The U.S. fast-food industry is having a serious meatless moment in 2019, and a growing number of chains are adding vegan- and vegetarian-friendly meal options to their menus.
Burger King, the second largest U.S. burger chain, will introduce its new 'Impossible Whopper
,' a meatless, plant-based burger patty made by Impossible Foods, to all 7,000 Burger King locations on August 8.
Most fast-food companies aren't looking to attract new vegan and vegetarian consumers, who only make up about 3% of the U.S. market
. In fact, Burger King employees will prepare the Impossible Whopper with the same equipment as regular burgers and chicken items unless customers ask for the order to be cooked separately.
"We’ve heard great feedback and know the Impossible Whopper appeals to both current guests who are already big fans of the Whopper sandwich, as well as new guests who are excited about this new option," stated Chris Finazzo, president of Burger King North America, in a recent press release.
The burger is fine for "flexitarian" carnivores, who are simply looking to eat less meat and shrink their carbon footprint, but may pose a problem for those with allergies or individuals who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
The fast-food giant began testing the meatless Impossible Whoppers at select locations in St. Louis in April, before announcing plans to bring them to stores nationwide. The Impossible Whopper is currently marketed as a special promotion, but the company hopes to make the meatless burgers a permanent menu item.
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