Burger King’s meat-free options are a hit in Belgium. According to Vic Dresen, the chain’s marketing manager for Belgium and Luxembourg, roughly one in three Whoppers sold is meat-free.
Like a number of the fast-food chain’s locations around the world, Burger King Belgium offers several meat-free options. These include the Louisiana Veggie, Veggie Nuggets, and the Veggie Whopper, which features plant-based steak. (None are suitable for vegans. The nuggets contain egg and milk, while the burger options feature sauce that contains egg.)
According to Dresen, the options have been extremely popular with consumers.
Roughly one in eight orders of nuggets is veggie, he said. In some central city stores, like Ghent or Antwerp, one in two Whopper orders is meat-free. Outside of the cities, however, it’s more like one in 30.
“We do see big differences between the restaurants,” Dresen told Food Service Alliance.
Burger King goes meatless
Burger King is quickly becoming one of the world’s most veggie-friendly mainstream fast-food chains. In some countries, like the UK, Chile, and Switzerland, it has even trialed entirely plant-based stores.
Dresen says “Burger King is fully committed to sustainability.” He added: “This is not only because the customer asks for it, it is a conscious choice from the Burger King brand.”
While it seems to be leading the way, Burger King isn’t alone in embracing plant-based and meat-free options. McDonald’s recently launched its McPlant burger in Australia, for example. The fast-food giant already offers the patty in UK stores.
In Belgium, one in eight people is flexitarian, which means they’re consciously reducing their meat intake. Dresen predicts that demand for meatless options will keep rising.
“My expectation is that within fifteen years the plant-based industry will make up one-fourth of the meat industry,” he said.
He’s not alone. Earlier this year, one of London’s leading restaurateurs James Lewis said that vegan options are the future of fast food.
He said: “There’s no point starting a vegan chain because once McDonald’s figures out how to make a good vegan burger, they will think: ‘What’s the point in the cost of keeping all these animals when we can make it just as good and grow it in the ground?’”