Burger King’s menu is officially plant-based. Or at least it was for a test day, in Austria. The fast-food giant launched a unique campaign called “Meat Optional”, requiring customers to specifically request the meat-based Whopper patties instead of the plant-based variant when ordering. The campaign aimed to reverse the accepted custom that meat patties are standard and instead made the plant-based burger the regular menu burger.
Burger King has recorded customer reactions in a short film that will accompany the campaign. The big fast food company has led the industry into a new plant-based era that frequently places plant-based options at the forefront of their business. From now on, Austrian customers will be faced with the question: “Do you want a regular dish or a meat dish?”
“With this question, we want to stimulate social debate and show that our plant-based alternatives taste confusing,” said Jan-Christoph Küster, group marketing director TQSR (Austrian master franchisee of BK), in a statement.
“Meat is one option, but it’s not the only one. We leave it up to our customers to decide what is normal for them. Not everyone should have to taste the same.
Video reveals most customers responded positively At the question. Burger King’s new campaign closely follows its claim that one in three of its burgers sold in Belgium is vegetarian. The company is testing customer feedback to gauge the success of a plant-based menu on an ongoing basis, especially as several European branches shift more towards the plant-based sector. Burger King UK has even claimed that its menu will be 50% plant-based by 2030.
“At Burger King, we make meatless fun a permanent fixture. on our menu, because meat is no longer natural for everyone”, Küster. “With the provocative question ‘Normal or meat?’ we want to show that we take our customers and their needs seriously. Because now we also serve almost all of our range [as plant-based].”
Burger King is going plant-based worldwide
Burger King is leading the fast food industry to new plant-based frontiers. Since launching the Impossible Whopper in 2019, the international fast food company has expanded its plant-based development around the world, particularly in Europe. Ahead of the Austrian campaign, Burger King is introducing plant-based options to locations in France, Germany, Belgium and more with help from The Vegetarian Butcher.
Last June, the beloved burger chain opened two plant-based concepts in Switzerland, serving all-plant-based menus in Basel and Geneva. For about a week, the two plant-based pop-ups served 14 vegan dishes, including Long Vegetal, Veggie Whopper, Veggie Nuggets and several Cajun-style offerings.
Among the major fast-food brands, Burger King is the only company to open all-vegan locations or standardize on plant-based meat. The chain also opened an all-vegetarian site in Spain called Vurger King and held a month-long vegan pop-up in London in March.
Vegan fast food in the United States
Burger King’s commitment to plant-based development is helping the entire industry shift to more sustainable options. The entire vegan fast food market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2028. Several fast food brands have launched plant-based trials or permanent menu items, including McDonald’s McPlant or Panda Express’ Beyond The Original Orange Chicken.
As major fast food chains lead the way in plant-based alternatives, the United States has seen a spike in regional vegan chains. California fast food brands Plant Power Fast Food and Noomo have partnered with franchise agencies to make their national debuts. In the Northeast, Valeries will open the first exclusively vegan drive-thru in the tri-state. In no time, customers will have access to affordable and tasty vegan options – and eventually, these could become the norm.
For more plant-based events, check out The Beet’s News articles.
The 6 best fast food chains with plant-based options on the menu
Fast food restaurants have finally gotten the message that their customers don’t just come for a burger, fried chicken or beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and come up with creative and delicious ways to add more greens to the menu. Here are the 6 best fast food chains with plant-based options on the menu.