Trader Joe's Protein Patties: What You Need To Know Before Buying

Impossible burgers were one of the most-hyped food trends of 2019, and now Trader Joe's is jumping in the already crowded plant-based meat pool. In January 2020, the company rolled out "Protein Patties," its own version of the meatless burger (via Eater). Not that the world necessarily needed another meatless burger patty, though, as there's already Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, as well as grocery store versions from Kroger, Costco, and H-E-B. 

Regardless of the competition, Trader Joe's recently told Food & Wine why they decided now was the right time to offer their own plant-based burger. "Folks are increasingly going for meatless burgers for all kinds of reasons, but we like to think that one reason, in particular, is primarily responsible: plant-based burgers have gotten really, really good recently," read the brand's email.

Fair enough, Trader Joe's. Exactly what can consumers expect from the beloved grocery store's Protein Patties, though?  

They're comparable in price to other plant-based burgers

If you would like to grab yourself a pack of Trader Joe's Protein Patties, you'll need to head to the store's deli aisle where they sell for around $4.49 per package, which comes in, cost-wise, very close to other plant-based meats. A pack of the Protein Patties includes two patties that weigh in at 4 ounces each. As Business Insider points out, Impossible Meats sells its product for $9 a pound — which is still way more than it will cost you for a pound of ground chuck beef. 

Trader Joe's Protein Patties are vegan and kosher, but then again, so is an Impossible Burger (via Fast Company). If you're going to buy TJ's Protein Patties, buy them because you love the way they taste — just don't think you're getting them for a bargain. 

Speaking of taste, are these things any good?

They're not as 'beefy' as other plant-based burgers

According to Deli Market News, Trader Joe's Protein Patties are made of peas, beets, and sunflower oil, and it's the beets that help give them their pinkish meat appearance. Considering the plethora of similar products on the market, Protein Patties will need to be pretty good if they're really going to stand out. As for the verdict, well, they seem to be garnering mixed reviews. 

A reviewer on Buzzfeed who tried the burger felt that it didn't brown quite as nicely as her preferred vegan option — Beyond Meat — and while it did have a smokey and overall good taste, it wasn't as "convincing" as Beyond Meat. A reviewer on Daily Waffle found the texture to be a little too dense and were left unsure if they'd buy them again. Meanwhile, the reviewer for Pop Sugar loved them and found the taste to be savory but "less beefy" than other options.  

As for the protein in these Protein Patties, 18 grams is pretty good, but it's still on the low end compared to Impossible, Lightlife, and Beyond Burger which offer between 19 and 20 grams per serving (via Eat This, Not That!)