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Boca Burger is a veggie burger made chiefly from soy protein and wheat gluten; it is a registered trademark of the Boca Foods Company, a subsidiary of Kraft Foods. Like all of Boca Foods' products, Boca Burgers serve as a meat analogue. Although most of Boca products are vegetarian and may include animal-derived ingredients such as dairy products, some of them are vegan. As of summer 2008, Boca Burgers are not available outside North America, and there are no current plans to offer them internationally.
The Boca Foods Company began in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1979 with the vegetarian "Sun Burger". Over the next decade, more burgers were introduced, as well as meatless versions of ground beef, chicken nuggets, various toppings on pizza, chili, lasagna, and sausages. Organic versions of some Boca products appeared in 2001.
Kraft Foods, the nation's largest packaged foods company, announced in early 2000 that it had reached agreement to purchase Boca Burger, Inc., a privately held manufacturer and marketer of soy-based meat alternatives. The announcement was made when Kraft Foods was represented by Gordon James and Clifford A. Wolff. The products are sold nationally through retail grocery and club stores, natural foods stores and food service channels nationwide. Boca Burger, based in Chicago, Illinois, had 1999 revenues of about $40 million, almost double the previous year. By 2002, sales had grown to $70 million per year.
Based on the scientific evidence in more than 50 studies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized the relationship between the consumption of soy protein and reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Most of Boca Burger's products are eligible to make a heart-healthy claim authorized by the FDA.
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Boca Foods has been criticized for using eggs which come from hens confined in battery cages in its product line. In February 2009, animal protection groups Compassion Over Killing, Mercy for Animals, and Animal Protection and Rescue League launched a campaign urging consumers to ask Boca to remove the eggs from its product recipes. On March 18, 2009, a spokesperson from Boca Foods e-mailed Compassion Over Killing and confirmed that all Boca products will be completely egg-free by the year 2010.
As of early 2011, all Boca products are egg-free.
- Boca Burger Frequently Asked Questions
- Sachdev, Ameet (May 7, 2002). "Boca helps fatten Kraft sales". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- http://cok.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/cok-magazine-23.pdf Compassion Over Killing magazine, WInter 2010 issue (Pg. 3 of 16)