Plant-based filet mignon steaks mimic the texture of real meat, prices of fancy restaurants

Juicy Marbles makes faux filet mignon

A new contender in the plant-based meat substitute has skipped past the burgers to offer a replacement for a high-end cut of steak.

Juicy Marbles claims its new plant-based filet mignon are "ultra-tender" and mimic the muscle texture and marbling of traditional steaks "by aligning and layering fibers from the bottom up with all-natural ingredients."

Luka Sincek, a microbiologist who cofounded Juicy Marbles, said in a written statement that the hardest part of developing the faux meat was "getting the right fiber alignment and intramuscle fat structure – the marbling."

Juicy Marbles says its new plant-based filet mignon are "ultra-tender" and mimic the muscle texture and marbling of traditional steaks

Juicy Marbles says its new plant-based filet mignon are "ultra-tender" and mimic the muscle texture and marbling of traditional steaks (Juicy Marbles)

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"The most expensive steaks in the world are known for their lush marbling," Sincek said. "It takes a lot of energy and a rare breed of cow to attain that. With plant meat, we control it and, thus, over time, can scale up our steak production and bring down the price. Eventually, we'll be able to make the most premium meats attainable for everyone."

Juicy Marbles just started selling the plant-based tenderloin on its website, and it’s not cheap. It’s priced at $147.58 for 600 grams, or about 1.3 pounds. The company said that’s enough to feed four people, "or three really hungry ones." That comes in at almost $37 per serving, even splitting it four ways.

Juicy Marbles says its new plant-based filet mignon are "ultra-tender" and mimic the muscle texture and marbling of traditional steaks

Juicy Marbles says its new plant-based filet mignon are "ultra-tender" and mimic the muscle texture and marbling of traditional steaks (Juicy Marbles)

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However, the company is also still seeking more feedback from diners, and it’s offering a steep discount. Customers who join its testing program can get two samples for $20 instead of almost $150 for one.

Juicy Marbles is targeting a very different model than other competitors in the plant-based protein market have taken. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are selling replacements for less extravagant meat products like burger patties and sausages via grocery stores and partnerships with restaurant chains, rather than direct to consumers through a website.

Juicy Marbles says its new plant-based filet mignon are "ultra-tender" and mimic the muscle texture and marbling of traditional steaks

Juicy Marbles says its new plant-based filet mignon are "ultra-tender" and mimic the muscle texture and marbling of traditional steaks (Juicy Marbles)

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And unlike some of its competitors, Juicy Marbles is selling its faux steak unseasoned.

"The allure of meat is not just texture or flavor, it’s also simplicity of preparation," Vladimir Mickovic, chief brand officer at Juicy Marbles, said in a written statement. "A sprinkle of salt, sizzle on the pan, and boom – you have a tasty protein on your plate."