Burger King now sells a meat-free version of its flagship Whopper with a plant-based patty that’s designed to emulate the look and taste of beef. The Impossible Whopper is available at 59 locations in the St. Louis area starting today, but The New York Times notes that Burger King plans to offer the burger at all of its 7,200 locations if the US trial goes well.
Despite the fact that the Impossible Whopper has 15 percent less fat and 90 percent less cholesterol than a standard Whopper, Burger King chief marketing officer Fernando Machado claims that neither customers nor employees can tell the difference. The meat-free burger will cost customers about one dollar more than the beef version. It will still be topped with mayonnaise, making it unsuitable for vegans.
The meat-free patty used in the Impossible Whopper is produced by Impossible Foods; the company’s Impossible Burger is already available at White Castle. It uses an identical recipe to the other burger chain — it’s based on the use of heme, which is derived from soybean roots — although it’s been shaped to resemble Burger King’s normal patties.
Impossible Foods developed its burger in an attempt to reduce the world’s reliance on animal agriculture. The Impossible Burger avoids the health issues and ethical concerns related to meat consumption, while producing just a fraction of the related greenhouse gases.
If the Impossible Whopper makes it to all of Burger King’s branches, this would effectively double the number of locations where its product is available in the US.
Correction: A previous version of this article claimed that Carl’s JR also sells the Impossible Burger. This is incorrect. The restaurant actually sells the Beyond Meat burger, a competitor to the Impossible Burger. We have updated the article to remove this claim.