New York CNN Business  — 

Dr. Praeger’s, known for making veggie burgers that taste like veggie burgers, is expanding into fake meat.

The company has started selling the “Perfect Burger,” a meatless burger designed to taste and look like meat, in a bid to offer more options to its customers and add a healthier alternative to the fake meats currently on the market.

The new product, which could serve as a competitor to Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods’ meatless patties, may also help Dr. Praeger’s cash in on demand for realistic alternatives to meat. By 2023, the US meat-substitute retail market could reach $2.5 billion, according to the research firm Euromonitor International.

Interest in Beyond Meat and Impossible’s products have surged as consumers try to reduce their meat intakes for health and environmental reasons. Beyond reported first-quarter sales of $40.2 million, up 215% from the same period a year before, and Impossible, which doesn’t release exact revenue figures, says its sales have spiked 50% since the launch of its new patty in January.

Dr. Praeger's Perfect Burger.

Larry Praeger, CEO of Dr. Praeger’s, said that the company has been working on its fake meat burger for about a year and a half. Like Beyond Meat’s product, the Perfect burger is made from pea protein. But it also includes other vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots.

With the new product, Dr. Praeger’s wanted to “improve upon the nutritionals,” compared to current competitors, said Praeger. A four-ounce serving of the Perfect Burger has less sodium than a comparable serving of Beyond’s and Impossible’s product. It also has less fat than a four-ounce serving of Beyond Meat.

Adding vegetables to protein is a trend that real meat sellers are exploring, as well.

Tyson, one of the world’s biggest meat producers, recently announced a blended burger of its own, made with real beef and vegetables. And Perdue, a poultry-processing company, also recently introduced a new type of blended protein product: Chicken nuggets, tenders and patties that contain vegetables.

The Perfect Burger is already being sold to Dr. Praeger’s foodservice clients, Praeger said. By the end of the year, it should be available in about 1,000 restaurants or food sellers, he added. Eventually, Dr. Praeger’s plans to sell the product on grocery shelves.