Fast-Food < Expense Reduction Analysts

Consumer tastes have shifted dramatically in recent years. Specifically, many people have opted for plant-based alternatives to meat. Now, the fast-food industry is finally changing their menu selections to keep up with the new demands. Many of today’s premiere meatless brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are changing the landscape of the food industry.

Here are three ways fast food restaurants are changing, with the help of meatless menu options.

Burger King Finds Success with the Impossible Whopper

Burger King launched its Impossible Whopper in April of this year. The fast-food chain found a profitable way to give consumers the classic taste of their famous Whopper, without meat. The partnership with the California based start-up, Impossible Foods (the supplier of the Impossible Whopper), and Burger King is just the beginning of a larger success story. Heme, Impossible Foods’ most important ingredient, just got approved by the US FDA 1 . Now, Impossible Foods is eligible to sell their plant-based burgers in retail chains as well.

Tim Horton’s Beyond Meat Partnership

Canadian fast-food chain, Tim Horton, uses Beyond Meat for their plant-based burgers. Beyond Meat is the closest competitor to Impossible Foods, although their reversed trajectory has only recently introduced them into the restaurant industry. Instead of launching their success in the fast-food restaurant industry, Beyond Meat started in retail first. Tim Horton has also partnered with Beyond Meat to offer a plant-based alternative to their breakfast patty 2 .

Continued Growth for Plant-Based Meats

Plant-based meat sales have increased by 10% compared to only a 2% increase in animal meat sales, from April 2018 to April 2019. Demand for plant based meat options has risen by 37% since April of 2017. Impossible Foods has now partnered with OSI Group to help them meet production capacity for the Impossible Burger demand. Although Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are  the most successful plant-based meat companies, we can expect more companies to enter the competitive space.

As a result of the growing consumer demand for plant-based meat options, companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are challenged with producing an adequate supply. For this reason, some restaurants may have concern that plant-based meat companies can supply products in a timely manner. Nonetheless, the fast-food industry is likely willing to take a risk to stay ahead of the competition.

1 Impossible Foods in Full Scale-Up Mode With Burger Manufacturing Deal and FDA Approval by Louisa Burwood-Taylor
2 Tim Horton’s and Burger King: Sister Companies with Rival Plant Patties by Laura James