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Plant-based burger battle royale: Beyond vs. Impossible

The plant-based burger frenzy has hit fever pitch, with fast-food chains like McDonald’s (MCD) and Burger King (QSR) falling over each other to add veggie offerings to their menus. Beyond Meat (BYND) shares have surged from its $25 initial public offering to a high of $234.90 before settling down to a mere five times its IPO price. It closed at $122.05 on Tuesday.

But are the burgers any good? And which one is the best?

Yahoo Finance conducted a taste test of the two buzziest products — the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger — as well as patties that have been on the market longer, including the Whole Foods 365 store brand, the Boca and Amy’s All American Veggie Burger.

And the winner is... the Impossible, by a slim margin!

In this Wednesday, July 31, 2019 photo, an Impossible Whopper burger is photographed at a Burger King restaurant in Alameda, Calif. Burger King will soon offer its Impossible Whopper plant-based burger nationwide. The chain said the soy-based burger, made by Impossible Foods, will be available for a limited time at its 7,000 U.S. stores starting next week. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The judges included Josh Capon, chef and owner of five restaurants including Bowery Meat Company (where the test was held), and champion of Rachael Ray’s (meaty) Burger Bash competition; Ravi DeRossi, proprietor of a dozen New York City cocktail bars and vegetarian restaurants; Yahoo Finance fast-food reporter Heidi Chung; and me.

I preferred the Beyond Burger, which I thought had slightly more flavor, but all the judges agreed that the two newer products were far superior to the other three. Overall, we felt that the Beyond-Impossible hype is justified.

We graded each burger on taste, texture, and overall aesthetic, with a total possible score of 45. Impossible rated 33.5, Beyond 32.5, followed by 21 for Amy’s, 14.5 for 365, and 12 for Boca.

Julie Hyman is the co-anchor of On the Move on Yahoo Finance.

For more veggie burger coverage:
Wells Fargo warns of more competition for Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat vs. Impossible Foods: Burger nutrition showdown

Nestlé-owned Sweet Earth launches plant-based Awesome Burger