Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Impossible’ meatless patty gets Burger King Whopper test

Published

on

Vegetarian burgers may finally be getting the recognition they need to go mainstream. On Monday Burger King and Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods announced the rollout of the Impossible Whopper in 59 stores in and around St. Louis, Missouri.

To mark the launch on April Fool’s day, the burger giant released a hidden-camera-style promo video showing the serving of plant-based Whoppers instead of meat to customers who marvel that they cannot tell the difference.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We wanted to make sure we had something that lived up to the expectations of the Whopper,” said Burger King’s North America president, Christopher Finazzo. “We’ve done sort of a blind taste test with our franchisees, with people in the office, with my partners on the executive team, and virtually nobody can tell the difference.”

The Impossible Whopper comes at an extra cost – about a dollar more than the beef patty Whopper. But Finazzo said research shows consumers are willing to pay more for the plant-based burger.

Plant-based meat substitutes have been gaining popularity as more attention is focused on the environmental hazards of industrial ranching. Finazzo said his research shows customers mainly like it for the health benefits. The Impossible Burger patty has zero cholesterol.

Impossible Foods, based in Redwood City, California, launched its first faux meat patty over two years ago. A genetically modified yeast creates the key ingredient, called heme, which makes the patties appear to bleed and taste like real meat.

Burger King is not the first to serve up a no-meat burger. Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat in early January announced it was rolling out its plant-based burger at fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. Beyond Meat counts actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Microsoft founder Bill Gates as investors. It filed for an initial public offering in November.

ADVERTISEMENT

Finazzo said Burger King also researched Beyond Meat, but decided that Impossible Foods’, which also counts Gates as an investor, offering was a better fit. “Around the taste, around the brand recognition, around the price, all those things were important factors in choosing Impossible,” he said.

Impossible Foods tailored a patty specifically for the Whopper, Chief Executive Pat Brown said.

“We’re now in well over 6,000 restaurants. If the Burger King launch is as successful as I expect it to be, and we go nationwide, that will add more than 7,000 restaurants that serve the Impossible Burger,” Brown said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Impossible also counts Google Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures and Singapore-based investment firm Temasek as investors. Impossible has been making inroads in Asia as well.

Last year total U.S. retail sales of plant-based meat substitutes grew over 23 percent to exceed $760 million, according to Nielsen sales data analyzed by The Good Food Institute, a non-profit promoting plant-based alternatives to animal products.

ADVERTISEMENT

Burger King rivals, food conglomerates and meat packers are cooking up more plant-based burgers. McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest fast-food chain, sells soy-based burgers in Finland and Sweden. Tyson Foods has a stake in Beyond Meat.

Nestle S.A. is planning to debut its “Incredible Burger” soon in Europe. Unilever Plc late last year announced its acquisition of The Vegetarian Butcher to build out its plant-based portfolio.

Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee; Editing by Leslie Adler and Susan Thomas

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Colbert names Trump’s siege on DC the ‘Tinyman Square’ incident

Published

on

It wasn't quite Tiananmen Square, where a still-unknown number of Chinese protesters were murdered by the government in 1989, but it was the closest thing President Donald Trump managed to score this week.

After watching the footage of the military tear gas, beat and shoot at protesters so Trump could march from the presidential bunker to St. John's Church for the cameras.

"It was like Tiananmen Square," Colbert deemed. "Except, in Trump's case, Tinyman Square."

Trump claimed on "The Fox & Friends" that no one was tear-gassed, so it's unclear what was stinging people's eyes and making them cough, choke and tear up. The Park Police released a statement saying it wasn't tear gas. While the moment was captured on video from dozens of different camera angles, one protester actually grabbed a canister of Oleoresins Capiscum, or "OC," the gas that was used.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Vladimir Putin must love watching the US fall apart: columnist

Published

on

New Yorker columnist Susan Glasser made the astute observation that if Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to destabilize the United States with the election of President Donald Trump, he's clearly achieved his objective.

It was reported in March that Russian intelligence services are working to incite violence using white supremacist groups to try and sow racial chaos in the United States ahead of the November election.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Conservative columnist links all Republicans to the attack on Lafayette Square

Published

on

Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump decided to walk across Lafayette Square for a photo-op. To get there, however, it took an outright battle with mounted park police, police covered in body armor and rattled Secret Service members who had just rushed the president to the bunker several nights before. Armed with semi-automatic weapons and military gear, they staged a siege on Lafayette Square against unarmed hippies, woke whites and people of color, again, forced to fight for justice.

Writing for the Washington Post Wednesday, conservative columnist Max Boot attacked Attorney General Bill Barr, who accepted responsibility for demanding that demonstrators be tear-gassed, beaten and shot with rubber bullets. Like Bull Conor ordering fire hoses on students marching in Birmingham, Alabama, Barr's attack on Lafayette Square for a photo-op proved he is willing to do what it takes to stroke the fractured ego of a president forced to cower in a bunker.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image