“Over time the amount of beef that we are selling as a proportion of our total sales is reducing.”
Burger King (BK) has growth plans outlined for the next nine years.
According to the chain’s UK CEO Alasdair Murdoch, BK’s long-term plan is to incorporate its menu with at least 50% plant-based options by 2031 while also eliminating some of its meat items.
The CEO also told iNews that while the previously discontinued Rebel Whopper will stage a comeback in a new plant-based upgraded form, other vegan and vegetarian dishes including a plant-based Royale burger and meat-free nuggets will be added to the menu in the near future.
“When we bring in a plant-based product…there is probably an equal and opposite reaction where we are taking something else off,” Murdoch said.
The announcement comes as the fast-food giant follows major rivals in wanting to cater to a growing population preferring plant-based options over meat, as well as curb its carbon footprint.
“Over time the amount of beef that we are selling as a proportion of our total sales is reducing,” Murdoch said.
“We know the direction of travel, we are embracing the direction of travel and we are trying to get ahead of it,” he added.
The menu upheaval is also part of the company’s new sustainability charter called ‘Burger King For Good’.
As part of this agenda, the brand has pledged to minimize food and packaging waste, source sustainable soy and coffee as well reduce its use of single-use plastic by 2025.
“Now more than ever, we believe that fresh, good quality food is vital to the quality of our lives and the health of our planet. Being good to the planet, our people and guests [are] central to our values at Burger King UK,” Murdoch explained.
He further added that the company may consider introducing lab-grown meat in the future once cost, technology, and more importantly consumer preferences allow companies to scale production.
“Our customers, I don’t think they are quite ready for that today,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean they won’t ever be in the future, but our sense would be that they aren’t quite there.”
Global plant-based trends
The plant-based market is booming globally. Last month McDonald’s and Beyond Meat announced an exclusive three-year agreement to develop the upcoming full range of products under the McPlant menu.
Beyond Meat has also confirmed new major supply deals with Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC.
‘Plant-based is integral to its future’
Commenting on Murdoch’s announcement, the Good Food Institute Europe, tweeted: “BurgerKing was built on beef – but this plan to replace meat items on the menu shows #plantbased is integral to its future.
“Last year, we saw a plant-based race in the US.
“With BK’s new approach following McDonalds’ McPlant, the starting pistol has been fired in Europe.”
.@BurgerKing was built on beef – but this plan to replace meat items on the menu shows #plantbased is integral to its future.— The Good Food Institute Europe (@GoodFoodEurope) March 3, 2021
Last year, we saw a plant-based race in the US.
With BK's new approach following @McDonalds' McPlant, the starting pistol has been fired in Europe. https://t.co/l5GcJq81p9
Share this story: 50% of Burger King UK menu will be plant-based by 2031.
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