To the relief of some on Twitter, it wasn’t an April Fools’ joke.
On April 1, news broke that Burger King planned to introduce the Impossible Whopper — a meatless version of its iconic burger made by the start-up Impossible Foods.
At present, data from YouGov Plan and Track shows that 37% of current Burger King customers agree that restaurants should offer more vegan/vegetarian options. That’s more or less the same level of agreement found among both current McDonald’s customers (38%) and Wendy’s customers (40%). It is, however, slightly lower than among U.S. adults overall (42%).
While current Burger King customers might not immediately gravitate toward the Impossible Whopper, additional data suggests that the meatless menu item might attract new patrons — namely, younger consumers. In total, 53% of U.S. adults ages 18-34 agree that restaurants should offer more vegan/vegetarian options. This level of agreement seems to decline among older Americans.
Furthermore, 39% of consumers ages 18-34 believe it's more ethical to be vegetarian, compared to 20% of those ages 35+.
Burger King isn’t the first restaurant of its kind to begin experimenting with plant-based substitutes. Last year, for example, White Castle introduced the Impossible Slider. Earlier this year, Taco Bell announced plans to begin testing its first vegetarian menu.