Why is this significant?
Plant-based burgers have been in several QSR chains such as White Castle, Red Robin and Carl’s Jr but legitimacy as a true conventional meat alternative has somewhat eluded them. That’s because they haven’t landed one of the two “Big Fish”, McDonald’s or Burger King. Until now that is.
Impossible Foods have passed the real test by going national with Burger King (BK) from the end of the year! The test only started on April 1 so for BK to make a decision this early the results must have been pretty spectacular.
The question is though, will BK continue with Impossible long term or do a Tyson and develop and release a version of their own with heme? Just how comfortable are BK leaving what could be a major menu item in the hands of an outside supplier? What when Impossible bring out v3.0 which THEY think is better, will BK agree, or will they stick with v2.0? Or maybe a unique BK Impossible Burger v2.BK?
What will McDonald’s do? They can’t let BK have the market all to themselves and I’m still betting on a Tyson Foods burger, but will it be exclusive to McDonald’s? I’d think it would have to be as McDonald’s wouldn’t want their own restaurant burger being sold outside of their control. What will Tyson do, develop a slightly different product for internal use? So many questions……. my brain hurts!
As for other conventional protein QSR’s like Chik-Fil-A and KFC they have some real thinking to do about plant based products in their lineup. Aussie burger star chain Grill’d has said it wants 50% of its menu to be plant-based by 2020!
Whether consumers buy them for meat reduction, sustainability, animal cruelty or a combination of all of the above reasons plant-based foods are here to stay.
Get out the popcorn and watch this space!