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The meatless Whopper is here: Burger King just went vegan

Made up of mostly soy and potato protein, and featuring coconut oil, sunflower oil and heme -- an iron-rich protein that simulates the texture, color and taste of actual meat.

AFP  |  New York 

Burger King
The Swiss food giant Burger King goes so far as to say their veggie burger "hardly differs from a traditional burger."

For decades, fast-giant has been the undisputed Home of the -- the chain's signature sandwich featuring one of its flame-grilled, "no nonsense" 100 per cent beef patties.

So, what happens when the doesn't actually have any meat? BK is going vegan.

That's right, folks: enter the Impossible Whopper, a meatless version of "America's favorite burger."

Made up of mostly soy and potato protein, and featuring coconut oil, and heme -- an iron-rich protein that simulates the texture, color and taste of actual meat.

For years, has offered a veggie burger on the menu at its thousands of restaurants, but it was not marketed as anything even remotely resembling a juicy, tender slab of meat.

So far, the Impossible is only available at several dozen restaurants in the Midwestern city of

But Burger King's told that the company expects to quickly expand availability nationwide if all goes well.

"I have high expectations that it's going to be big business, not just a niche product," Machado told the paper.

Burger King's tie-up with start-up is the latest, perhaps boldest move by a in an industry seeking to make inroads with customers on plant-based diets.

On Tuesday, announced plans to roll out "cook from raw" plant-based burgers in -- under the Garden Gourmet brand -- and in the under the Sweet Earth label.

In December, competitor said it had bought up Dutch brand De Vegetarische Slager (The Vegetarian Butcher) to position itself in the expanding sector.

Impossible Burgers are already on the menu at US chain restaurants and, as of Monday,

The Silicon Valley company, founded in 2011, is planning to launch its products in supermarkets later this year.

While soy burgers have existed for quite some time, several have taken the product up a notch by using sophisticated technology to make it taste, look and smell like meat.

Beyond Impossible Foods, other start-ups in the like Meats and Just, or Mosa Meats in the Netherlands, are working to develop meat from animal cells, not actual animals.

Nestle's new products are made from soy and wheat proteins, with plant extracts such as beetroot, carrot and bell pepper.

The Swiss giant goes so far as to say their veggie burger "hardly differs from a traditional burger."


"They even make the sizzling sound of a regular beef burger during cooking," it says.

In the US, Sweet Earth -- the California-based subsidiary bought by 18 months ago -- will sell its product as the "Awesome Burger."

According to Nestle, consumers are looking "at different ways to enjoy and balance their protein intake and lower the environmental footprint of their diets."

"We believe this trend is here to stay," it says of

Indeed, a survey carried out by Nielsen for the and published in September last year showed that sales of plant-based foods grew 17 percent over the previous 12 months.

The trend is reflected in so-called "flexitarianism" -- a plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat -- and veganism, which means the abstention from consumption of any including dairy.

A vegan diet has major health benefits, reducing risks of diabetes and heart problems, but some health professionals say that vegans run the risk of not consuming enough of certain nutrients like protein and iron.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 03 2019. 02:00 IST
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