Courtesy of Shake Shack
- Shake Shack is launching three plant-based menu options this week.
- The new items include a veggie burger and two desserts with recipes designed by AI.
- The recipes were developed with the food tech startup NotCo and its AI program “Giuseppe.”
While artificial intelligence is already being used to help inspire recipes at home, the technology is now helping fast-food giants like Shake Shack develop new plant-based menu items.
The fast food chain is rolling out a new Veggie Shack burger, non-dairy chocolate shake, and non-dairy frozen custard this week, each designed using AI. The menu items were conceptualized with help from the Jeff Bezos-backed food tech startup NotCo and its AI program “Giuseppe,” which comes up with plant-based alternatives to animal products.
According to the NotCo site, the recipes for the items were created by asking Giuseppe prompts that helps it analyze “the structure of animal-based food at its molecular level and replicate it using only plant-based ingredients.”
“It looks for matched 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.”
The new veggie burger was “born out of testing many different veggie burger iterations” and includes “mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, farro, and quinoa, topped with American cheese, crispy onions, pickles and ShackSauce,” Shake Shack said in a statement. It will be available for purchase beginning on May 5.
NotCo also makes it own line of products including NotMilk, NotBurger, and NotChicken, and the new Shake Shack milkshake options use the company’s non-dairy milk. The shakes became available nationally on May 2 after they were first tested in select markets.
“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,” the Tuesday announcement read.
Shake Shack’s partnership with NotCo began in May 2022 when the company first introduced its dairy-free milkshakes and frozen custards at 10 select locations in the US, Vegan news outlet VegNews reported.
“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, per VegNews.
He added: “Having a tailored NotCo product in Shake Shack stores nationwide is a clear statement of our ability to create elevated tailored-made delicious and profitable versions of products in record time that appeal to the mass market.”