The Whopper is going meatless.
Burger King is testing an Impossible Whopper at 59 locations around St. Louis, in a market test that would make the chain the largest to go mainstream with the plant-based product.
The Miami-based chain announced the test Monday, April 1—and a representative for the company assured that it was a market test and not, in fact, an April Fools’ joke.
Nevertheless, the cheeky burger chain did have fun with the idea: It gave customers Whoppers with the Impossible Burger rather than beef and then filmed their reactions for the company’s YouTube channel.
The test is a sign of the growing mainstream acceptance of plant-based meat substitutes.
A growing number of restaurant chains have been serving burgers using the Impossible Foods product, which has a taste and consistency similar to beef.
Just last week, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers announced its own Impossible Burger.
White Castle introduced an Impossible Slider last year, and several other chains have at least tested their own version. Redwood City, Calif.-based Impossible Foods says its burgers are now available in more than 5,000 restaurants across the country.
Other chains have been offering burgers or tacos using Beyond Meat, as chains scramble to offer products catering to a growing number of consumers on vegetarian or vegan diets. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s earlier this year started offering Beyond Meat burgers and Del Taco is expected to offer a Beyond Taco this spring.
Burger King is larger than all of them. It is the sixth-largest chain in the U.S., with nearly $10 billion in domestic system sales and more than 7,000 restaurants, according to Technomic's Top 500 Chain Restaurant Advance Report.
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