This announcement from Burger King increases confidence that with the right push, innovators can provide the world with cost-effective ways to tackle climate change and create a sustainable food future.
Burger King recently came out with a vegetarian version of their famous whopper burgers, and it was such a success that they are planning to roll it out across the states. the fast-food chain started to test the vegetarian burger on April 1, using a plant-based patty from Impossible Foods. The test took place in St. Louis and "went exceedingly well," a spokesperson for Restaurant Brands International (QSR), Burger King's parent company, said. He also added that the sales of the impossible whopper burgers were complementary to the regular ones, which is exactly what Burger King wants, according to CNN.
The chain is set to target hardcore meat-eaters who wish to introduce more veggies into their meals. The new product is designed to "give somebody who wants to eat a burger every day but doesn't necessarily want to eat beef every day, permission to come into the restaurants more frequently," said Chris Finazzo, president of Burger King North America, to CNN Business when discussing the initial test.
When it comes to taste, the impossible whoppers are supposed to taste just like a regular meaty burger. Unlike veggie burgers, Impossible burger patties are designed to mimic the look and texture of meat when cooked. Impossible burgers have even come out with a new recipe, where the patty is designed to look and taste even more like meat. This is the same version that is being used in Burger King's impossible whoppers.
The company plans to expand to more markets "in the very near future" before making the sandwich available nationally by the end of the year. Burger King had about 7,300 US locations as of last year during closing. Plant-based protein products have such a public interest now because people are now concerned about animal welfare and the environmental impact of factory farming. Also, there are customers who'd rather reduce the intake of meat for health reasons.
The interest in these products only appears to be growing with each passing day. The global market for meat substitutes is expected to grow from an estimated $4.6 billion in 2018 to $6.4 billion by 2023, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. CNN also reports that the impossible burger should soon be out in grocery stores looking just like hamburger meat. You could probably just pick them up and head over and make your own guilt-free impossible burger.
These patties are a bit on the costlier side currently, but within a few years, the far fewer resources they require should make them cheaper than beef, which will enable them to spread around the world. These companies also add they are getting substitutes for other meat and dairy products. By replacing much of the meat we eat in minced and processed form, these innovations can still make it possible to restore large parts of the world's forests.
There is a niche market where there are a lot of people who don't eat meat at all or want to cut down on their meat intake, and this is what enabled such plant-based companies to get a strong start. All said and done, this announcement from Burger King increases confidence that with the right push, innovators can provide the world with cost-effective ways to tackle climate change and create a sustainable food future.