If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then seeing a generic, store-brand version of your breakthrough food product at the grocery store means it must be here to stay

That's where we're at now with plant-based meats on Thursday after grocery store giant Kroger announced a new label for its more than 2,700 food stores dubbed Simple Truth Plant Based.

Simple Truth-branded products represent Kroger's attempt to get fans of natural and organic foods to buy the store brand's offerings instead. Think of them as premium generics. 

Now the Simple Truth lineup includes plant-based burger patties and sausages.

You know a trend is for real when a generic version of the product lands on the shelves. 

Or, as Kroger's Gil Phipps put it on stage at the Good Food Conference in San Francisco where the announcement was made:

"As more of our customers embrace a flexitarian lifestyle, choosing to prioritize healthier food choices and reduce their environmental footprint, we are excited to meet their needs."

The Simple Truth Plant Based collection includes a wide array of meatless options beyond just burgers and links, such as fake ham and turkey deli slices, pasta sauces and dips.

"It's a defining moment when America's largest grocer launches an entire collection of plant-based meat and dairy products and is clear proof that plant-based has truly gone mainstream," said Bruce Friedrich, The Good Food Institute Executive Director.

The announcement comes on the heels of plant-based meats making it on to the menus of fast food juggernauts like Burger King and Subway

When KFC offered plant-based chicken at a single store in Georgia, the fake nuggets and wings sold out in just a few hours. 

Kroger already offers plant-based burgers from the biggest name brands including Beyond Meat, but as a frequent Simple Truth shopper, I can attest that adding an in-house patty will almost certainly mean two things: The generic version will be significantly cheaper... and it probably won't be nearly as good as the original.