Like the Impossible Whopper before it, the Impossible Croissan’wich is going nationwide.
After a successful test in five markets, Burger King has rolled out the meat-free version of the breakfast sandwich to its 7,000-plus locations, deepening its partnership with Impossible Foods and expanding the reach of faux sausage.
The fast-food giant announced the debut today with a campaign targeted at “night owls,” though the sandwich—eggs, cheese and an Impossible plant-based sausage patty on a croissant—will sell during BK’s morning breakfast hours.
“Whether you’re a student, parent, essential night shift worker or gamer, staying up grinding through the night,” BK is there for you, the brand said in a statement. As part of the promotion, the chain is giving away 100,000 sandwiches through the BK app.
As it did with the Impossible Whopper last year, the fast-food chain initially dipped its toe in the waters, releasing the Impossible Croissan’wich in late January for sale in Albuquerque, N.M., Savannah, Ga., Springfield, Ill., Lansing, Mich., and Montgomery, Ala.
In doing so, BK became one of the first national chains to sample the fake sausage product from Impossible Foods. (The Silicon Valley-based company had introduced its meatless pork and sausage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year.)
The addition is in line with what BK executives have called their “first to market” strategy and their strong support for plant-based meat.
Industry experts weren’t surprised by the move into more meat-free offerings, given that the Impossible Whopper and competitive products from Beyond Burger at chains like Carl’s Jr. have been unqualified hits with consumers.
“Burgers proved this could work,” said Zak Weston, an analyst at The Good Food Institute. “They were the biggest growth story of 2019.”
Breakfast, already a hot category, will continue to be a battleground, he said, with brands like Dunkin’ hawking the Beyond Sausage Sandwich (with an assist from Snoop Dogg).
Next up at the country’s restaurants, according to Weston, are more fake pork and chicken items, reflecting evolving consumer tastes in general and their buying behavior during the coronavirus crisis.
Shoppers have snapped up a record amount of faux meat over the last three months, spurring triple-digit sales spikes at supermarkets and other retailers. And they’ve frequently ordered it from restaurants offering takeout and delivery meals during the pandemic.
“Plant-based products do very well on apps because that’s a young audience ordering on digital,” Weston said.
Fake meat, whether it’s used as a pizza topping, burrito filling or on a breakfast sandwich, could help restaurants rebound as states allow businesses to reopen.
“It could be a way to bring in new customers,” he said. “Some restaurants may need to focus on their core products and stick with their standbys. But some may use plant-based products as an ally and a way to rebuild and drive growth.”