Burger King says it wants to be a pioneer in the trend toward meat-free eating. In its 750 German branches, the company has been offering a vegetarian counterpart for all beef burgers and for almost every other meat dish since this week. “We want to give our guests a choice and expect this to go very well,” says marketing boss Klaus Schmäing in Munich.
Vegetable proteins based on soy, peas or other crops, are widely expected to become critical within the food industry in the coming years. In a recent international survey by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Blue Horizon, for example, three-quarters of the 3700 respondents said they thought alternative proteins were healthier than meat. “This is no longer a niche market, as you can also see in supermarkets,” says Schmäing.
Plant-based products “insanely well received”
Burger King states: “We are the first major company in the QSR sector to do this and have thus more than doubled our range of plant-based products,” says Schmäing.
“The large group we want to address are flexitarians,” Schmäing adds. “But beyond that, of course, also vegetarians and vegans.” The nationwide market launch was preceded by a test in a Cologne branch last year. “That was insanely well received,” says Schmäing. According to the manager, Burger King is also the first restaurant company in Germany to be licensed with the European V-label for vegan and vegetarian products.