This idea just didn't sit well with Steve Gold
, so he
set out to develop a burger that could offer consumers the best of both worlds - and Cluck 'n Moo burgers were born.
is a food-business veteran, working on sales and marketing in the industry off and on for more than 40 years.
last 22-year stretch, he
worked on the launch and ongoing marketing of Murray's Chicken
Gold is now the CEO of Cluck Inc., West Nyack, NY, working full-time making tasty, healthy burgers a reality.
"A burger can be healthy and taste good at the same time," Gold
says that burger substitutes, such as turkey burgers or non-meat vegetarian offerings, aren't truly substitutes for burgers.
"People eat them instead of real burgers, but no one is claiming that they taste the same or as good as traditional burgers," he
"They just eat them because they want a healthier option."
"We want the Cluck
'n Moo brand to end up as a household name."
- Steve Gold, Cluck 'n Moo creator.
decided that combining beef and chicken would be a great way to cut down on the fat content, while keeping the meat flavor in the burger (Cluck 'n Moo burgers are 100-percent meat, no fillers or non-protein additives).
"I knew no one had tried combining beef and chicken in a burger before so I decided to give it a shot," he
The next stage of the process was some unofficial focus groups - Gold
served the burgers to his
friends and neighbors while watching the Giants play in the play-offs on Sundays.
"I never told them specifically what I was serving them, they just knew it was a burger.
They loved them - some say it was the best burger they'd ever had," he
"After the third week of serving friends my burgers, I finally told them what it was and they were pleasantly shocked and surprised and thrilled about how something so good tasting could be so healthy."
Sweetsboro, NJ-based Rastelli Foods
is processing and packaging the product.
"I worked with them in the past," Gold
Rastelli uses existing equipment, set up to Gold's
proprietary product specifications, to make the burgers.
Cluck 'n Moo burgers are packaged in vacuum-packaged film and merchandised in a bright-green box featuring the Cluck 'n Moo chicken and cow characters.
Four, 4-oz. burgers come in one box.
The price averages $6.99 to $7.99 per box.
"Stores are selling it at a price similar to other grass-fed beef burgers they're selling," Gold
"Re-orders were even a success - people who bought it the first time they tried it were coming back and buying it again," Gold
In April, the product was launched in Publix stores in New York and some other independent retailers in the area.
"We're doing about 10 demos a weekend and five to six demos during the week," he
"Demos are the most expensive way to market a product, but it's the most cost-effective way to get people to try it."
explains that there's nothing tricky to cooking a Cluck 'n Moo burger - you just grill it as you would any other all-beef patty.
Because it does contain chicken, there is a USDA recommendation to cook the product to 165°F (instead of the typical 160°F for all-beef burgers).
"No one really minds cooking it that extra 5 degrees to 165 because it still remains very moist," Gold
"It's still napkin-wiping delicious."
Currently, the burgers are sold as a fresh, vacuum-sealed product, but there are plans to merchandise nationwide, which will require the product be sold frozen.
Frozen product is available now, but because it's being marketed to consumers who are looking for a niche product (grass-fed beef and antibiotic-free chicken), Gold
says customers prefer the product fresh.
Cluck 'n Moo plans to produce and merchandise a commodity line of burgers soon (possibly as soon as September), as well as ground product sold in chubs, which should also be available in the fall.
There are also plans to sell the product to colleges, universities, private schools and health-care facilities.
"I feel like there are a lot of options for this company and this product line," Gold