- Burger King is testing a plant-based version of its original chicken sandwich, called the Impossible Original Chick’n Sandwich, beginning Monday in Cincinnati, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- The trial follows Burger King’s Impossible Nuggets test, first introduced in 2021, and its introduction of the Impossible Southwest Bacon Whopper and the Impossible King in June.
- Burger King began its plant-based journey in 2019, and has experienced bumps in the road. Last year, the chain slashed the price of its Impossible Whopper due to weakening sales.
Though the Impossible Original Chick’n Sandwich could benefit from chicken sandwich wars hype, the U.S. could be a more challenging market for Burger King to push plant-based fare.
McDonald’s McPlant burger, which recently wrapped up its U.S. trial with Beyond Meat, saw sales fall short of expectations, according to analysts. Dunkin’ dropped its Beyond Sausage Sandwich last year, while Burger King’s sister chain Tim Hortons also removed its Beyond Meat offerings from its menu. Jack in the Box piloted its plant-based “Unchicken” sandwich in 2020, but two years later the offering has yet to earn a spot on the chain’s permanent menu.
But Burger King has found success with vegetarian innovation in Europe, even testing a fully vegan restaurant in London. During Restaurant Business International’s Q4 2021 earnings call in February, RBI CEO Jose Cil said Burger King’s plant-based items are an “important sales driver” in Europe. The company is looking to expand the plant-based platform in additional markets, he added.
The Orignal Chick’n Sandwich also builds Burger King’s streak of investment around chicken products. The chain’s initial entry into the Chicken Sandwich Wars, the Ch’King, has already been replaced with a new line of BK Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwiches.