Burger King is now becoming the largest chain of restaurants in Europe. It has been in operation for almost 70 years, but it has probably never experienced such a novelty until now.
The American fast food chain has always specialized in burgers of all kinds, especially one kind – the taste of meat prepared on an open fire. However, these guarantees no longer apply. Burger King is starting to replace beef with its most popular Whopper vegetable alternative.
“In almost 70 years of history, Burger King has been one of the largest product launches on the market. We are introducing a 100% Whopper with 0 percent meat that has gained tremendous interest in the United States and is now coming to Europe,” reported by Daniel Ryška, Head of Burger King in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, today at the recently opened Burger King branch in Prague on I.P. Pavlova.
The new burger is called Rebel Whopper and, according to Ryška, it is exactly the Whopper that everyone knows and loves, but no longer contains meat.
Rebel Whopper also comes to 24 other European countries, including Poland, Germany, and Italy, being enjoyed in over 2,500 restaurants.
Although the food chain back in America betted on the fast-growing company Impossible Foods—which specializes in vegetable burgers in Europe—it opted for the Dutch manufacturer Vegetarian Butcher.
This is because Impossible Foods in Europe has genetically modified ingredients that must first undergo continent testing before being sold. A great choice for Ryška, because the meat in Rebel Whopper is really easily interchangeable in all ingredients.
“That’s why we chose Vegetarian Butcher for cooperation,” Ryška said.
Jaap Korteweg, founder of Vegetarian Butcher, also shared his thoughts on the partnership with Burger King. “Working with Burger King on Rebel Whopper has been a great experience and we look forward to seeing Burger King customers now.” As a farmer in 1998, he decided to stop eating meat after the outbreak of swine fever. Since then, he has been working on plant alternatives that he works to perfection.
Iconic dishes with different names, similar use of meat
US customers have been going to Impossible Whopper for several months now, and European customers will be getting used to Rebel Whopper. According to Daniel Ryška, the composition and productions are slightly different, but the vegetable meat are very similar (cooked on open fire next to beef patties, too). There is still tomato, iceberg lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, cucumber, onion and sesame lump in the sandwich.
Ryška revealed that during December, the chain will deploy self-service kiosks in line with the competition and offer the possibility to exchange meat for standard burger meat next year.
There had already been a vegetarian alternative, in the form of a vegetable pancake, called Veggie Burger. However, Ryška sees much more potential in Rebel Whopper.
The popularity of vegetable-meat dish alternatives is increasing all over the world as the younger generation, in particular, is increasingly addressing and becoming more aware about the impact of their behavior(s) on the environment and what they eat today. This new trend has only just begun in the Czech Republic.
There are about 13 percent of flexitarians in the European Union—people who focus on vegetarian diets—but they still enjoy meat occasionally. Them, and others like them, are who Burger King wants to focus on.