Shake Shack Launches 3 Plant-Based Menu Options Nationwide

The QSR used AI to create a non-dairy shake and custard.

May 04, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Shake Shack is adding new plant-based offerings to its menu at all 260 locations nationwide, reports Business Insider. The QSR is introducing a veggie burger, non-dairy chocolate custard and non-dairy chocolate shake.

Shake Shack partnered with food tech startup NotCo on the plant-based shake and custard. NotCo used Guiseppe, its artificial intelligence program, which ideates plant-based alternatives to animal-based foods.

"Our non-dairy chocolate shake and non-dairy frozen custard are made with NotMilk, a sustainable, plant-based beverage that tastes, cooks, and blends just like milk from our friends at NotCo," Shake Shack said in a statement.

To make products, Guiseppe is given prompts that allows it to analyze "the structure of animal-based food at its molecular level and replicate it using only plant-based ingredients," according to the NotCo site.

"It looks for matches in flavor, texture, nutrition and functionality, among other characteristics," the site reads. "Each recipe is different and there are some that match better than others."

Shake Shack said its veggie burger was "born out of testing many different veggie burger iterations." The burger patty is made up of mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, farro and quinoa, topped with American cheese, crispy onions, pickles and ShackSauce.

Veg News reports that the QSR began its partnership with NotCo in May 2022, testing its dairy-free milkshakes and frozen custards at 10 select locations in the U.S.

"Partnering up with Shake Shack used to be a dream of mine and one of the most ambitious milestones for NotCo," Matias Muchnick, CEO and co-founder of NotCo, said in a statement.

Plant-based meats continue to grow in popularity, fueling speculation this could be the next quick-service food battle, as plant-based foods will grab an increasingly larger share of menus, diets and to-go orders, with growth predicted from $29.4 billion in 2020 to more than $162 billion by 2030.

NACS Magazine explored the plant-based trend in “Plant-Based Food Takes Root.”