The meatless Whopper is here: Burger King goes vegan, Latest Makan News - The New Paper

The meatless Whopper is here: Burger King goes vegan

Fast food giant to introduce vegan-friendly Whopper

NEW YORK : For decades, fast food giant Burger King has been the undisputed Home of the Whopper - the chain's signature sandwich featuring one of its flame-grilled, "no nonsense" 100 per cent beef patties.

So what happens when the Whopper doesn't actually have any meat?

BK is going vegan, thanks to the Impossible Whopper, a meatless version of "America's favourite burger".

It is made up of mostly soy and potato protein, and features coconut oil, sunflower oil and heme - an iron-rich protein that simulates the texture, colour and taste of actual meat.

For years, Burger King has offered a veggie burger on the menu at its thousands of restaurants, but it was not marketed as anything even remotely resembling a juicy, tender slab of meat.

So far, the Impossible Whopper is only available at several dozen restaurants in the US Midwestern city of St Louis.

But Burger King's chief marketing officer Fernando Machado told The New York Times that the company expects to quickly expand availability nationwide if all goes well.

"I have high expectations that it's going to be big business, not just a niche product," he said.

Burger King's tie-up with start-up Impossible Foods is the latest and perhaps boldest move by a power player in an industry seeking to make inroads with customers on plant-based diets.

Impossible Burgers are already on the menu at US chain restaurants White Castle and, as of Monday, Red Robin.

The Silicon Valley company, founded in 2011, is planning to launch its products in supermarkets later this year.

While soy burgers have existed for quite some time, several companies have taken the product up a notch by using sophisticated technology to make it taste, look and smell like meat.

Beyond Impossible Foods, other start-ups in the US like Memphis Meats and Just, or Mosa Meat in the Netherlands, are working to develop meat from animal cells, not actual animals.

The trend is reflected in so-called "flexitarianism" - a plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat - and veganism, the abstention from consumption of any animal products including dairy.

A vegan diet has major health benefits, reducing risks of diabetes and heart problems, but some health professionals say that vegans run the risk of not consuming enough of certain nutrients like protein and iron. - AFP

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