Burger King to Sell Plant-Based Impossible Whopper

Ann Santiago
April 3, 2019

This news is not an April Fools hoax, as Burger King aims to become one of the first national fast food restaurants to sell a plant-based burger, according to the company.

The "Impossible Whopper", a vegetarian patty from the start-up Impossible Foods, is the biggest validation - and expansion opportunity - for a young industry that is looking to mimic and replace meat with plant-based alternatives, as noted by The New York Times. "The people you will see here are real people, and these are their real reactions". The sample group featured a handful of self-proclaimed beef lovers, including a guy who claims to have eaten two Whoppers a week for the last 20 years and another who has "turned Burger King into a crime scene a time or two" - whatever that means. Finally, Burger King's buns contain dairy, so vegans might steer clear of the product anyhow.

Starting April 1, 59 Burger King locations in and around St. Louis will be testing the Impossible Whopper, a completely meatless version of BK's most famous burger.

Burger King will run the video online, with paid media support in St. Louis. But Finazzo said research shows consumers are willing to pay more for the plant-based burger.

Impossible Whopper

Chris Finazzo, president of Burger King North America, said the chain is hoping the burger allows "somebody who wants to eat a burger every day, but doesn't necessarily want to eat beef everyday, permission to come into the restaurants more frequently", CNN reported.

If the new burger is a hit, Burger King plans to then introduce it to their customers nationwide. A quarter-pound Impossible patty has just 14 grams of total fat and 240 calories, compared with 23 grams of total fat and 290 calories in a quarter-pound beef patty.

Impossible Burger is a plant-based hamburger patty that "bleeds" like its meat-based counterpart. "Around the taste, around the brand recognition, around the price, all those things were important factors in choosing Impossible", he said.

"I have high expectations that it's going to be a big business, not just a niche product" Mr Machado continued. The company uses heme, an iron-containing protein molecule that they say gives their burgers a taste similar to that of meat. It already offers veggie patties made by Kellogg's MorningStar Farms.

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