US fast-food restaurant Wendy’s is aiming to break into the plant-based fast-food category by launching the new Spicy Black Bean Burger in selected stores. The international chain has also taken aim at one of its biggest rivals, accusing McDonald’s plant-based offerings of being “bland”.
“Certain plant-based creations have spawned a bland reputation for the category — looking at you McImpossible — but luckily, Wendy’s has spice in her DNA.” – Wendy’s, as reported by CNN.
As plant-based menu items explode in the fast-food sector, most restaurants are focused on high-tech plant-based options that replicate the taste of animal meat, like Beyond Meat’s recent deal with McDonald’s as well as Yum! Brands KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Instead, Wendy’s has opted for a more classic veggie option, featuring a black bean patty seasoned with paprika and chipotle pepper.
At present, the burger comes topped with conventional cow’s cheese and is technically plant-based if ordered without the dairy, though Wendy’s is not referring to it as fully vegan due to the possibility of cross-contamination during preparation. As of June 28, the Spicy Black Bean Burger will be available in three US cities, including Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio. The sandwich costs $5.79 and will be on menus for a limited time.
“Our Made to Crave menu is a destination for customers seeking bold ingredients and flavor innovation,” stated Carl Loredo, U.S. Chief Marketing Officer for The Wendy’s Company. “With that spirit, we’re bringing forward an incredibly tasty Spicy Black Bean Burger to this line-up in three select markets. Consumers are demanding plant-based sandwiches, and we’re answering the call in a way that only Wendy’s can with a mouthwatering sandwich packed with multiple layers of heat and flavor.”