Burger King tests out 'Impossible Whopper'

Muriel Colon
April 3, 2019

The product will be served for a limited time at 59 store locations in and near St. Louis, according to the company, though it didn't say how long the Impossible Whopper will be on its menu. If successful, the vegetarian creation could soon go nationwide.

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 - which will feature the same bun, cheese and condiments as a traditional Whopper - is being trialed in 60 restaurants, with a potential expansion to the other 7,100 United States locations later in the year if the trial goes well.

If someone had told you just five years ago that Burger King would unveil a meat-free whopper, you'd probably never have believed them.

Fernando Machado, Burger King's chief marketing officer, told the New York Times of the new Impossible Whopper that even fans who know the traditional beef Whopper inside and out "struggle to differentiate which one is which". Its Burger King pilot, for which it produced a tailor-made patty, is the group's biggest deal yet.

The Impossible Whopper has mayonnaise, which can be omitted by request, and is cooked on a surface shared with conventional meat. Today, plant-based living is more popular than ever due to increased awareness surrounding meat's devastating impact on health, the planet, and animal rights.

Finazzo noted that there is now "a lot of interest in plant-based burgers". A genetically modified yeast creates the key ingredient, called heme, which makes the patties appear to bleed and taste like real meat. Beyond Meat counts actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Microsoft founder Bill Gates as investors. "Around the taste, around the brand recognition, around the price, all those things were important factors in choosing Impossible", he said. Impossible has been making inroads in Asia as well.

He added: "We're having conversations with several of the big chains about plant-based options and most of those conversations are under NDAs, but there is certainly interest from some of the largest players".

Is it commercially viable for the top fast-food chains to stock a plant-based option?

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