Impossible Burger Will Be in Burger Kings Nationwide Next Week
(Bloomberg) -- The Impossible Burger, which says its recent shortages are behind it, will face its biggest test yet next week -- a nationwide rollout in more than 7,000 Burger Kings.
The fast-food chain, which started testing the trendy plant-based patties in the St. Louis area in April, is going national with its faux-meat Whopper on Aug. 8, it said in a statement. News of the widespread launch comes just one day after Impossible Foods Inc. announced a deal with global food maker OSI Group to expand production.
The launch substantially grows the footprint of Impossible, which says it’s already on menus in about 10,000 restaurants in North America and Asia -- though several chains reported intermittent shortages earlier this year.
“We have a product that’s unique and growing in demand,” said Chris Finazzo, Burger King’s president in the Americas region. “It just took a few months for the supply chain to catch up.”
Impossible Foods said in July its supply issues had been resolved, as the 68,000-square-foot plant in Oakland, California, added more staffing and efficiency improvements. Impossible earlier this week said it would look to OSI to help make its meat-free products, too.
“They’re a really big and sophisticated vendor,” Finazzo said of OSI, which already is a Burger King supplier. “It’s going to give us and every other brand that’s interested in selling the Impossible product the possibility to be able to do just that.”
Restaurants including White Castle and Tim Hortons have been racing to add plant-based foods to their menus as health and environmental concerns mount. American diners are increasingly seeking out meat-free options, and Restaurant Brands International Inc.-owned Burger King says 90% of the people who ordered it during the trial run are meat eaters.
Although Burger King is more known for selling meaty excess like its 1,150-calorie Bacon King sandwich, the chain found its test runs pulled in a new kind of diner. Burger King’s soy-based Whopper will be $1 more expensive than its beef counterpart.
“It drove a tremendous amount of new guests into our restaurants,” Finazzo said. “This guest is not our typical guest: They shop at places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and visit restaurants closer to Panera Bread.”
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