Burger King Adds Vegan Bacon to Its Permanent Menu. Where to Try It

|Updated Dec 21, 2022
Instagram / @laviefoods.fr/

Burger King has only delivered a meatless version of its Steakhouse burger, a double-patty monster topped with crispy onions and slathered with barbecue sauce, to restaurants in Europe. But the initial launch wasn't totally complete –– when plant-based diners called the company out for forgetting the bacon, vegan meat brand La Vie stepped in to fix the problem and help perfect The Veggie Steakhouse.

The French startup – backed by Natalie Portman – will now permanently supply its vegan bacon to 510 Burger King locations across the United Kingdom for Veganuary. Customers will be able to find La Vie vegan bacon on Veggie Steakhouse burgers beginning January 4, 2023. This comes after a successful initial test in France earlier this year.

“We are very proud to be partnering with Burger King, bringing our multi-award-winning, plant-based bacon La Vie to their restaurants,” Romain Jolivet, Chief Marketing Officer at La Vie, said. “This will allow us to accelerate the pace of switching from animal-based meat to plant-based, which is a climate emergency we are all facing.”

Burger King Tested Vegan Bacon in France

This May, Burger King introduced La Vie's plant-based bacon at 550 Burger King locations in France. A Burger King customer named Julien pointed out that the Veggie Steakhouse missed one of the most important ingredients: the bacon. The dissatisfied customer tweeted, “Sorry guys, I’m waiting for the Veggie Steakhouse with La Vie bacon." In response, La Vie launched a full-scale campaign to convince Burger King to partner to complete the Veggie Steakhouse.

La Vie purchased a full-page ad in the widely-read Paris newspaper Le Parisien to call on Burger King to rectify the bacon-less mishap. The ad explained that Burger King could use La Vie’s expertise and help, and asks the major burger chain to reach out via email. The company also parked its “Love Truck” outside the Burger King storefront in Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, so that customers could have their Veggie Steakhouses topped with the signature plant-based bacon.

“You must be really busy to miss Julien’s tweet,” La Vie responded. “In any case Julien, we loved your idea. Because yes, in the [original] Steakhouse, there is bacon. But in the Veggie Steakhouse, there is none … and as we find that a shame, [so] we put our snout in this business.”

La Vie is the Leading Vegan Bacon Market

Vegan bacon is rapidly etching out its place among the mainstay meat alternatives. Plant-based bacon sales are up nearly 25 percent, doubling in 2020 to a $267 million market value, according to Bloomberg. La Vie is capturing the attention of consumers and celebrity investors including Portman worldwide. This January, the plant-based bacon brand raised $28 million and intends to secure an additional $53 million to fund its United States expansion.

In Europe, La Vie opened its first “virtual restaurant” or ghost kitchen by partnering with The Original Food Court. The new collective will deliver customers a variety of dishes that showcase La Vie’s vegan bacon. Consumers can find these products through Deliveroo, Uber Eats, or Eatic.

“We’re bringing you the whole world of La Vie and our favorite ways of tasting our products, without moving from home,” La Vie wrote on social media. “A culinary journey into our universe, from your couch, surely the place where you feel best. The opportunity also to see or re-see that La Vie takes veggie into another dimension. Quite simply: Some people make recipes on Insta, others make Tiktok videos, and we’re opening a restaurant.”

Natalie Portman’s Vegan Ventures

During the company's Series A funding round, La Vie attracted investment from Portman along with Oatly chairman Eric Melloul, BlablaCar CEO Frederic Mazzella, Back Market CEO Thibaud Hug de Larauze, and Vinted CEO Thomas Lodewijk Plantenga.

Other than La Vie, Portman is heavily involved in the vegan world, supporting vegan leather brand MycoWorks and dairy-free milk brand Oatly. Portman helped Mycoworks close a $45 million Series B funding round with John Lennon. For her Oatly investment, the Black Swan star joined Oprah and Jay-Z to help Oatly secure $200 million. 

Vegan Burger King Worldwide

Burger King paved the path for plant-based fast food, standardizing vegan burgers when it teamed up with Impossible Foods to release the Impossible Whopper. Since then, the company has launched multiple plant-based partnerships and campaigns.

Last October, the major chain even opened its first 100 percent Vegetarian location called "Vurger King" in Spain. The chain teamed up with The Vegetarian Butcher to release several plant-based variations including the Long Vegetal plant-based chicken sandwich.

Another Burger King location in London offered a fully vegan menu for an entire month, introducing 15 new vegan options including Plant-Based Whoppers, Vegan Royales, Plant-Based Bakon Double Cheeeze XLs, and Vegan Cheeze & Bakon Royales. Burger King continues to lead the fast-food sector into the new plant-based territory.

For more plant-based happenings, visit The Beet's News articles

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.

1. Burger King

Turns out there’s a lot more to rely on than a salad if you’re eating plant-based. Burger King has the Impossible Whopper featuring a meatless patty as well as a few secretly vegan options such as the French Toast Sticks and Hashbrowns.

2. White Castle

Known for its mini square-shaped sliders, this hamburger chain jumped on the plant-based bandwagon at some participating locations. You can find an Impossible Slider on some White Castle menus.

3. Del Taco

This was the first national Mexican fast-food chain to offer Beyond Meat at the company’s 580 restaurants across the country. Del Taco has the Beyond Avocado Taco on the menu along with the Epic Beyond Original Mex Burrito and Avocado Veggie Bowl.

4. Carl's Jr.

Another brand synonymous with beef burgers, Carl’s Jr. offers several plant-based options for veggie and plant lover such as Beyond Famous Star Burger and Guacamole Thickburger.

5. Taco Bell

This fast-food restaurant may have been one of the first you frequented while transitioning to plant-based eating. That’s because Taco Bell has eight million vegetarian combinations and sells 350 million vegetarian items a year through menu substitutions or ordering off their vegetarian menu. In fact, they were the first quick-service restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA) certified food options.

6. Starbucks

From the time it started offering breakfast sandwiches in 2006, the coffee conglomerate became a competitor in the fast-food space. You can get your favorite hot and cold beverages made with almond, coconut or oat milk but there are also plant-based food options available such as the Baja Black Bean Veggie Wrap, bagel with vegan cream cheese and Impossible Breakfast Sandwich.