On April 1 (and no, this wasn’t a prank), Burger King began testing its new vegetarian burger. Their plant-based patty, from the startup company Impossible Foods, is meant to closely mimic Burger King’s regular Whopper.
Impossible Foods does so by making their patties from heme, a protein taken from soybean roots that has a similar texture to meat.
Because it looks and tastes just like meat, the Impossible Whopper is geared more towards health or environmentally conscious meat-eaters than vegetarians.
Burger King even ran an “Impossible taste test” on self-proclaimed beef lovers, to see if they could tell that the burger they were eating was actually 0% beef.
The test run in 59 St. Louis-based branches went so well, with sales for the Impossible Whopper “complementing the traditional Whopper purchases.”
According to a spokesperson from Restaurant Brands International, Burger King’s parent company, Burger King wants to make the Impossible Whopper available nationally by the end of 2019. That’s 7,2000 fast-food joints.
This move by Burger King represents the rapidly growing popularity and profitability of the meatless burger movement.
According to a CNN Business article, the global market for meat substitutes will grow to $6.4 billion by 2023. Eventually, the market could reach $35 billion in the US, according to Impossible Foods’ competitor, Beyond Meat.
This is huge. If the meat substitute industry continues to increase in scale, it could save countless animals from the cruel conditions of factory farms, and even help fight global warming.
FYI: Cows produce methane, which is a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide.
The Impossible Whopper. Burger King’s new product alliance with Impossible Burger sells a product with 0% beef. That’s a big deal. https://t.co/9GSCJY0gPR
— Frank Mitloehner (@GHGGuru) April 3, 2019
Also, Burger King isn’t alone in adding vegetarian options to their menu. Last year, the Canadian chain A&W started offering the “Beyond Burger,” which was a huge success.
Following the lead, European-based McDonald’s started offering a vegan McBurger and McNuggets. Although the US branches have resisted following suit. Plus, other chains like Qdoba and Quesada are offering meatless tacos and burritos.
I never thought I’d say this, but maybe fast-food chains are going to save us all.