Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Burger King has sparked debate online after selling a plant-based Impossible Whopper with bacon on it.
The Flame Grilled Southwest Bacon Whopper comes with the burger chain’s famous meat-free patty and a dollop of avocado spread, seasoned tortilla strips, cheese and crispy bacon, alongside all the usual salad and a spicy sauce.
Yep, that’s bacon on a vegan burger. Why, you might ask? Well, simply… why not?
Whilst we think the Southwest Bacon Whopper sounds delicious and rather commendable, there were some that didn’t immediately get it.
“Who is the audience for an Impossible burger with crispy bacon?,” wrote one cynic online.
Whilst another commented that: “American cheese and bacon on an impossible burger is very silly”.
“It makes no [sense]. Every time I order an impossible Whopper, they always ask if I want cheese and bacon on it,” said a third. “Cheese yes, but what’s the point of getting it if you put bacon on it?”
However, for all the critics, there were those who were more supportive.
Burger King put bacon on one of their Impossible Whoppers pic.twitter.com/xDK9YELxWR
— Joe (@JoePostingg) July 9, 2022
“You know what, I’m fine with it. A bit of meat as spice on a meal isn’t the same as eating a big pile of meat, for the person or the world. Less-meatitarian diets, adopted widely, would still be great,” said one supporter on Twitter.
“Honestly, as someone who doesn’t NEED to avoid meat, but wants to reduce meat intake, it’s meals like this that moved the needle for me so that I prefer Impossible to real burger now,” chimed in another. “It’s not an end all be all, nor is it great for vegans, but it is a weird, clumsy step forward.”
A third agreed: “Speaking as a vegetarian I think this is great. the impossible burger tastes like a burger whereas fake bacon tastes like cardboard. if a few people who’d otherwise order a hamburger version of the Bacon Whopper go for the impossible version instead, that is progress”.
Whilst Burger King hasn’t officially commented on why there’s an option for a meat-free burger with added meat, the obvious answer is that it encourages people to cut down their meat intake (whether they want to do so for environmental, dietary or ethical reasons), even if they don’t want to stop eating it altogether.
The move also accommodates those who may not eat beef, but eat other meat (like bacon), whether for religious reasons or otherwise.
It comes as Burger King Belgium recently announced that one in three of its Whoppers sold were now plant-based, and the UK recently piloted a completely vegan Burger King store in London, which was a huge success.
Whatever you think of the move, consumer habits are changing, and this burger suits those living flexitarian lifestyles.