Burger King To Roll Out Vegan Burger To 7,000 Outlets By 2021
The vegan community in the U.S has grown quite large to the extent that fast food companies can no longer ignore them. Burger King is the latest fast-food chain to do something about this to feature an inclusive menu. The company recently revealed that it plans to introduce vegan burgers to 7,000 of its outlets in the next two years.
Burger King targets the vegan community
The fast-food chain wants to expand its menu to make it more inclusive by including vegan options. Burger King’s menu currently offers a burger called the MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Burger. It has a meat-free patty that is made using egg whites, red bell peppers, oats, mushroom, and carrots. However, the fact that it has eggs makes it vegetarian and not vegan. The fast-food chain’s pursuit of a vegan burger means it will also do away with egg whites.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for us – by making this change, MorningStar Farms favorites can be enjoyed by even more people at home and on-the-go who strive to add plant-based proteins to their plate,” stated Mel Cash, Burger King’s head of global marketing for plant-based proteins.
Burger King has been using roughly 300 million egg whites each year to make the MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie burger. The vegan option means customers will have more options from the menu and more vegan customers can also enjoy the fast food company’s services. It also means that Burger King will become the biggest fast-food company that offers veggie burgers, thus dethroning Carl’s Jr., from that title.
Burger King’s decision to launch vegan burgers is part of its strategy to avoid losing customers to upcoming vegan restaurants. Having a vegan menu will thus allow the popular fast food chain to compete effectively with vegan restaurants. The company partnered with MorningStar Farms 17 years ago to introduce the vegetarian option. It was the first fast food chain in the U.S to introduce a vegetarian burger.
Burger King will likely retain the patty used in the MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie burger in its menu since it has already garnered a lot of interest from customers. However, having a vegan option is a smart move for the company. Statistics provided by Global Data reveals that the number of vegan individuals in the U.S increased by 600% from 2014 to 2017. Only 1% of the U.S population was vegan in 2014 but the number the population has since then grown to 6%. This means that the vegan population in the U.S has become significant enough to influence demand.
The rise in the number of vegan individuals has been driven by growing health concerns especially over-processed meat products and the need to live a healthier lifestyle, thus the decision to only eat plant-based foods. Food companies have also responded by introducing non-meat alternatives into the market. Other major fast-food chains such as McDonald’s have also tried out vegan menus in response to the changing demand.