A Burger King branch in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon has announced that it will go 100 percent vegan for a month.
The fast food chain opened the plant-based pop-up at its Rua de Belém branch on November 4. It’s set to only serve vegan food until early December.
The restaurant has changed its menu, decor, and kitchen to accommodate the change. It doesn’t hold any meat products at all.
“We have eliminated all animal products from our kitchen to ensure food safety,” Jorge Carvalho, general manager of Burger King in Spain and Portugal, said in a statement. “The cheese and bacon are vegan, the desserts, the mayonnaise, and even the restaurant materials, such as cups, wipes, packaging, and bags, were carefully selected.”
Customers are able to choose from a range of plant-based versions of the chain’s best-selling menu items. These include the Whopper and Chicken Nuggets. The foods were made with meat alternatives from The Vegetarian Butcher.
Portugal moves away from meat
Portugal has seen a sharp rise in popularity of meat-free food in recent years.
In 2017, it became the first country to make it illegal for public buildings like schools, universities, hospitals and prisons to not offer a plant-based option.
The move came after 15,000 people signed a petition urging the government to do so.
The same year, there was a 400 percent rise in people identifying as vegetarian.
Burger King embraces plant-based food
A few years ago, the idea of Burger King catering so well to vegans may have seemed unfathomable.
In recent months, however, the chain has seen a rapid growth in its plant-based options. Burger King has attributed this to consumer preferences and plans to reduce its carbon footprint.
In January 2022, Burger King UK pledged that it would turn 50 percent of its menu meat-free by 2030.
“Adapting to customer preferences is a key focus at Burger King,” the chain’s UK chief executive Alasdair Murdoch said at the time. “We are committed to helping our guests make good decisions about what they eat and drink and providing them with informed choices.”
Animal agriculture is a huge contributor to the climate crisis. It causes at least 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. It is also responsible for biodiversity loss and deforestation.
“The launch is another positive step in reducing our carbon footprint and driving innovation in our menus in response to growing demand for meatless alternatives and products with no animal protein in the UK,” Murdoch added.