Burger King Tests New Impossible Nuggets
Since 2014, the number of vegan consumers has increased by 500%, so it’s no surprise that fast food chains are catching on and making changes.
Burger King® has been a trailblazer in this pursuit, adding the Impossible Whopper to their menu in 2019. Now, the chain is expanding it’s plant-based menu by introducing Impossible Nuggets at select locations. This makes BK® the first Quick Service Restaurant to test the nuggets from Impossible Foods.
Success of Plant-Based Fast Food
In its first year, BK®’s Impossible Whopper® generated 5% of the company’s United States sales, according to the chain’s 2019 third-quarter earnings report. This made the Impossible Whopper® one of the most successful burger launches in the company’s history.
The plant-based burger attracted a majority millennial and Gen Z audience, however, the chain noted that customers from older generations enjoyed the burger as well.
Restaurant Brands International CEO Jose Cil shared that the 2019 launch generated solid momentum for Burger King® and that he fully expects the chain to continue adopting plant-based menu items.
With such great success, it makes sense that only 2 years later, Burger King® is ready to test plant-based poultry products.
What Are the Impossible Nuggets Like?
Burger King®’s Impossible Nuggets are made from a manufactured chicken substitute, covered in a crispy breaded outside, and served with a choice of dipping sauce. The product is currently only offered in an eight-piece.
It is important to note that while entirely plant-based, the nuggets are fried in the same oil as BK®’s other meat and cheese products. This could be a cross-contamination issue for many consumers.
Where to Find BK’s Impossible Nuggets®
Burger King® is still in the trial phase of implementing the Impossible Nuggets,® so they’ve only been released in select locations. Starting on Monday, October 11th, the plant-based nuggets were released in Des Moines, IA, Boston, MA, and Miami, FL.
While Burger King® hasn’t specified any plans to release the nuggets in all locations, there is hope that the nuggets will become widely available. If the nuggets perform similarly to the Impossible Whopper®, Burger King® might be convinced to spread the love to other locations.
How the Plant-Based Nuggets are Performing
While the nuggets haven’t been out for long, folks have already hit up the select locations to give them a taste. The eager testers have shared that the Impossible Nuggets® taste almost exactly the same as BK®’s traditional chicken nuggets, perhaps even better.
Fast food chicken nuggets are notorious for being more mushy in texture, and the Impossible Nuggets® were reported to taste cleaner and crispier than the regular nuggets.
The product is still so new that BK® doesn’t have it as its own item in the register system yet, so customers are being charged for a fried chicken sandwich instead. The total cost? $3.49. This is quite a bit more than the classic eight-piece chicken nugget order, which rings in at $1.49.
However, the benefits of the product being better for the environment, animal welfare, and overall health seem to be worth it.
The Future of Plant-Based Fast Food
While Burger King® certainly hopes to appeal to the plant-based crowd, there are other reasons why releasing plant-based options makes sense. During the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and labor shortages increased the price of meat. This left major companies, like fast food chains, scrapping for alternatives.
The potential for future supply chain disruptions combined with the rise in plant-based eaters could incentivize companies to implement more plant-based options in their menu.