Smashburger, the US burger franchise, is preparing to launch a next-generation meat substitute burger in its UK estate, MCA understands.

The Not Beef Burger Co is set to trail a new burger at some of the UK business’ eight-strong estate in the coming weeks.

It is described as a beef-like alternative for vegetarians, vegans, as well as Halal, Kosher or diabetic diets, which has the texture of beef, but cooks in one minute.

Not Beef Burger Co, which was incorporated in April 2018, is led by Smashburger UK managing director Tracy Gehlan.

Gehlan is a former vice president and chief operating officer of Burger King EMEA.

Last week Dirty Bones emerged as one of the first non-vegetarian operators to introduce a next-generation meat imitation burger with Moving Mountains, which was previously available at Mildred’s.

Meanwhile US brand Beyond Meat is set to launch its pea protein ‘beyond burger’ in the UK grocery and foodservice markets after agreeing a distribution deal with The Authentic Food Co.