Burger King To Debut Meatless ‘Impossible Whopper’

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The Impossible Burger, touted as a meatless, plant-based hamburger that tastes remarkably like the real thing, has begun to appear on restaurant menus nationwide following its introduction by the company known as Impossible Foods.

Back in January, the latest version of the Impossible Burger beat out various gadgets to win the Best in Show at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company said at the time, per Business Wire. The burger also won awards for Unexpected Product and Most Impactful Product.

Now, the Impossible Burger is headed to Burger King.

According to The New York Times, Burger King will begin rolling out the Impossible Whopper this week. This represents the largest distribution to date for the burger, although there was previously a smaller launch of Impossible sliders at White Castle, as well as a burger from rival Beyond Meat that rolled out at Carl’s Jr. locations.

The launch will begin at Burger King’s St. Louis locations but is expected to expand beyond there if all goes well with the initial launch. The first Impossible Burger launched in 2016, with the updated version arriving earlier this year. The idea was to make the burger feel like a true hamburger, as opposed to like a veggie burger. Their technology is based on a molecule called heme, which is common in meat but can be re-created with plant-based technology.

Chris Finazzo, Burger King’s North American president told CNN about the reasoning behind the Impossible Whopper. The idea, he said, is to “give somebody who wants to eat a burger every day, but doesn’t necessarily want to eat beef every day, permission to come into the restaurants more frequently.”

The Impossible Whopper will cost about $1 more than a traditional Whopper, CNN said. It comes with a label that says, “100% Whopper, 0% beef.”

Impossible Foods raised $75 million in a 2017 funding round led by Singapore investment firm Temasek as well as investments from The Open Philanthropy Project, Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures, and Horizon Ventures, according to the industry website MeatPoultry.com.

“Our whole focus is on making products that deliver everything that meat lovers care about,” company chief executive Pat Brown told The New York Times.

A review of the Impossible Burger was published by CNET around the time of CES, and the reviewer, a longtime vegetarian, wrote that the product was so meat-like that it made her “stomach turn.”

People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticized Impossible for testing its product on rats in the past, per Stat News.