Hamilton launches “plant-based” burger chain Neat Burger

2019 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton has given his backing to a new chain of fast foot restaurants to promote “plant-based” eating.

Neat Burger promises to be “the first international, plant-based burger chain” when it opens its first restaurant near Regent Street in London on Monday.

Hamilton, who adopted a “plant-based” diet in 2017, said: “I’m very passionate about being kinder to our world and also really respect Neat Burger’s commitment to more ethical practices and supporting small businesses, so this is something I’m also really proud to support.

“But it is also about the product. As someone who follows a plant-based diet, I believe we need a healthier high street option that tastes amazing but also offers something exciting to those who want to be meat-free every now and again.”

The chain will use plant-based meat alternatives supplied by Beyond Meat. They intend to open 14 outlets over the next two years. “Beyond Meat is an incredible partner and I can’t wait to work with the team to expand Neat Burger internationally,” added Hamilton.

“The menu will consist of three, core burgers – ‘The Neat,’ ‘The Cheese’ and ‘The Chick’n’, as well as ‘The Hot Dog,’ with sides including skinny fries, sweet potato fries and tater tots.”

Refreshments served at the chain will include “Just Water, the eco-conscious brand launched by Jaden Smith in 2018, as well as ethical Lemonaid sodas and dairy-free, soft serve, coconut and soya-based milkshakes and plant-based alcoholic refreshments in the shape of Toast Ale.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 78 comments on “Hamilton launches “plant-based” burger chain Neat Burger”

    1. This sounds interesting. We need good meat free options so I hope it is a success. I am not averse to a McDonalds Veggie wrap, they are pretty damned tasty.

      1. I agree: I was saying to a friend the other day a vegan restaurant chain would be an interesting business move.

      2. ‘We need good meat free options’ Lee1? There are already options called vegetables. I don’t understand why people who don’t want to eat meat do like to eat meat free food, that looks like meat.

        1. The McDonalds Veggie wrap does not look like meat… It is just very tasty vegetable based meal.

          Also people do not want to eat meat for various reasons. Some do not like the thought of eating animals. Some need to do so for health reasons and others (like myself) want to eat less meat in order to be more environmentally friendly. So as I still like meat but want to have less impact on the environment, it is surely not strange for me to still want a meat texture etc?

          However the meat free options in many restaurants are pretty unappealing. So if a new chain can fix that then that is great surely?

        2. It’s not hard to work out why. They would like a Burger without killing a cow? Being a vegetarian isn’t about not liking the taste of meat its about not wanting to kill/eat animals.

          1. exactly. i’ve stopped buying beef (a tiny effort on my part, i could do more) because of the environmental impact but i do like a burger. i had a vegan burger in brixton the other day and it was sensational – i think these kinds of restaurants are going to be huge. also think it’ll be like the tobacco companies and vaping – once they see it’s the future, the big chains will all switch to meat-free meat, which is surely a good thing for the health of the planet.

        3. Because maybe they like the taste and experience of eating meat, but they dont like the impact of the meat industry. Or the fact to get meat an animal needs to get killed. Personally i am not a vegetarian, but i do like the meat alternatives.

        4. ‘We need good meat free options’ Lee1? There are already options called vegetables. I don’t understand why people who don’t want to eat meat do like to eat meat free food, that looks like meat.

          @franco why does it bother you so much? lmao

          I dread the thought of giving up meat but would like to give it a go and products like this readily available would make that transition infinitely easier.

          1. @RB13: What bothers me is the fact that these sort of products are extremely difficult to engineer. A lot of money and research is needed to be able to build a vegetable (mainly soja) hamburger shaped type product. You could also question how healthy it really is, looking at the ingredients.

            I really don’t want to offend anyone with this kind of posts by the way, I just happen to have a another opinion. Let’s get back to the racing..

            1. Why is the difficulty of engineering a problem? We love F1 and that is all about difficult engineering. Plus not all vegetarian options are over engineered proteins. The ingredients are healthy in most of the products. However he impossible burger is probably not a lot more healthy than a tradition meat one. But that is not the only reason to eat a reduced meat diet.

              We do have to think about the impact of the ingredients though. Importing some of the products from the other side of the world is not necessarily a good idea.

        5. As above. Short sighted statement. I like meat, but I don’t eat it.

          Why wouldn’t I want something that imitated what I like, without the (IMO) negative?

    2. Good news! This balances out him flying the dogs with a private jet.

      Just joking, smart move indeed. I’m all in for vegetarian and vegan burger, however they hardly compete with their meaty counterparts. I tried Beyond Meat products when I was in the States a few years ago and they were really good, at least as chicken substitutes. I then recently tried their burger here in Italy and it was the most similar non-meat burger I have ever tasted. The more this kind of food gain traction the more it gets better.

      I have to say that it is more interesting when chains like McDonalds, Burger King integrate their menus with veg options, because a veg-only place keeps omnivores away as much as non-veg friendly places keep vegetarians and vegans.

      Good thing people with big heart and big wallet are backing this kind of stuff.

      1. I have to say that it is more interesting when chains like McDonalds, Burger King integrate their menus with veg options, because a veg-only place keeps omnivores away as much as non-veg friendly places keep vegetarians and vegans.

        @m-bagattini – very good point. Maybe this place hopes that the aggressive vegans will keep it in business, the ones who scream “murderer” at the rest of us – they’re unlikely to have omnivore friends. ;)

        Seriously though, that is a good point. Unless this is situated in a food court, this might prove to be a sticking point.

        1. @phylyp – Aggressive Vegans – love that phrase – reminded me of this . . .

          Q – How do you know when someone is a Vegan?
          A – Give it 3 minutes – they will tell you.

          I’ll get my coat

        2. Whenever I see an “aggressive vegan”, I think of Gandhi’s quote about Christianity (“I like your Christ, but not your Christians”). :)

          I love meat, I can’t deny that. Having grown up in South Africa, this is pretty strongly ingrained in me. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t occasionally pick (and enjoy) veggie and vegan options on menus (I’ve done this twice this week in fact)…so I’d be quite keen to see what this chain is all about. That said I agree with others who query why vegan/veggie products mimic the look and feel of meat…if you want to eat a plant, eat a plant. There are so many good options out there without having to reach for a burger that isn’t really a burger.

          I also don’t buy the environmental aspect of it…for most people eating a bit less meat will have a negligible impact on the environment. Heck, getting rid of a pet will have more of an impact and I don’t recall seeing people advocating that….

          1. Not even close. The impact of farming animals (as opposed to keeping one or two as a pet) is massive. If everyone eat like we are evolved to do (ie mainly plant based with some occasional meat) then we would see a dramatic impact on the issues that cause climate change.

        3. Right so he wants to be kinder to the planet but drives a polluting F1 car, flies about in a private jet and all the rest. Smart guy, not.

      2. Yes, it needs to be appealing to people that just want good tasty food as much as people that want pure vegan options. You are right that many vegan places tend to put non-vegans off visiting.

      3. I like vegan dishes, apart from those that are “meat tasting substitutes”, never understood that.

        So when I looked at the menu I immediately thought “yeah, not for me, sorry”

        If it was some sort of bean burger, cauliflower burger or something of the sorts I would be much more interested instead of flavour mimicking, but that’s me.

        However put me down to a glass of ethical lemonade, I keep arguing with the morale dubious one that I make at home, despite the fact that its ethicality is directly connected with me.

        1. I keep arguing with the morale dubious one that I make at home

          @johnmilk – that’s only because you keep spiking it with alcohol :)

          1. oh, that’s why they taste funny

        2. You’re missing the point. The point is that the vegetarians and the vegans choose that lifestyle because they don’t want to eat animals NOT because they don’t like the taste of a good burger. I’m sure most are completely sick of stuffed peppers and bean burgers.

          1. no, not missing the point @timpey. I don’t like, it is MY personal opinion. I like vegetarian dishes, as long as they don’t try to mimic meat, but that’s ME

            1. Oh I agree, me too. I thought you were saying that their shouldn’t be substitutes as a whole. I’d be up for trying it though as it can only be the way forward.

            2. hopefully the way forward is an educated diet @timpey, something that should be taught at schools.

              reduce the amount of meat is paramount, but eliminating it completely isn’t healthy if you want to get all your needs naturally without taking food with supplements.

              at least that’s how I try to do it

      4. The plane went a while ago.

      5. Good news! This balances out him flying the dogs with a private jet.

        This!!!

      6. McDonalds and Burger King have done a good job in integrating vegetarian options in their menus though they don’t have vegan options, yet.

        They could simply remove the spices and replicate the same menu else where too.

    3. Decent initiative.

      I’m intrigued though by the emphasis on “plant based”. Which comes across at least, as deliberately opposed to vegetarian?

      Is “vegetarian” now considered to carry too much negative baggage?

      1. Vegetarian is not necessarily plant based. For instance cheese and milk are vegetarian but not plant based.

        I think it is “Vegan” that has the negative baggage.

        1. Bruno Verrari
          29th August 2019, 9:48

          Lacto-vegetarian.

      2. Vegetarian diets allow for either milk or eggs (depending on personal preference) in daily diet.
        Vegan diet is supposed to be avoiding any animal products but people seem to mix Gluten free diet into veganism and that brings a lot negative connotation. So saying its plant based should be much easier to market and not bring too much mockery that would be brought up if it were advertised as Vegan and Gluten free.

      3. Lee 1 True. From what I have observed it is not that easy to be vegan and still get all the necessary amounts of protein for example.

        1. It is not the protein that is the issue. There are plenty of very high protein plants based products. It is some Vitamins and minerals that are the harder part. For instance Vitamin B12 is only naturally present in meat and dairy so vegan foods have to be fortified with it.

          1. Yeah fair enough but I think it is also finding variety of tasty meals as well as them being time consuming to make, no? Not always relatively inexpensive at the grocery store either?

            1. That is part of the issue. However they are actually quick to make once you are used to making those types of dishes. I mean Indian food is often easy to make and yet a large portion of India is vegetarian. Veganism is a different matter as you need to find substitutes for dairy etc too. That is harder.

              Veg is not expensive if you shop properly. It is however more expensive than the processed meats we eat in ready meals (look up mechanically separated meat… if you want nightmares…)

      4. He is one of the exec-producers of Game Changers, which explains what its all about with respect to athletes.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSpglxHTJVM&t=4s

    4. Interesting. Coming from India where vegetarian food is very common, I can attest to meat-free food being as tasty as meat. Over here, international companies like McDonalds, Dominos, Pizza Hut and KFC offer menus where half of the items are vegetarian options (imagine that, you can get a Veg Zinger Burger from KFC!) and those do very well.

      To the topic at hand, I’m curious as to what the plant-based meat alternative would be that is used in the burger patty. Typically, experiments with meat substitutes have struggled with issues like different/unrealistic textures. If they’re using something like a soybean base, it’s not likely to win over those who prefer meat, but would definitely cater to vegans.

      Just Water, the eco-conscious brand launched by Jaden Smith

      My first reaction was “Ugh, Jaden Smith”. But checking out their site, I notice that a major point of this water is that it doesn’t come in plastic bottles, rather it comes in paper cartons (with a plastic cap). That’s definitely a good thing.

      ethical Lemonaid sodas

      Although this has me lost. Have I been drinking immoral sodas until now? Or is it something to do with the amount of water consumed by conventional soda manufacturing units (typing this while looking guiltily at the can of Coke on my desk)?

      1. Perhaps it’s the amount or type or lack thereof of sugar in the Lemonaid.

        1. It seems like it is to do with the raw ingredients fair trade status and the use of pesticides etc.

      2. @phylyp Note it is a sugarcane based plastic cap.

        1. @robbie – ooh, very nice, that’s impressive. I hope other companies selling beverages in plastic bottles take after them, by choice or by regulation.

      3. Depending on where you are in India finding vegetarian food can be hard. Kashmir valley, and Eastwards of West Bengal into North Eastern state finding Vegetarian food is quite difficult. Also sadly in West definition of India cuisine is generally the Dhaba/Restaurent versions of North Indian dishes and are very heavy with processed butter instead of preparations based on Ghee and there are is a representation of few dishes from Tamil cuisine. In India cuisine(both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian) changes by about 150kms.

        I reckon the term ethical might certainly have to do with how the water for preparing soda is sourced and also the source of sugar(if it is used) due to environmental abuses rampant in sugarcane farming around the globe(Brazil being one of top exporters of Sugar).

    5. Paragraph two: the most non-intended-but-perfectly-done typing mistake…
      Hamilton’s fast FOOT business!

      That was NEAT!

    6. I like the initiative and I’m looking forward to check this out in the future.
      However the sustainability blah is laughable, considering the jet set life he is living.

    7. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      29th August 2019, 9:26

      Aye aye aye, first hybrids now meat made out of a plant.

    8. What – no HAMburger?

      (OK, I’ll get me coat….)

      1. @fudge1200 – they’ll give you a yamburger, if you’re so inclined ;)

      2. Lol good one.

        Not a leather coat though right? ;)

    9. Does sound like a really great idea. I’m going to assume they’ll also not be supplying single-use plastic items such as straws and utensils nor wax based paper cups that aren’t recyclable. I’m intrigued to hear more about the actual items the food and beverages will be served in or on as it sounds to me like that will likely have been well thought through also. Good going, LH. Best of luck. Could/should be successful given how quickly plant-based items have been cropping up, pun intended.

      1. After reading some of the comments, it seems that part of the “ethical” thing about just water is also the packaging made from recycleable, bio degradable waste material @robbie.
        Surely the chain would look at that sort of experience to source their cutlery, cups etc to do the same.

        I must say that this is one other thing that helps a little bit in bringing us all to change our habits into a direction that makes it easier to keep our earth liveable. And since there is a lot of high tech research used to come up with the how, it offers a lot to like for many people.
        It also nicely fits in with proclamations by Vietnam and Zandvoort (two new events) that they want to make sure that only recyclable or reusable cups etc are used for the hospitality around the event.

        Will Mercedes be the first team to switch to vegan burgers for their hospitality units :-)

    10. until they make a tomatoe that tastes like a good steak (beef). im gona eat meat hehehehhe! but big ups to those that dont eat meat out of choice. really difficult decision to make and follow through. now back to the racing where we love to watch cars that pollute the atmoshphere, the ground and the technologies that destroy our oceans!!!

      1. To be fair I am an EV driver but I love F1… Motor racing has negligible impact on the environment given how niche it is.

        1. Lewis also stated he wants more diversity in F1. The obvious answer would be to have a parallel championship in Asia or Africa. Reducing the carbon footprint for Europe instead of ‘flyaway’ races’ . Then have a final.

      2. There are loads of meat free burgers that have a meaty taste if you want. And much more healthy too. It’s so easy to give up eating dead animals now.

      3. Man, you should try the tomatoes we grew this year in our garden @wayne. Structure like waygu meat, taste not like beef, but nice and beefy anyway.

        From everyone who has tried this new “plant based burgers” that came out the last 6 months or so, it seems that they really can match the taste experience of a good quality burger you get in solid outlets.

        Maybe not the top of the market burgers, but then, how many of us get a chance to eat those more than a few times in our lifetime anyway.

    11. This is why the amazon rainforest is on fire, to gain more land to plant the soja. Be a vegan, but don’t juse soja products.

    12. Should be focusing on this weekend, instead of this “I’d rather fry than be overtaken” stuff.

      1. Did you sleep type this 🤔

        1. It was a play on Max’s “I’d rather die than be overtaken”. Not very good but best I could come up with from the land of nod.

    13. Well done, veganism is the future. Anything that moves us away from killing innocent animals for taste buds is positive!

      1. We likely get reincarnated as animals and will eat others until we’re eaten ourselves and the process continues.

      2. I am not sure veganism as a whole is the future. However a reduced meat diet surely is.

        We need to also make sure all that vegan food is good for the environment. Currently quite a lot of it is not exactly perfect.

        Also many Vegans I know drink Coffee and that is the worst food/drink for the environment. Just becoming Vegan may eliminate your direct impact on animals but it does not alone reduce your impact on the environment.

      3. You are naive if you think growing vegetables does not involve killing animals. To grow vegetables you have to kill every bird, every animal, every insect that can eat the vegetable. Why do you think forests are burned down all the time? To grow veggies.

    14. “Launches”, or just gives money to?

    15. So ya bean planting the seeds of a new burger kingdom whilst running up a 6th world championship? Well it beets veging out all summer

    16. Good intentions from Lewis but the issues are incredibly complex.

      He could also put his name to banning Halal slaughter. Reducing Britain’s population and planting more trees. For political reasons, he won’t.

      1. Sure he could. But why would he @bigjoe.

        Being Vegan (or “on a plant based diet”) is something Lewis has done and made him feel better. He is both excited about it and wants to spread the word. And he clearly has friends / people he knows who feel the same. So supporting this idea nicely fits with is personal feelings and ideals about what is good for himself, for others and for the world.

        I don’t think Hamilton has any emotional ties to halal slaughter in any way. And reducing a population, ehm, where do you get your ideas from @bigjoe? They clearly are quite different than Lewis.

      2. Big Jokes back 😂 reducing Britain’s population? You calling for a cull?

    17. Good on Hamilton – Not many celebrities out there willing to put it on the line for the good of the planet.

      Let’s hope it’s a success and helps the planet.

      It’s probably more than majority are prepared todo 🙂

    18. Ha Ha – You’re not fooling anyone Lewis.
      We all know you consume vast quantities of raw flesh before a race in order to give you give the Hunters Hunger for Victory!

      Tricking all the other drivers into eating feeble wimp food disguised to look like dead animals isn’t going to save you once they get a genuine 100% Prime Burger inside them as are sold in all the best fast food joints
      (no third rate – almost pet food – offal in them there burgers sonny!)
      with a side order of salt on starch sticks just to jazz up the nervous system.

      Excuse me folks – I have to out back and throttle a heifer for my lunch now.

      In truth I eat what I want to eat when I want to eat it.
      Some damn fine veggie meals to be had and I love a good greasy pork pie ;)

    19. I think it is great that some entrepreneurs are testing the market. There is a trailer for a film being advertised on Youtube about this very subject, and it includes Lewis.
      I know this sort of not related, but when you go through the canned foods section of the supermarket (at least where I live) it is actually difficult to find canned “combination of foods” (you know, the ones with a mix of vegetables inside) that doesn’t contain meat as well. Mostly those that contain a mix of vegetables and don’t contain meat are soups, meaning you may have to drain off some of the liquid before putting the food onto your plate.
      Hopefully this restaurant and the film will encourage canning manufacturers to consider “ready to heat” canned foods that exclude meat.

    20. Good on him.
      Couldn’t care less.
      Unrepentant meat eater here.
      My interest in him begins and ends with F1.

    21. I’m far from a vegetarian or vegan. I like meat. However. I was listening to the downtime podcast (mtb) the other day and the rider on there (I think Ruaridh Cunningham) was talking about cutting out meat entirely. He said carnivores eat so much meat, their intestines are significantly shorter in length than humans and are optimized to extract the most amount of nutrients possible then spit out the rest as waste. Humans have longer intestines in comparison and are not optimized for meat, taking longer to digest, holding natural metabolism back by using a lot more energy to process it. Eating vegan speeds this up, sending things quicker down the pipeline and can be digested quicker, giving you more energy for essentially no more work on your end… except eating “healthier”.

      Interesting from a performance perspective as this is essentially means less “food comas” and allows you to recover faster, have more energy during the day and get back to your regularly scheduled activities.

      Then there’s the whole save the animals save the planet bit, which I’m admittedly numb to, due to the fact that I have my guilty eating pleasures.

      1. Sadly, there are a lot of lies and corporate manipulation in food beliefs and this rather ludicrous assertion sounds like a rehashing of one of them.

        It has all the classic hallmarks, secret but science based knowledge, gets you something for nothing, relies on a demonstrably false assumption etc.

        Let’s break it down: Carnivires have shorter small intestines. (True. This is because they don’t need to digest as many plants, and the cellulose found in them)

        Humans have longer intestines (Can you see the trick yet? This is also true)

        Therefore humans are not optimised for eating meat (Boom, you’ve been suckered! It sounds logical, it sounds right but relies on two assumptions that are false. 1. A long small intestine is not optimised for eating meat ( False) and 2. Every animal eats only meat or plants, no other type of animal exists.)

        Unfortunately, or fortunately omnivores exist and are really very optimised for being an omnivores.

        Humans are omnivores, every part of our digestive system is a proof of this, and we are fantastic at digesting meat.

        Ok, so that’s one little lie, let’s continue nonetheless, just because someone has lied to you or regurgitated a lie that they believe doesn’t invalidate everything they have to say.

        Humans take longer to digest food (than what? Plant eaters? Carnivores? Other omnivores? On average? Compared to one specific species – regardless, this is false unless you want to compare to an insect, arachnid or and other animal to which a comparison is ludicrous to try to attain any relevance of meaning)

        Eating vegan speeds this up ( Er what? This directly contradicts the scientific basis we established earlier – plants take longer to break down than meat, hence the need for plant eating mammals to chew plants for much longer, have multiple stomachs, longer intestines etc because of the cellulose that makes plants otherwise indigestible. Remember, if humans were in fact better at eating a solely plant based diet, we would be unique in the mammalian kingdom as being unable to digest cellulose, because we cant. You can test this for yourself, go eat enough grass that you can see it in your faecies, and notice how it didn’t get digested a day or two later. False)

        Faster down the pipeline stuff ( False, the mechanism that controls the muscles that open the various sphincters along the way and squeeze product through your tubes don’t know what they are squeezing through. It would be false to claim that they are not affected by what you eat, but they change their speed and even direction based on eating something that will cause you harm, not on whether the paste of broken down molecules grew on a stem or not. )

        Giving you more energy ( Misleading in the extreme. Energy is complicated, for example protein can be broken down into energy for immediate use but can’t be stored as fat, however, we do know how much energy is in any one particular food. You won’t get 100% of it, what we don’t digest is called roughage usually. Critically we don’t know how this statement is comparing. The honest way would be calory to calory content, eg eat 100kCals of chicken and maize and see which one gives you more energy. Hint, it’s the chicken, by a huge percentage. The undigested maize in your faeces was a massive waste of time*)

        *Energy wise, fibre is almost certainly massively important to our health and critical to preventing cancers.

        Except eating healthier (True. Also False. But still true – fact is you can eat healthily as a carnivore, omnivore or vegan. So if you had an unhealthy carnivore diet and started eating a vegan diet you may well get healthier, and I count placebo as a positive too, we all have them! The important thing is that you are taking an effort to improve your diet and if veganism works for you to do that, go for it. However this is a horrible statement for a vegan currently eating a very unhealthy diet* which could be drastically improved by adding meat products.

        *Obviously if their only concern was their personal health, there are many reasons aside from this to become a vegan

        Simple fact is, this podcast, almost certainly unknowingly and with the best of intentions lied outrageously to you. The food industry thrives on lies, yes the big meat corps lie but so does the nice quiet little vegan hippy. There is no such thing as a perfect diet, once past your stomach, the chemical mash is broken bits of sugar and amino acids and the same whether you are the latest superfood or a simple apple. So long as you’re getting your vitamins, minerals, amino acids and not eating too many or too few calories, and finally ensuring you eat 8g of fibre per 500kCal of food, you are as healthy as anyone. Anyone who tries to make it more complicated that that is either trying to sell you something or a useful idiot. Oh and fyi, if you eat a varied diet – one portion of each meat every week (poultry, beef, pork, fish), 5+ different fresh fruit and veg a day then you can forget tracking amino acids, vitimans and minerals. You’re getting them, so you can focus on your calories in vs out and your fibre.

    22. Good business move! Anyway people can eat more veggies is a good thing i suppose.

    23. Amazed by the civil discussion on here.

    24. I have to dispute the “healthier high street option” phrase. Although it’s not made from meat, be under no illusion this is still a processed food product. Processing ANY ingredient removes the “goodness” from it, be it a hunk of beef or a pea. Just because the starting ingredient is different, the procedure for making the food is just as unhealthy whether it’s meat or meat-free.

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