Burger King will open a 100% plant-based pop-up called Burger King San Pedro on August 8 in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. The temporary store will serve vegetarian options already available at regular Burger King stores, such as the Veggie Nuggets, the Veggie Whopper and the King Veggie Sandwich.
This location is meat free but vegetarian rather than 100% vegan.
The decision to bring such a pop-up to San Jose, Burger King said in a press release, came from the strong performance of plant-based products at Burger King restaurants in the area.
“Costa Rica is one of the best performing vegetable markets in LAC [Latin America and the Caribbean] for Burger King, based on sales of the Veggie Whopper at the company’s retail locations,” said Burger King.
As in other countries, the pop-up will be available temporarily, serving as a test run for what could potentially be a permanent plant-based Burger King.
“We recognize the evolving needs of our guests and our planet,” Iwo Zakowski, Burger King’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Our goal is to offer the widest possible variety of nutritious meat-free meals to the widest possible demographic crossroads.”
Is the future of fast food plant-based?
While stock of alternative meat makers like Beyond Meat
( have floundered amid an explosion of market new entrants, the vegetable market is expected to reach $24.8 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 19.3% as more people in western countries try to minimize meat consumption for reasons ranging from health to meat impact on the environment. BYND)
Fast food chains, in turn, have responded to the growing demand with more new products. In March, Starbucks
( added its third shake espresso with alternative milk to its menu while Shake Shack SBUX) ( played with a new non-dairy chocolate frozen custard in some restaurants in New York and Florida. SHAK)
In the spring, Starbucks rival Peet’s Coffee launched an all-plant menu featuring four oat-based lattes, a vegan “egg” breakfast sandwich, and a Mediterranean flatbread with vegan smoked provolone cheese and pesto.
“Vegetable foods are not an alternative or substitute at Peet’s Coffee,” Lori Fulmer, senior manager at Food R&D for Peet’s Coffee, said in a statement in March. “[Over] In the past 12 months, the number of plant-based meat, cheese and dairy products available to consumers on the market has more than doubled.”
(in turn, chose a different path and recently confirmed it was ending its lengthy trial run of the McPlant after weak sales. MCD)