With thousands of locations and a reliable, affordable menu, Applebee’s Grill & Bar has won over American consumers, and the company intends to keep its dedicated customer base by expanding its meatless options nationwide. The fast-casual chain announced that it will add an Impossible Cheeseburger to its menus all over the country. By introducing Impossible Foods' signature product, Applebee’s aims to cater to the growing number of plant-based customers.

The Impossible Cheeseburger will feature a meatless burger patty topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and two slices of American cheese. For fully plant-based customers, the Impossible Cheeseburger can be ordered without the dairy-based cheese. The new meatless burger will become Applebee’s first permanent plant-based item.

“We’re always looking to bring options to our menu for our guests who crave variety,” Chief Marketing Officer at Applebee’s Joel Yashinsky said. “With the introduction of the Impossible Cheeseburger, we’re giving our guests more delicious combinations to choose from when dining with us. And whether you’re craving one of our classic fresh, never frozen, Handcrafted Burgers, or the new Impossible Cheeseburger, you can’t go wrong. Come on by - we’ll save you a booth!”

Applebee’s new meatless burger places the fast-casual mainstay in the growing plant-based market that has quickly spread across the entire fast-food industry. Over 36 percent of children and adults in the United States eat fast food at least once a day, according to the Center for Disease Control. With growing plant-based interest and the response from major fast-food and fast-casual companies, the vegan fast food market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2028.

Before the Impossible burger, customers searching for plant-based options at Applebee’s typically needed to settle for the limited side options. But now, alongside the Impossible Cheeseburger, customers can add the Impossible patty to any burger on the menu for a $1.99 upcharge. To double-check what else is vegan at Applebee’s, check out the company’s guide catered to its plant-based clientele.

The Real Impact of Vegan Fast Food

A plant-based frenzy has taken over the fast-food and fast-casual scene in recent years. Major brands including McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken have introduced plant-based alternatives that mirror signature menu items. The new vegan menu items signify that the American public is hungry for plant-based foods or at the very least feels compelled to try them.

While some people dismiss the plant-based fast-food movement as unhealthy, these chains have significantly helped increase accessibility to plant-based foods. A recent study found that plant-based meat is appearing on foodservice menus 1,320 percent more than before the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a figure that only continues to grow. By providing people with Impossible or Beyond Meat products, these chains have helped make plant-based food both affordable and accessible to everyone.

Other chains such as Burger King continue to push the limits of the food world. Most recently, London’s flagship Burger King rolled out a completely vegan menu for a one-month trial period. The plant-based pop-up is proving that a 100 percent fast-food menu is possible, giving people access to try a sustainable alternative to their favorite indulgent menu items including the Bakon Royale and the Impossible Whopper.

Impossible’s plant-based burger also gives customers a chance to substantially reduce their carbon footprint. When compared to animal-based beef, Impossible’s vegan alternative emits 90 percent fewer greenhouse gases, wastes 85 percent less water, and uses 75 percent less land, making it one of the most sustainable plant-based options available.

The 6 Best Fast Food Chains With Plant-Based Options on the Menu

Fast-food restaurants have finally got the memo that their customer base isn’t just coming through for a burger, fried chicken, or a beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and are coming up with creative, delicious ways to get more greens on the menu. Here are the 6 best fast-food chains with plant-based options on the menu.

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