If one of your New Year’s resolutions included eating less meat, you won’t have to cross Carl’s Jr. off your list. The fast-food chain announced today that it has partnered with plant-based meat company Beyond Meat to make a “flexitarian” version of their Famous Star burger.
The Beyond Famous Star burger will contain a quarter pound of Beyond’s “beef,” cooked in Carl’s Jr.’s signature charbroil style. It will presumably also have lettuce, tomatoes, onions, dill pickles, special sauce (ketchup + sweet relish), and mayo (though whether or not the mayo will be vegan isn’t clear).
A regular Famous Star burger will set you back $4.09, without cheese. The Beyond Famous Star burger will be available in 1,000+ Carl’s Jr. locations in 2019 and will cost $6.29.
$6.29?? That’s pretty pricey for a fast food burger, even one that clocks in at a sizeable quarter pound. For comparison, the Impossible Foods’ plant-based slider at White Castle will only set you back $1.99. To be fair, it only contains half as much “meat” as the Beyond Famous Star burger and doesn’t have the LTO, but it costs less than a third of the price.
Fast-food diners at White Castle were apparently open to ponying up an extra dollar to go plant-based, and the Impossible slider has now rolled out at locations across the U.S. But there’s no guarantee that Carl’s Jr. patrons will shell out over two bucks more to make their Famous Star burger vegan.
Regardless, the move shows that Beyond is prepped for some serious expansion. This news comes a few months after the company inked its first U.S. fast-food chain partnership with Del Taco. (Their plant-based burgers are already available in Canada’s A&W chain). However, Beyond is currently available in just over twenty Del Taco locations — its partnership with Carl’s Jr. would massively ramp up its fast-food presence, allowing it to better compete with plant-based frenemy Impossible Foods, who is planning to launch in retail next year.
These new partnerships will equate to much higher product demand, so hopefully Beyond Meat has moved on from its past supply chain issues. If it can pull off this partnership, no doubt we’ll be seeing Beyond burgers on more and more fast-food menus — and maybe even someday the Golden Arches?