Everyone in the United States will soon have a chance to try plant-based burgers.
- The plant based "Impossible Whopper" by Impossible Foods will be available August 8th nationwide at all Burger Kings.
- The Impossible Burger is one of the most popular "meatless meat" options in the industry.
- Americans are increasingly becoming more interested in alternative options for meat.
Burger King recently announced it will begin selling its meatless Whopper nationwide across the United States on August 8th. This will be the biggest rollout of its kind, concerning "meatless meat" products.
The fast food chain has been selling its plant-based product (by Impossible Foods) locally around St. Louis for the past couple months. It's been a banner year for plant-based protein products and the companies creating them. In the U.S., retail sales have grown 11 percent in the last year.
Impossible Whopper at Burger King
The Impossible Burger in particular has led in this market as one of the fastest growing and most popular products in 2019. The company had been working with the FDA to get approval for a number of additives inside the burger. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the key ingredient heme, an animal compound in meat that gives the bloody look and adds to the iron-rich flavor. Impossible Foods sources this from soy leghemoglobin, which is naturally found in soybean roots.
For Burger King, the product is meant to appeal mostly to flexitarian sensibilities — carnivores looking to expand their meat preferences into the plant-based domain. Vegetarians and vegans are welcome to try it as well.
Burger King's president, Chris Finazzo, says that so far the Impossible Whopper has been doing well and, "It's driven new guests into the restaurant," as well as also bringing back customers that haven't been there for years. "We're really excited to be able to attract that customer."
Customers will be able to get the deal from August 8th to September 1st, with the option to taste test both the original and Impossible Whopper.
Americans’ future is meatless
Burger King hasn't made any plans for putting the Impossible Whopper permanently on its menu yet. The fast food chain will be reviewing the Impossible Whopper's performance over the next few months before making a decision on its permanence. Finazzo has been encouraged by the results so far.
Barclays predicts that the alternative meat industry could be worth $140 billion in the next decade. Impossible Foods is confident that the Whopper will be a great gateway product in the new burgeoning industry.
Impossible Foods has its work cut out for them. Their main competitor Beyond Meat sells meat substitutes to companies such as Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Hortons. Both companies are fighting to dominate the industry. The world's second largest meat processor, Tyson, also debuted a number of new alternative meat products under the Raised & Rooted brand. A new report predicts that by 2040, 60 percent of meat will come from plant-based substitutes and cultured meat.
With the influx of vegan meat replacements, cultured meat and other lab grown alternatives — the future market is going to cater increasingly to this new kind of palate.