Birdseye vs. McCartney

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since the Western World seemed to be going crazy with Veganuary.  Fast food outlets, and supermarkets seemed to be climbing over each other to prove which had the “best” plant based options.  But as we all know, the health and environmental benefits of such foods were eclipsed by a world-wide pandemic.  Lock-downs and hospitality venue close-downs led to takeaway and drive through menus only, and one of the first casualties of this was the plant-based menu options.  KFC and Burger King quickly withdrew their veggie burgers in their “reduced crisis” menus.

Supermarkets, however continued to provide veggie options, though over the year I did not see as many options as I would have liked.  Nonetheless, companies such as Quorn and Cauldron continued to provide tasty fare. 

Among these options are two very similar products.  These are The Linda McCartney Vegetarian burgers and Birdseye’s Green Cuisine Meat Free Burgers.

I have reviewed Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Mozzarella Burgers before.  Each burger has 238 calories with 17.8 grams of protein and 13.5 grams of fat.  The carb measures at 10.1 grams of which 1.3 grams is sugars.  The Birdseye competitor also has 238 calories per burger with 14 grams of protein and 17 grams of fat (1.3 g saturated).  

The higher fat content in the Birdseye burger gives it a slight flavour edge in the burger mass, but the McCartney burger’s cheese content compensates for this to make them roughly equal in taste (in my opinion).  

When grilled according to instructions, they both have limited shrinkage, through the McCartney product is slightly thicker.  Both have a very similar plant mass texture, with the Birdseye burger having a very slightly richer colour.   The McCartney’s cheese does give a twist to its overall texture by giving a stringy cheese presence when hot.  

The plant content does differ considerably with the McCartney being primarily soya mixed with chickpea flour.  The Birdseye burger is mainly rehydrated pea protein (60%), bamboo fibre, and pea flour.

All in all it is a toss up.  The two products even cost the same at both Sainsbury and Tesco.  That said, the Birdseye is more vegan friendly as it does not have the dairy content of the McCartney option.



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