Wendy’s feeds the demand for plant-based options with a new Spicy Black Bean Burger

The veggie burger is debuting on the chain’s Made to Crave sandwich menu for a limited time in select regional locations.
Spicy Black Bean Burger
Photo courtesy of Wendy's

Wendy’s is adding a plant-based Spicy Black Bean Burger to its Made to Crave premium sandwich lineup. The limited-time veggie burger debuts on Monday in the Columbus, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville markets.

Unlike other burger chains in the QSR space, Wendy’s did not opt to menu a commercial plant-based product that resembles beef. Instead, this burger starts with a signature black bean patty flavored with a blend of bold spices, topped with layers of crunchy chipotle jalapenos, melted pepper jack cheese and spicy chipotle sauce. Tomatoes, sweet onion slices and romaine lettuce complete the build. 

"The Spicy Black Bean Burger is a culinary creation that turns the notion of a tasteless, texture-lacking black bean patty on its head by bringing our iconic spice as only Wendy's can," John Li, vice president of culinary innovation for The Wendy's Company, said in a statement. “With the Spicy Black Bean Burger every bite is a sensorial experience bursting with flavor and texture just like our other craft and premium sandwich offerings on the Made to Crave menu lineup."

The Made to Crave line was developed to drive innovation and features other flavor-forward sandwiches, including the Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger and the Jalapeno Popper Chicken Sandwich.

Consumer demand for plant-based options has been growing steadily, and quick-service restaurants are doing their part to meet the demand with alternative burgers and chicken. Technomic Ignite menu data predicts that plant-based proteins will grow nearly 35% on menus by the end of 2022.

Wendy’s Spicy Black Bean Burger is available for $5.79 in all three test markets.


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