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Burger King Does Mental Grill Gymnastics Instead of Making Rebel Whopper Vegetarian

It’s not vegetarian and it’s not vegan but it is based on plants

Burger King’s Rebel Whopper vegetarian burger, which is not fake meat or vegan Burger King [Official Photo]

Burger King brings up the rear of January’s vegan fast food boom

“What if we made a vegan burger, but then cooked it in a way that made it non-vegan?” is now Burger King’s official current product strategy, as its meat-free Rebel Whopper graduates from triallist to starting XI in U.K. restaurants on 8 January. Its kind-of-vegan-if-you-squint-at-it status comes from being cooked on the same grill as its beef burgers, but this is as much a key indicator of the brand’s plans as it is a piece of plant-based gymnastics: this burger is aimed at people who want to eat less meat, designed to imitate the beef that has earned brand loyalty.

It follows Greggs, KFC, and McDonald’s, who have launched fully vegan imitators and an entirely new product respectively, attempting to both draw in new customers and offer a bridge to current ones. There’s also Wagamama’s tuna-watermelon and TGI Friday’s watermelon steak, if hot watermelon sounds like a nice thing.

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