Europe’s Colourful Vegan Burger Launched in the U.S.

Nicole Axworthy wrote . . . . . . . . .

European plant-based burger concept Flower Burger has launched its first North American location in Culver City, CA. The delivery-only ghost kitchen offers six plant-based burgers—all presented on vibrant and colorful burger buns—such as the Jungle Burger on a green bun colored with spirulina powder and turmeric; the Classic Chickpea and Spicy Chickpea with turmeric-colored yellow buns; the Cherry Bomb with a pink bun colored with cherry and beet extract; and the signature Flower Burger with a violet bun colored with purple carrot extract.

Flower Burger also offers house-made vegan cheese, mayonnaise, and other condiments, along with sides such as potato wedges, edamame, or Patatas Buenas drizzled with Flower mayo and spicy ketchup. Dessert offerings include the Coco-nuts (a coconut-based frozen treat layered with espresso, cocoa-roasted almonds and hazelnuts) and the Chocolate Salami (a rolled and sliced confection made from dark chocolate and oat-based biscuits).

A rainbow of vegan burgers

The Flower Burger concept, created by Italian entrepreneur Matteo Toto, boasts more than a dozen locations across Italy, France, London, and the Netherlands. Toto’s mission for the brand was to create an inviting, inclusive experience that aligns plant-based cuisine with fun and enjoyment, which inspired the menu’s signature, vibrant burger buns and playful, hippy-inspired design throughout the stores.

“Opening in LA is a dream come true,” Toto said. “We’re excited to bring the passion and energy of Flower Burger to the US and have plans to expand quickly. We love that LA locals prioritize all the same values that we do, from inclusivity to conscious, sustainable eating.”

The brand’s new California location is helmed by restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff and LA-based entrepreneur Elena Platt—who discovered the chain while in Italy.

“I fell in love with Flower Burger when I first tasted one at their location in Rome,” Platt said. “After meeting Matteo and learning more about their commitment to diverse ingredients that go beyond the typical plant-based offerings, I knew it was something I had to bring home. The past year has been incredibly tough for LA, so we’re excited to launch a brand focused on fun, inclusivity, and sustainability at a time when those are more important than ever.”

Flower Burger is available to order through delivery platforms such as Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats. This summer, the brand will open its first storefront in West Hollywood.

Source: Veg News

The Science of Picky Shoppers

Katie Bohn wrote . . . . . . . . .

There are hard-to-please customers in almost every industry, with certain people being picky about which clothes, houses and even romantic partners they will consider.

A new series of studies has found that shopper pickiness can go beyond shopping for the “best” option. The researchers define what it means to be “picky” and also developed a scale for measuring shopper pickiness.

Margaret Meloy, department chair and professor of marketing at Penn State, said the findings could help companies devise the best strategies for satisfying their pickier customers.

“If a company knows they have a lot of picky customers, they may need to change the way they reward salespeople or dedicate specific salespeople to their pickiest customers, because picky shoppers have very narrow preferences and they see perceived flaws in products others wouldn’t notice,” Meloy said. “Alternatively, a company may allow picky shoppers to customize their products to satisfy their idiosyncratic preferences. It’s not just about offering the best products, but offering the products that are best for the picky customers.”

Meloy added that even the most robust promotional strategies, like offering a free gift with purchase, may fail with picky customers.

Previous research has found that about 40% of people have family or friends they would consider “picky,” suggesting the trait is common. The researchers said it might be helpful for retailers to have a better understanding of what being “picky” means for their customer base, and what those customers may need from a product or shopping experience.

Meloy said that while pickiness affects a customer’s shopping habits and therefore affects a company’s business, there hasn’t been much research done on defining pickiness or investigating how it influences a customer’s behavior.

“In marketing, we call customers who want the absolute best version of a product ‘maximizers,’” Meloy said. “But with picky customers, the best is more idiosyncratic. For them, it might not be about getting the best quality, but getting the precise version of a product they have in their head — a shirt in a very precise shade of black, for example. We wanted to explore this a bit more.”

For the paper — recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology — the researchers performed a series of studies to create a scale for measuring shopper pickiness and to identify the consequences of that pickiness on customer behavior.

The first series of studies focused on developing the scale. The researchers said they created a series of questions that would help uncover the psychological dimensions of pickiness while also avoiding using the word “picky,” since the word tends to have negative connotations. Once the researchers were confident the scale accurately measured pickiness, they conducted additional studies to examine the possible consequences of pickiness.

The researchers found that people who scored higher on the picky shopper scale tend to have a small window of what they consider acceptable, which the researchers described as having a small latitude of acceptance and a wide latitude for rejection. These shoppers were more likely to reject a free gift when offered as a thank you for participating in a survey.

“This may seem irrational to some people who may not understand why a person would reject things that come at no cost,” said Andong Cheng, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Delaware who earned her doctorate at Penn State. “We speculate that it could be psychologically costly for picky shoppers to take free items that they don’t like because possessing these items is a source of irritation for these individuals.”

Additionally, the researchers found that picky people didn’t change their opinions based on a product’s popularity. When they were informed that their top choice of a product was less popular than other options, people who scored high on the picky scale weren’t swayed by that information. They stuck with their original selection.

Meloy said the results support the theory that being picky is a general personality trait that isn’t just present in one situation or area of a person’s life.

“We looked at a range of contexts to see whether being picky in one domain meant you were likely to be picky in others,” Meloy said. “Sure enough, individuals who were picky in one domain were picky in other domains. For example, if you tend to be picky while shopping for groceries, you’ll probably be picky shopping for clothes, as well.”

Meloy said the findings also illustrate the importance of a company understanding and tailoring their business practices to their customer base.

“If you know you have a lot of picky customers, you might not want to bother with offering free products or promoting products by saying how popular they are with other people,” Meloy said. “It’s just not going to work as well with picky customers. These companies will need to come up with strategies that give customers more control to better align their idiosyncratic preferences with the company’s offerings.”

Source: The Pennsylvania State University

First Plant-Based Canned Tuna Launched in the Netherlands

Public awareness of the sustainability issues around our oceans and the fishing industry has increased immeasurably since the Seaspiracy documentary, which has given rise to several new innovations and launches in plant-based seafood. One example is Dutch company Seasogood, which has recently launched fish-free canned tuna at Albert Heijn stores in The Netherlands.

Sold under the brand name Happy Tune, this is the first plant-based canned tuna in the country. The product is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and is available in three flavours — Original, Olive Oil, and Lemon & Black Pepper.

According to the company, the Original flavour is ideal in a salade niçoise, the Olive Oil works well on a pizza tonno, and the Lemon & Black Pepper can be used on a bruschetta.

The growth of vegan seafood

The market for plant-based seafood is expected to skyrocket over the next decade, increasing by 13 times to be worth $1.3 billion. Last year, vegan seafood was declared the “next big vegan meat trend“, and German company Hydrosol said it was “just a step away from going mainstream”. Alt-seafood companies worldwide are launching new products and making exciting new developments.

Like many makers of vegan seafood, Seasogood’s founders Pieter Muntendam and Dennis Favier aim to address the sustainability issues caused by overfishing and bycatch.

“The seas have protected us from the biggest impact of global warming,” note the founders. “Now is the time for us to protect the seas.”

Source: Vegconomist

Opioids After Dental Work May Be Dangerous

Getting a prescription for an opioid painkiller from your dentist could put you or your family at risk for an overdose, a new study warns.

The finding is based on an analysis of data from 8.5 million Americans who had teeth pulled or 119 other types of dental work between 2011 and 2018. All had Medicaid or private dental insurance.

“Our paper shows that when patients fill dental opioid prescriptions, the risk of opioid overdose increases both for themselves and their family members,” said study leader Dr. Kao-Ping Chua of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

“This underscores the importance of avoiding dental opioid prescribing when non-opioids like ibuprofen [Motrin] and acetaminophen [Tylenol] are effective options for pain control, as is the case for the majority of dental procedures,” Chua added in a university news release.

Nonetheless, nearly 27% of teens and adults filled a prescription for an opioid painkiller, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, and 2,700 opioid overdoses occurred within 90 days of the dental procedures, the study found.

The overall rate of opioid overdoses was about three for every 10,000 dental procedures, according to the report. But the rate was 2.5 times higher among patients who filled an opioid prescription within three days of their procedure than among those who did not (5.8 versus 2.2 per 10,000).

In 2016 alone, U.S. dentists wrote 11.4 million opioid prescriptions, so the findings suggest that 1,700 overdoses a year could be associated with dental opioid prescriptions, the study authors said.

Family members of dental patients who receive opioid prescriptions are also at risk for overdoses, the findings showed.

The researchers examined data from 3.5 million privately insured dental patients and found that 400 of their family members were treated for opioid overdoses in the 90 days after the patient’s procedure.

The rate was 1.7 per 10,000 procedures among family members of privately insured patients who filled opioid prescriptions, compared with 1 per 10,000 procedures among those who did not. Patients’ children accounted for 42% of the family overdoses, spouses for 25%, and the rest occurred in siblings and parents.

“Our finding of increased overdose risk in family members also shows the importance of emphasizing safe storage and disposal when prescribing opioids to dental patients,” said Chua, a pediatrician at Michigan Medicine and health care researcher at the Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation Research Center in Ann Arbor.

Senior study author Dr. Romesh Nalliah, associate dean for patient services at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, said this is one of the most powerful truths the team unlocked in their “big data” study of dental opioid prescribing. “That when a dentist, like me, prescribes an opioid to a patient I am putting their entire family at risk of overdose,” he said. “Dentists should consider, if the family concerned was yours, would you take that risk?”

The study was published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Source: HealthDay

Eggplant Lasagne


3 medium eggplants, sliced
5 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 (14 oz) cans chopped tomatoes
l tsp dried mixed herbs
6 sheets no pre-cook lasagne
salt and black pepper

Cheese Sauce

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1-1/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp mustard
8 tbsp grated mature Cheddar
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Layer the sliced eggplant in a colander, sprinkling lightly with salt between each layer. Leave to stand for 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry.
  2. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a large pan, fry the eggplant and drain on kitchen paper. Add the remaining oil to the pan, cook the onions for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, herbs, garlic and seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard, cheeses and seasoning.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Arrange half the eggplant in the base of an ovenproof dish, spoon over half the tomato sauce. Arrange three sheets of lasagne on top. Repeat with a second layer.
  5. Spoon over the cheese sauce, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes to brown the crust.
  6. Serve hot with a mixed salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegetarian Classics

Today’s Comic