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Fast food giant Burger King has just partnered up with Australian food tech v2food to launch a new plant-based whopper to its menu in the Philippines. Firstly landing on the menus of Metro Manila and Luzon locations, the collaboration will see all Burger King restaurants serve up the new meatless whopper made with v2food’s plant-based patty nationwide in the coming months.
Following the plant-based wave that has taken over the fast food industry, the latest chain to ramp up its meatless offerings is Burger King, who has partnered with Sydney-based v2food, who recently closed a record-breaking US$55 million Series B funding round, to bring a plant-based version of its most iconic whopper menu item to the Philippines. Officially launched on November 15, customers in all Metro Manila and Luzon stores will be able to order the vegetarian-friendly plant-based whopper ahead of a nationwide roll-out.
Filipinos are such huge meat-eaters, and the insight for this local roll-out is to provide them with an affordable alternative, to reduce meat intake with an equally satisfying product.Allan Tan, Marketing Director, Burger King Philippines
The whopper is made using the v2burger, which primarily contains soy protein, natural flavourings and is fortified with B vitamins and minerals, boasting an impressive 20-grams of protein per serving but without the ethical and environmental costs of its animal counterpart. Burger King flame-grills the patty and tops it with dairy cheese, mayonnaise, tomato slices and lettuce sandwiched between the chain’s signature burger buns.
“What we are offering our customers is an option,” said Allan Tan, marketing director for Burger King Philippines, in conversation with the Manila Bulletin. “Filipinos are such huge meat-eaters, and the insight for this local roll-out is to provide them with an affordable alternative, to reduce meat intake with an equally satisfying product.”
“We’ve seen more developed markets making the shift earlier on, and locally, we see the Plant-Based Whopper as a game-changer, a revolutionary product. We wanted to be at the forefront of that shift here.”
Prices will start at PH$89 (US$1.84) for the solo Whopper Jr., putting the vegetarian version at price parity with Burger King’s regular whopper, marking a major step in making plant-based options affordable and accessible to the masses in the country.
One customer, Cam Lucero, has already tried the new meatless burger and was eager to share on Facebook: “It was my first meal of the day. No words for this burger. If you enjoy eating actual beef burgers, you’ll enjoy eating this one.”
While the standard version will be vegetarian-friendly as it contains dairy cheese and mayonnaise, customers have the option to modify their order to remove the two ingredients to make them vegan-friendly, a spokesperson for v2food told Green Queen. However, the patty will be cooked on the same broiler as meat patties, so minimal cross-contamination cannot be ruled out for both vegans and vegetarians.
We’ve seen more developed markets making the shift earlier on, and locally, we see the Plant-Based Whopper as a game-changer, a revolutionary product. We wanted to be at the forefront of that shift here.Allan Tan, Marketing Director, Burger King Philippines
It’s not the first time that v2food’s plant-based patties have been incorporated into Burger King chains in other parts of the world, with the food tech currently supplying the plant-based Rebel Whopper at Burger King-franchise Hungry Jack’s across Australia, and at Burger King locations in New Zealand.
Elsewhere, Burger King has collaborated with pioneering plant-based brand The Vegetarian Butcher, who was acquired by Unilever since 2018, to launch meatless burgers and whoppers across Germany and a number of other European markets.
The plant-based and flexitarian trend sweeping the globe from Hong Kong to the U.S. and Europe amid the coronavirus pandemic has also led to a number of other fast food chains taking the leap to green their menus. After partnering with Hong Kong’s OmniFoods to offer six new vegetarian breakfast items across the city, the world’s biggest QSR McDonald’s took the plunge to create its own McPlant line co-developed with Beyond Meat.
Meanwhile, KFC has partnered with Beyond Meat, Quorn, Lightlife as part of its plan to become a “restaurant of the future” and most recently, Pizza Hut has rolled out Beyond Sausage pizzas across its 7,000 U.S. locations nationwide.
Lead image courtesy of Burger King Philippines.