Burger King to sell plant-based burgers in Europe

The incursion in Europe follows Burger King's introduction in the US of the Impossible Whopper, a meatless version of the chain's famous sandwich with a patty from Impossible Foods Inc.
The incursion in Europe follows Burger King's introduction in the US of the Impossible Whopper, a meatless version of the chain's famous sandwich with a patty from Impossible Foods Inc.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Burger King will start selling two plant-based meat offerings across Europe, according to Jose Cil, chief executive officer of parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc.

The burger chain is quickly ratcheting up its meat alternative offerings across the world. Two plant-based items, named the Rebel Whopper and the Rebel Chicken King, arrived in Sweden over the summer. Burger King is preparing to announce the details of a roll-out across Europe, Cil said in an interview on Monday (Oct 28). He declined to provide further details.

Burger King said in June that it developed the Rebel menu items for the Swedish market with Vivera, a Dutch producer of meat substitute products. The chain also said in September that it's working with Marfrig Global Foods SA and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. to produce a meatless Rebel Whopper for Brazil.

The incursion in Europe follows Burger King's introduction in the US of the Impossible Whopper, a meatless version of the chain's famous sandwich with a patty from Impossible Foods Inc. It is available in Burger King's more than 7,000 US locations. Impossible Foods will not be involved in the chain's plant-based meat items for the European market, according to Restaurant Brands.

A surge in the popularity of plant-based meat has caused restaurant chains to seek out new menu items. McDonald's Corp. is currently selling a "P.L.T." or plant-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich featuring Beyond Meat in Canada, and a Big Vegan in Germany, using a patty from Nestle SA. Carl's Jr. and TGI Friday's both sell Beyond Meat in their American locations and other brands abroad. Globally, the alternative meat market is now estimated to be worth US$14 billion (S$19 billion), according to Barclays.