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Burger King Is Currently Testing A Meatless Whopper

On Monday, Burger King announced that is currently testing a meatless Whopper, becoming one of the first national fast food restaurants to feature a plant-based burger on its menu, according to the company.

Known as the Impossible Whopper, the burger includes a vegetarian patty elaborated by the start-up Impossible Foods. The plant-based burger is being tested at 59 locations in and around St. Louis. If the venture is successful, the Impossible Whopper could soon be available at the 7,200 Burger King locations across the United States.

Impossible Foods, which is based in Silicon Valley, genetically produces heme, a protein that is derived from the roots of soy plants, which makes plant-based foods taste like meat. Like a traditional Whopper, the Impossible Whopper will also feature lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions, as well as ketchup and mayonnaise. The company had previously tested veggie burgers at White Castle, Red Robin, and Umami Burger.

Burger King already offers a meatless patty — the MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Patty — made from vegetables and grains. The Impossible Whopper, however, is supposed to resemble a beef burger and will be prominently featured on the chain’s menu. Fernando Machado, Burger King’s chief marketing officer, told the New York Times that fans of the traditional Impossible Whopper will “struggle to differentiate which one is which.”

Burger King isn’t the only fast food burger chain to offer vegetarian burgers. In January, Carl's Jr. added plant-based meat products to its menu and White Castle began featuring a slider version, named the Impossible Burger, in select stores last years. Reaction to the vegetarian burgers have been mixed.

"I gotta give @BurgerKing credit. ‘Whopper’ is defined as ‘an extravagant lie’ so going with the whole #ImpossibleWhopper campaign on April 1 seems like a perfect fit so, why not?" wrote Twitter user @MattisonAve12, while @Jakemlewis added, "This is a crime against the food universe." In addition, @nowaitstop, was more supported if not a little suspicious, "I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, but I 100% support the Impossible Whopper (assuming it's real)," they wrote.

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One drawback of the Impossible Whopper is the price tag. It will cost roughly one dollar more than the traditional Whopper, though according to Burger King’s North America president Christopher Finazzo, research has shown consumers are willing to pay more for the plant-based burger.

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