Burger King Meats The Impossible Burger

“Burger King is making an entirely meatless whopper! … April Fools!” Is how you would expect this statement to end, especially since the announcement was aptly made on April Fools Day.

But no. The impossible is looking quite possible as Burger King begins testing the Impossible Whopper in St. Louis this week — quite possibly the most exciting news, for some, in fast food history.

Burger King has partnered with Impossible Foods to bring a completely plant-based alternative to the BK signature Whopper.


A quick search of the Twitter Hashtag #ImpossibleWhopper reveals a general sense of support, something that is difficult for any corporate initiative or marketing campaign to achieve on social media.

Red meat consumption has actually been in decline since the 1970s. Since then, both health concerns and the meat industry’s effect on the environment have led to immense changes in public perceptions of meat substitutes. In fact, sales of plant-based meat substitutes increased by 22% to $1.5 billion last year.

BK already offers a MorningStar Veggie Burger, which does not taste like a meat burger. Startups like Impossible Foods are trying to replicate the flavors and textures of meat as closely as possible in hopes that more non-vegetarian consumers will opt for a meat alternative.

Try it and don’t taste the difference. Source

BK surely recognizes the challenge that lays before them in rolling out a meat substitute for their most infamous burger, which is why a localized release is necessary. But making a public splash now only ramps up national anticipation and this period of waiting might even help some overcome their mental meat hurdle to try the literal and figurative Impossible.

The Impossible Whopper is available in the St. Louis area for now. It’s safe to bet that if it’s successful, we will be seeing more from Burger King. However, to mark the introduction, BK released a short commercial featuring real Whopper fans commenting on the taste of the Impossible Whopper vs. the original.

Why this ad works in a nutshell:

  • In this campaign, Burger King dares their customers to try something new on the grounds that they won’t even notice the difference. That’s an intriguing bet as a customer. It would be even more exciting to see the money-back guarantee that so many startups like Casper and MeUndies employ out of sheer confidence in their product.
  • While there’s nothing new about the “These are real people, not actors” commercial model, Burger King has the perfect opportunity to use it. It’s safe to say that meat, and beef in particular, is ingrained in many Americans’ identities. We all have “that uncle” who fiercely defends his carnivorous tendencies, even when unprompted. Showcasing average Americans who hold the Whopper near and dear to their hearts can help relieve some skepticism for those less familiar with meat substitutes.
  • There’s zero ambiguity (and zero cholesterol, btw) on the part of the testers. “This is a f***ing cow!” exclaims one. The surprise that most of these participants feel alleviates doubt and essentially heightens the viewers’ curiosity. Pretty soon, everyone is going to want to see for themselves how the Impossible Whopper doesn’t taste different at all. Everyone that is, except maybe that stubborn uncle.