Burger Love isn't just about beef anymore
The popular April campaign will now allow fish, poultry, vegetarian burgers
The organizers of P.E.I.'s Burger Love campaign are allowing chefs and restaurants to create a burger from more than just ground beef for the first time in the event's 10-year history.
Burger Love began as a promotion for Island beef, with restaurants vying for the most popular hamburger. But this year, anything local goes.
"The way that we see it is Burger Love is a community event, it's something that brings people together, it encourages Islanders to travel across the Island and go to communities they might not go to or in a restaurant they may have never set foot in before," said Melody Dover of Fresh Media, which helped create the popular April campaign.
"It's also an opportunity to bring more people to P.E.I. So we really just wanted to share that love of local and that support that we've seen."
'A tremendous benefit'
Dover said the aim is to grow the success the campaign has seen over the years.
"The benefit over the last nine years with Island beef has been tremendous. We're really proud to see that not only have restaurants not just jumped on board with Burger Love, but they're carrying Island beef and recognizing it on their menu year-round and that's been a tremendous benefit," she said.
"We've seen so many industries that could benefit from Burger Love right? And there's also an opportunity to bring more people to the table. Our pescatarian friends who maybe only eat fish ... our hog producers with pork, poultry, chicken, turkey, vegetarians. So we really just wanted to share that love of local and that support that we have witnessed over the last nine years."
Dover said there's no obligation to create a non-beef burger — that decision will be up to the individual restaurants. And they'll also be allowed to submit two entries this year if they wish.
Dover said the Cattle Producers Association of P.E.I., previously the title sponsor of the event, was contacted several weeks ago.
"They're a little disappointed," she said. "But they understand that this can be a benefit for agriculture and fisheries and really across the board."
A spokesperson for the association would only say that they are still working on sponsorship details. And while no longer title sponsor of Burger Love, sponsorship details will be a topic of discussion with members at upcoming district meetings this week.
Dover said the response from the public has so far been positive.
Last year, 85 restaurants across the Island took part in Burger Love.