The Canadian arm of quick-service chain Burger King has made its move into the Canadian plant-based burger market, working with U.S. processor Impossible Foods.
Burger King, a U.S.-headquartered brand of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International (RBI) since 2014, said Monday it becomes “the first quick-service restaurant in Canada to put the award-winning, plant-based Impossible Foods patty on its menu nationwide.”
Burger King, which has sold Impossible Whoppers at its U.S. stores since 2019, said it started serving the plant-based burgers at “participating” stores in Ontario effective Monday, ahead of a “cross-Canada rollout” planned for April 12.
California-based Impossible Foods, whose investors include Bill Gates and Google Ventures among others, has had relatively little exposure in the Canadian QSR market so far, mainly through the Qdoba chain of Mexican fast food outlets.
Ingredients in the company’s Impossible ground beef substitute — used to make burger patties, meatballs and chili and taco filling — include soy and potato protein, coconut and sunflower oil and, as binders, methylcellulose and food-grade starch.
“The Whopper is an icon, and we know how much our guests love its unique, flame-grilled taste. But, we also know those guests — and really, all Canadians — are always looking for more choice, and are increasingly interested in options without beef,” Burger King Canada general manager Matt Wright said in a release.
“Our mission is to sell Impossible products everywhere conventional animal meat is sold today, and that includes Burger King, whose huge footprint and affordable prices can make delicious plant-based burgers accessible to more Canadians than ever before,” Impossible Foods president Dennis Woodside said in the same release.
Burger King Canada quoted RBI’s Restaurants Brands for Good 2020 Year in Review report as saying that U.S. consumers who chose the Impossible Whopper in 2020 “avoided the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions of driving about 520 million miles in an average passenger vehicle.”
RBI, which also owns the Tim Hortons and Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen chains, had previously tested the plant-based burger market in Canada starting in mid-2019, selling products at Tim’s made by Impossible’s California-based rival processor Beyond Meat.
By early 2020, though, Tim’s had withdrawn the Beyond Meat products from its menu across Canada. An RBI spokesperson told Reuters at the time that the product line “was not embraced by our guests as we thought it would be.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network