On April 1st, Burger King launched their newest burger, The Impossible Whopper. The Burger is a twist on the Burger King classic Whopper, and the twist is that it’s meat-free. The burger’s patty is made in collaboration with the ever-famous Impossible Foods who claim to produce plant-based meat that feels and tastes exactly like its animal counterpart. In this case, that counterpart is the Whopper patty.
Burger King is now testing out the Impossible Whopper in all its St. Louis locations with the intention to soon make it available in all US branches.
A decade ago, at the beginning of my vegetarianism that later turned to veganism, Burger King’s Bean Burger was one of the few vegetarian junk food options I could get in Turkey. Now, there is an overwhelming amount of options for an unhealthy vegetarian with a penchant for ordering in.
In hindsight, maybe a global chain like Burger King serving a vegetarian option, especially in a country like Turkey where meat is a huge part of the cuisine and the culture, was a sign of vegetarianism's inevitable rise. And now, that global chain is not only adopting plant-based meat, they are doing it with a version of their signature dish.
The Bean Burger was very tasty but it was never presented as an 'alternative' to Burger King's meat options. It was marketed as the option for vegetarians and vegans who want to eat something other than fries. It's clear, however, that the audience for the Impossible Whopper is not just vegans and vegetarians but also, maybe even mainly, meat eaters.
The commercial Burger King launched the burger with focuses on 'fooling' meat lovers and self-proclaimed Whopper aficionados with the plant-based patty. People claim "If it's not beef [they] don't want it. Yet they think the Impossible Whopper is the real thing. It's a sign of change from trying to convince people to choose the vegetarian option to people just picking the meatless one because it's as good and even better than the meat option.
To me, this small development is part of hundreds of signs that point to the rise of plant-based 'meat' and a swift move away from animal proteins. Hopefully, in a decade, I'll be writing about when Burger King launched its first plant-based burger and laugh about the times when animal protein was a thing.