Since the plant-based Beyond Burger by Beyond Meat was released, the quirky neighborhood grocery store Trader Joe’s has worked its way to a seat at the vegan burger table. Earlier this year, Trader Joe’s released their wildly successful vegan burger: Protein Patties.
As soon as I walked into my local Trader Joe’s and saw these, I immediately grabbed like five … eight packages of protein patties.
Now, I had no idea what these tasted like so buying this many patties was kind of a leap of faith in Trader Joe’s vegan products. I mean, I’ve been a repeat buyer of their meatless vegan products, so why not buy half the shelf?
Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
How Do These Two Vegan Burgers Compare?
After I had some time to digest, I started thinking of how the Trader Joe’s vegan burger stacked up against the original Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat. I began comparing the nutrition facts, the flavor profile, and pricing of the two burgers.
Overall, I found that the Beyond Burger had a better nutrition and flavor profile. However, from a cost perspective, the Trader Joe’s Protein Patty was cheaper and had comparable, yet less favorable macro and micro nutrients as well as flavor profile. Both burgers are great vegan burgers, but I found the Beyond Burger to be just a touch ahead of the game.
In this article, we’ll take a comparative look at the nutrition facts, flavor, and pricing between the Beyond Burger and the Trader Joe’s Protein Patties. To be fair, the taste test section of this article is completely subjective. It’s entirely possible that your palate might be different than mine. For this reason, I suggest you buy one of each and give them a try yourself!
Vegan Burger Nutrition Facts
If you’re a nutrition nerd like me, you’ll want to know what it is exactly that you’re eating. What are the ingredients? What’s the macros like? What about the micros?
Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts labels of these burgers side-by-side:
The Trader Joe’s Protein Patty is on the left, the Beyond Burger is on the right.
Trader Joe’s Vegan Burger Nutrition Facts
Per serving (1 patty/113g), the Trader Joe’s Protein Patty has:
- 290 calories
- 20g of fat (3g of saturated fat)
- 450mg sodium
- 11g carbohydrates (5g fiber & <1 1g of added sugar)
- 18g of protein
- 30mg of calcium
- 4mg of iron
- 190mg potassium
Beyond Burger Nutrition Facts
Per serving (1 patty/113g), the Beyond Burger has:
- 260 calories
- 18g of fat (5g of saturated fat)
- 350mg of sodium
- 5g of carbohydrates (2g of fiber)
- 20g of protein
- 100mg of calcium
- 4.2mg of iron
- 280mg of potassium
Both companies have a serving size of 113g or 4oz.
A side-by-side macronutrient comparison shows us that the Trader Joe’s patties are higher in both fat and carbohydrates while the Beyond Burger has 2g more protein. One thing to note in relation to the carbohydrates is the fiber content. Since our bodies cannot digest fiber, we can subtract it from the total carbohydrate count. Even so, the Trader Joe’s burger still has a higher usable carb count of 6 grams over the 3 grams in the Beyond Burger.
This means that those who practicing a low carb diet may likely give preference to the Beyond Burger.
|Macronutrient||Trader Joe’s Protein Patty||Beyond Burger|
|Carbohydrates||11g (5g of fiber)||5g (2g fiber)|
*Mobile viewers can scroll left and right to view the entire table.
Now let’s review the micronutrients between the two burgers.
As we look at the sodium, calcium, iron, and potassium content, we can see that the Beyond Burger is significantly more micronutrient dense than the Trader Joe’s Protein Patty. Folks watching their sodium intake may opt for the Beyond Burger, simply because it has 100mg less sodium than the Protein Patty.
|Micronutrient||Trader Joe’s Protein Patty||Beyond Burger|
*Mobile viewers can scroll left and right to view the entire table.
Vegan Burger Taste Comparison
Ahh, the taste test. This was the fun part in this vegan burger showdown.
In order for this test to be fair, I cooked the burgers as it, no seasoning, only olive oil on a cast iron skillet.
The skillet I use is the Lodge 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Skillet (click to see current Amazon price). A great way to add more iron into your food.
For burger prep, I cooked each patty for about 5 – 6 minutes on each side on medium heat. To be honest, I never really timed how long each patty cooked, I just eyeballed it and judged it’s doneness by the amount of brown sear that was on each side.
Note: Both burger packages state that there will be some pink coloring on the inside of the burger.
Anyway, I’ve tried them both … many many times for good measure. Here’s what I thought.
Beyond Burger Taste Test
The Beyond Burger I tried was their newer “even meatier” burger.
My first thoughts?
I could not believe how closely the whole experience felt to eating a real meat burger (from what I can remember anyway). From mouth feel, to juiciness, and flavor, the Beyond Burger really did fit it’s bold claim as a plant-based burger having the same qualities as a traditional beef burger.
The Beyond Burger is the world’s first plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and satisfies like beef. It has all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, but comes with the upsides of a plant-based meal. The Beyond Burger packs 20g of plant-based protein and has no GMOs, soy, or gluten.Beyond Meat
Even my omnivorous brother said, “If you put this in front of me at a restaurant and didn’t tell me it was vegan, I would have never guessed it was.”
As I write this article, he mentioned that his girlfriend and her family (all omnivores) have tried the Beyond Burgers and enjoyed them.
Trader Joe’s Burger Taste Test
What can I say about the Trader Joe’s Protein Patty other than I have thoroughly enjoyed them and have been a repeat buyer ever since I saw them on the shelves. And from the looks of my last Trader Joe’s visit, I’m not the only one.
These protein patties were flavorful, juicy, and can be cooked with a nice sear on each side for added texture in every bite.
The thing is, as good as these patties were, I could tell that these were not real beef patties. For me, the giveaway tell was their overall texture or mouth feel. It didn’t offer the same chew experience as the Beyond Burger or a traditional beef burger.
I could also immediately tell from the flavor profile that this was not a real beef patty.
That said, it was still an enjoyable, juicy vegan burger to eat.
Vegan Burger Price Comparison
For our last factor in this vegan burger showdown, we’ll look at how they stack up in price. The following prices are sourced from my local Publix and Trader Joe’s grocery stores in South Florida.
Beyond Burger Price
The Beyond Burgers I purchased went for $5.89 per package.
In my last grocery run, I saw that they were on sale, BOGO (Buy One Get One), at Publix so my family decided to stock up.
With a sale like that (basically $2.95 per package), how could we not?!
Trader Joe’s Vegan Burger Price
The Trader Joe’s Protein Patties were $4.49 per package.
These bad boys are $1.40 cheaper than its competitor which is a win for them for sure. However, while these patties are cheaper I have yet to see these go on sale.
After reviewing the nutrition profile, flavor, and price of each vegan patty, my preferences are leaning toward the Beyond Burger.
The Beyond Burger has a better nutrition profile having more protein, calcium, iron and potassium and less fat, carbohydrates and sodium. In regards to price, the Beyond Burger is more expensive than the Trader Joe’s Protein Patties ($1.40 more expensive) but they go on a BOGO (Buy One Get One free) sale periodically at Publix so that’s mostly when I buy them. When they’re not on sale, I buy the Trader Joe’s Protein Patties.
You may also be interested in this article: Eating Vegan at Pei Wei in 2020 (Main Dish)
Please note that these findings are consistent with the information available to me from my own research. Information published typically comes directly from a company source, study, scholarly article, and/or otherwise credible source. If you find incorrect information within any of my articles, please feel welcome to contact me with a trusted source to back your proposed update.