- The plant-based Whopper burger is now available in 25 countries and 2,500 restaurants.
- The Vegetarian Butcher, recently bought by the multinational group Unilever, will supply patties to over 2,500 stores.
U.S. fast food giant Burger King on Monday launched its meat-less burger in Europe—one of the largest product launches in its history—with a hope of capturing a significant slice of an expanding market. The plant-based Whopper burger is now available in 25 countries and 2,500 restaurants after testing in the U.S. and Sweden.
The Burger King rolled out the Rebel Chicken King and Rebel Whopper in Sweden earlier this year and started providing a whopper in the U.S., made with a patty from Impossible Foods Inc. Rival McDonald’s Corp.
Competition has been wide open in the global food industry for alternative proteins woo increasing number of consumers who have embraced a vegan diet for environmental, dietary or ethical reasons.
The Vegetarian Butcher, recently bought by the multinational group Unilever, will supply patties to over 2,500 stores in countries, including Spain, Germany, Poland, Italy. David Shear, president of Burger King and Popeyes EMEA, asserted the relevance of keeping up with the burgeoning demand for plant-based products. Shear hopes that the initial roll out will create a ripple effect and sees it as an expanding category.
Price of the Rebel Whopper will be akin to beef price in Europe, changing the status quo in North America, where vegetarian burger usually is US$ 1-US$1.50 more expensive than meat patties. For example, cost of plant-based Whopper made by Silicon Valley-based Impossible foods for Burger King is normally pegged at US$ 5.59 compared to beef Whopper’s US$ 4.19.
The Burger king had come up with the Rebel menu items in Sweden with the Dutch producer Vivera. Reportedly, Burger King, in partnership with commodities trader Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N), is likely to sell vegetarian burger developed by meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA (MRFG3.SA) in Brazil.