Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Burger King Austria left crowds divided with its new campaign in Austria, which saw the plant-based option being marketed as ‘normal’.
The fast-food giant has always been progressive with its vegan offerings, launching a completely plant-based pop-up in London and even offering wavering flexitarians the chance to order meat-free burgers with additional bacon in the US.
But the brand took it one step further in Austria, announcing that plant-based burgers would be marketed as ‘regular’, whilst customers would have the option to make theirs meaty at the checkout.
Those who visited the Margaretengürtel Burger King in Vienna were filmed as they were offered the vegan burgers as standard, and their reaction was captured for a new campaign.
In response, some people seem confused and even a bit wound up, whilst others actually change their order to vegan as a result.
At the end of the video, the chain asks: “What is normal anyway?” – deep, right?
You can watch the clip below:
According to Jan-Christoph Küster, who is marketing director of Burger King’s franchisee, TQSR Group, in Austria, the campaign was created to “stimulate the social debate and show that our plant-based alternatives have a confusing taste”.
“Meat is one option, but it is not the only one,” he said. “We leave it open to our guests what is normal for them: everyone should have the same taste.”
The campaign was only a one-off, and Burger King has shown no sign that they’re gonna bring it to the UK, but as you can imagine it caused some rumblings on the world wide web nonetheless.
Some people have commended the idea, saying it’s an important move in ‘normalising’ cutting out meat.
“See this is the kind of systemic change I’m talking about. Normalizing plant-based eating by centering the plant version as the default and animal-based version as an option. Kudos Burger King Austria,” said one person on Twitter.
Whilst another wrote: “I applaud this. And I eat meat. Brands need to start making the progressive features on products the DEFAULT.”
“This is brilliant! Can you imagine the outcry if BK attempted that here?!,” said a BK fan from the UK.
Sure enough, there was some complaining going on as the news broke, too.
One critic branded the move “insane”, whilst another wrote that the move was nothing more than “postmodernist-wokeism”.
The move comes as Burger King Belgium recently announced that one in three of its Whoppers sold were now plant-based – the latest sign that its plant based Whoppers are making their mark.
Its commitment to offering more vegan options is global, too. They’ve recently launched plant based meat buns over in Japan and specially formulated vegan chicken in Chile.
The chain has pledged to ensure 50 per cent of its menu is plant-based by 2030.