If you had asked Burger King twenty years ago if it would consider investing in a menu of plant-based meat products, the chain would probably tell you that was, well, impossible.
But the past three years have seen significant developments in that arena from the chain. The King of flame-broiled beef patties worked with plant-based giant Impossible Foods to bring some of the first mainstream meat-alternative burgers to the market. And now, it has two new plant-based releases in store—the Impossible King and Impossible Southwest Bacon Whopper.
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The new burgers will become available nationwide on June 27. The Impossible King will feature a flame-grilled plant-based patty topped with American cheese, sliced white onions, crunchy pickles, ketchup, and mustard on a toasted sesame seed bun. It will be part of a 2 for $6 Mix n' Match promotion.
The Impossible Southwest Bacon Whopper features an avocado spread, seasoned tortilla strips, crispy bacon, and a creamy spicy sauce.
The Southwest Impossible burger is part of a lineup of Southwest Bacon Whoppers, including a Southwest Bacon Whopper Jr. and a Double Southwest Bacon Whopper. All the burgers feature the same ingredients but will have traditional beef patties rather than Impossible patties.
The new Whoppers are a continuation of Burger King's well-established journey into plant-based fast food. The chain's iconic Impossible Whopper was rolled out nationally in August of 2019. It generated a lot of excitement from both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Burger King also had a short test run with Impossible Nuggets in 2021.
Because Burger King's sales have struggled to get back to pre-pandemic levels, these new Impossible releases could be a way to recapture some of the buzz generated by the original Impossible Whopper, which managed to increase foot traffic and sales during its nationwide launch. In fact, Burger King saw some of its strongest sales in years right after the nationwide rollout of the plant-based option, according to Restaurant Dive.
Plant-based options are becoming increasingly popular as a growing number of fast-food and fast-casual chains experiment with adding meat alternatives to the menu. Qdoba, Red Robin, Starbucks, Chipotle, White Castle, BurgerFi, and Carl's Jr., have all released either a Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods addition to their menus–with White Castle leading the pack as the first chain to do so in 2018.
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