Burger King to expand sales of new meatless burger to Europe
This Feb. 1, 2018, photo shows a Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in Punxsutawney, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Burger King is launching in Sweden new plant-based burgers that are meant to resemble meat far more closely than traditional veggie burgers.
The food chain said Tuesday that Sweden will be the first European country where it sells the new kind of veggie burgers, with sales to start Wednesday.
Burger King already sells veggie burgers, but they mainly appeal to vegetarians not so interested in having a patty that tastes and looks like meat.
"Many guests are asking for more options to reduce their meat consumption," said Iwo Zakowski, CEO of Burger King Sweden. "We hope that the plant-based alternative will appeal to both new and existing guests."
In April, Burger King tested the Impossible Whopper in the U.S. with the aim of selling more to meat eaters. The sale went well and its parent company decided to offer more veggie burgers that might appeal to meat eaters.
The Impossible Whopper is made with a plant-based burger from Impossible Foods, a Redwood City, Calif.-based startup. It uses heme -- the protein molecule that gives meat its juicy texture -- from the roots of soy plants. Instead of harvesting it from individual plants, Impossible makes batches of heme by fermenting yeast that is genetically encoded with the soy plants' DNA. To make "meat," heme is mixed with other ingredients like soy protein, coconut oil and sunflower oil.
The new burgers offered in Sweden, called the Unbelievable Whopper and the Unbelievable Chicken King, are made with different ingredients, without genetically modified products.