When it comes to breakfast, Burger King diners will soon be able to have it their way with meatless Impossible sausage.
Last night at CES, Impossible Foods unveiled its plant-based pork, its second product since it launched its meatless “bleeding” beef in 2016. (We tasted it, and it was awesome.) Amid samples of meatless banh mi and dumplings, the company dropped one more doozy of an announcement: It had also developed plant-based pork sausage, which would start selling at select Burger King locations later this month.
Impossible sausage, which is essentially a pre-seasoned, pre-formed patty of its plant-based pork, will feature in the Burger King Impossible Croissan’wich, which will also include egg and cheese (so it’s not vegan). It will hit the menus of 139 Burger Kings in Savannah, Georgia; Lansing, Michigan; Springfield, Illinois; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Montgomery, Alabama starting on January 13. Pricing was not disclosed, though it’s worth noting that the Burger King’s Impossible Whopper is priced at only $1 more than a meaty Whopper.
This move is almost a no-brainer for Burger King. The fast-food chain has benefitted from media buzz plus increased foot traffic and check size ever since it unveiled the Impossible Whopper back in August 2019. It’s no wonder that the fast-food giant wanted to expand that popularity to its breakfast menu.
It’s also a way for them to challenge Dunkin’, which rolled out its Beyond Breakfast Sandwich nationwide a full three months ahead of schedule due to high demand. As I’ve noted before, breakfast is a lucrative, relatively un-crowded space primed for plant-based products. 2019 may have been the year many fast-food restaurants introduced meatless burgers, but I think 2020 will be the year they expand the offerings to vegan sausage, eggs, etc. Impossible also has an advantage since Burger King is a national chain, while Dunkin’ is mainly on the East Coast.
Those eager to try the Impossible Croissan’wich will have to hope that Impossible won’t run into production issues, which the startup has struggled with in the past. Impossible is very aware of the risk. At CES Pat Brown admitted to the audience that “production capacity is our biggest challenge right now,” but was confident that the company wouldn’t face a shortage again.
That remains to be seen, as does the quality of the Impossible Croissan’wich. But what’s not in question is that breakfast is a hot play for the meatless market — and Impossible/BK are smart to tap into it sooner rather than later.