
Previously, the company ranked as the third-largest frozen brand in the entire plant-based category, and can now be found in over 1,500 US retailers, including Whole Foods, Target, Sprouts, Meijer and Wegman’s. In 2021, jack & annie’s raised $23M in Series B funding.
“Our jack & annie’s plant-based burger is the best of all worlds – it has an incredibly meaty texture, and is made first and foremost from jackfruit, a plant that contributes to the sustainable future of food, while still tasting delicious,” said Annie Ryu, CEO and founder of jack & annie’s. “This newest offering at Smashburger lets consumers in Colorado and New York enjoy high-quality, vegetarian-friendly options while dining out and helps fulfill our vision of bringing jack & annie’s foods to diners everywhere.”