Burger King introduces meatless ‘Rebel’ Whopper to European markets
Fast food chain Burger King introduced the plant-based Impossible Whopper—a vegetarian version of its signature sandwich—this past summer. It began with a few test runs at select locations; it then rolled it out nationally after getting an overwhelmingly positive response from customers. In fact, the Impossible Whopper has been such a hit that Burger King is now introducing the vegetarian “Rebel” Whopper throughout Europe. It is also developing more plant-based items for its US locations, including a new Impossible Burger and an Impossible Whopper Jr., according to CNN.
Nobody anticipated the success of the Impossible Whopper, including Burger King itself. CNN reports that on a recent call analyzing third quarter results for Burger King’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International, CEO José Cil described the Impossible Whopper as a “huge hit” that “has quickly become one of the most successful product launches in Burger King’s history.” Which is saying a lot.
The Impossible Whopper has driven more customers into Burger Kings around the country. Third quarter sales at American locations reportedly increased by 5 percent, the largest increase for the company since 2015. CNN writes:
“The Impossible Whopper helped drive the increase by both drawing in new or lapsed customers. And because people who buy Impossible Whoppers are often meat eaters, they treat the meatless option as an addition to — rather than a replacement of — their regular Burger King orders.”
The European Rebel Whopper, made by a company called The Vegetarian Butcher, got its first trial recently in Sweden; it has since been made available in nearly 2,500 restaurants around Europe.
Vegetarianism and veganism are growing exponentially around the world as people become more conscious of the ethical, environmental and health implications of meat production and consumption. According to an analysis by Barclays, the plant-based meat market could account for 10 percent of the global meat industry ten years from now.