Hospitality

To Beef or Not to Beef: 1 in 5 Americans are Keen on Burger King’s ‘Impossible Whopper’

Image Credit: Burger King

Burger King’s announcement Monday was no April Fools’ Day goof; the fast food chain really is testing out the meatless, ‘Impossible Burger’ at certain locations in the St. Louis area. The Impossible Whopper, as it will be deemed at the chain, is no new thing, nor your average veggie burger. It’s a plant-based patty (pea-protein to be exact) by Impossible Foods that mimics real meat texture and taste. It’s already available at around 6,000 different restaurants / retailers around the country, but bringing this item to mainstream fast food is a huge milestone for Burger King.

In the 24+ hours since the announcement, a CivicScience study found the following results around interest in trying the Impossible Whopper.

About 1 in 5 of Americans (18%) are likely to give it a try. That’s no joke.

It’s not just vegetarians, either. Over 70% of those who want to try the burger are not meat-free eaters.

And this is kind of Burger King’s point: give people more menu options, because you may not want to eat meat daily. Those who want to try it find significantly more value in diverse menu options than those who aren’t likely to.

It’s clear that health is a driving factor to adopt a meatless trend, as those who are likely to try this new menu item are more likely to exercise than those who are not interested.

The move appears smart in another way: new foot traffic. The interested parties aren’t just regular fast food diners, though fast food frequenters are slightly more likely to be interested in the new burger. Looking at the type of restaurant people frequent the most, people who eat at all different styles of restaurants are Impossible Whopper intenders. Fast-casual diners are more likely to answer ‘likely’, and in fact, upscale dinners (those who most frequently eat at upscale restaurants) are twice as likely to want to try the new meatless Whopper.

The study also found that people who buy local food are more likely than others to want to try the new offering.

In terms of age, interest is pretty widespread: Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to try the Impossible Whopper, equally.  Overall, women are more likely to want to try the offering, too.

This all adds up to possibly big success for Burger King, and new territory for a major fast food chain. We’d be shocked if they didn’t expand the offering outside of the test market. If nothing else, this is a huge step to bring meatless foods mainstream.

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