Mainstream fast-food joints continue to up replace their traditional meat options with popular plant-based substitutes. The latest meat-alternative option debuting at Burger King demonstrates that meat is increasingly losing popularity. Say hello to Burger King’s Impossible Croissan’wich, now available nationwide during breakfast hours. Burger King is the first national chain to add Impossible Foods’ sausage to a breakfast sandwich.

The breakfast sandwich features an Impossible plant-based patty, eggs and melted American cheese on a croissant. While the croissant itself does contain butter—so you can’t adjust to make it vegan—you can modify as needed to remove the cheese and/or eggs. Still, more plants equal more people eating plants, so it's a step in the right direction.

Burger King was not the first to debut a breakfast sandwich using plant-based meat. Dunkin’ sells breakfast sandwiches made with Beyond Meat’s plant-based sausage. Their sandwich comes with a Beyond breakfast sausage patty, eggs, and cheese on an English muffin. It can be made vegan by holding the eggs and cheese. The addition of Beyond to the menu meant that in the first quarter of 2020 their sales price per person went up, 

As fast-food chains report lower breakfast sales due to the coronavirus, Burger King is hoping a meatless veggie option may spur breakfast sales across its retail locations; enticing customers with a meatless meat-like option worked before. Recall just a year ago Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper, a veggie burger made with Impossible’s plant-based patty. The company reported that the new plant-forward option provided an uptick in traffic and sales to the chain.  They also made an effort to drive down the cost of their meat-free burger by including it in their 2 for $6 promotion.

The Impossible Whopper did not go off without a hitch though. A lawsuit in 2019 alleged that Burger King falsely advertised—“100% Whopper, 0% beef”— since there may have been some cross-contamination on the grill, cooking the Impossible patty on the same grill as the meat patties. The company has though made it clear that you can ask for microwave preparation which would avoid any potential meat cross-contamination. 

One thing to keep in mind is this: “Impossible Foods does not determine or control the menu items of our corporate customers,” a spokesperson told The Beet in an email. “Our customers determine the ‘final build,’ and our customers prepare and serve the product to their clients.” This is an important reminder that it is up to the chain itself—just like it is up to restaurants that serve the Impossible Burger—to determine preparation styles and processes.

While fast-food and restaurant chains are making a concerted effort to add vegetarian options using meat-like alternatives, plant-based eaters and vegans still may struggle to find a suitable option. Still, meat-free options on menus are in large part due to the cache and brand recognition of plant-based meat-alternative innovators like Impossible Foods. In the meantime, we are holding our breath, and prepping our taste buds, for a JUST Egg and Impossible Sausage breakfast sandwich restaurant offering. 

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