At Burger King, having it “your way” could soon mean making that whopper 100 percent meat-free.
Starting today, the fast food chain will offer a Whopper made with plant-based “bleeding” patties from Impossible Foods (h/t New York Times). Called the Impossible Whopper, the burger is now available at 59 stores in the St. Louis, Missouri area. If all goes well, the meatless Whopper will eventually be on the menu in all 7,200 Burger King locations in the country. According to CNET, the Impossible version will cost one dollar more than a typical Whopper, making it roughly $5.20 per burger.
Being on the menu of all Burger King’s in the U.S. would be a huge step into the mainstream for Impossible Foods — and meat-like meatless burgers in general. Impossible is already in roughly 6,000 restaurants globally including roughly 380 White Castles and 570 Red Robins. Rolling out to all of Burger King’s locations would double their presence. Beyond Meat, which makes a similar meaty plant-based patty, is on the menus at over 1,000 Carl’s Jr.’s and over 500 Del Taco’s.
Partnering with a place like Burger King means that not only is Impossible growing quickly and going mainstream, but so is the demand for plant-based meat in general. According to the NPD Group, shipments of plant-based protein to foodservice operations increased by 20 percent in 2018 alone.
For Impossible though, the Burger King partnership could help them get more name recognition before they head to retail in 2019. That is, if they can continue to successfully scale up their miracle ingredient, heme, which gives the burgers their trademark “bloody” look and taste, and which Impossible makes through genetically engineered yeast.