Here in Sweden, the non-meat burger patties are just starting to catch on. Recently, Burger King and Max, two of the fast-food chains in Sweden, announced that they were hopping on the bandwagon and releasing burgers made with non-meat patties. Last week, while I was on a business trip, I had an opportunity to eat a burger made with Beyond Meat’s patty. It was actually really good – the consistency was similar to meat, it was juicy, and the taste was incredible. Despite that, because I ordered a non-meat burger, I knew it was non-meat so I kept trying to find reasons how I could tell that it wasn’t meat.
But what if someone just handed me a burger and told me to guess. Would I be able to tell?
I decided to try! Burger King Sweden is running a 50/50 promotion where for 50kr, you get a Whopper meal made of meat or a vegetarian variant without knowing up front! After you’re done eating, you’re invited to use the Burger King app, submit your guess, and then select the icon on your wrapper before the answer is revealed. I was taking a trip on the train today so I decided to give it a shot. I ordered a 50/50 Whopper and took it on the train.
My train was at 10am in the morning so I wasn’t hungry right away. The burger sat in its bag for about an hour before I decided to chomp into it. I took a look at the cold burger patty and it looked like cold, Whopper meat. Frankly, I was disappointed – I actually really wanted the vegetarian variant to test it out. I bit into the burger and tasted the familiar Whopper taste. It was cold but still tasted great.
I finished the burger and the cold fries and then pulled out the app. It took me to a website, asked me to guess – I selected meat – and then asked me to input the symbol I got. (I won’t say which one it was as to not ruin the test).
Then it showed me this screen — and for those of you who don’t yet understand Swedish, it says. “You were wrong. Your burger was vegetable-based!”
Whoa. Mind Blown. The burger was cold from sitting on the floor for an hour, and it looked just like cold Whoppers I’ve eaten before in the past. It can’t be THAT good… maybe the restaurant made a mistake and gave me a meat one? Or maybe that is the exact point – that these vegetarian burgers are SO indistinguishable from their meat cousins that people wouldn’t hesitate to eat them if they didn’t know?
Regardless, I was really impressed. I thought the Beyond Burger that I ate last week was delicious, but I could still somewhat tell it wasn’t beef. This, on the other hand, completely fooled me!
People are starting to recognize the impact of meat consumption when it comes to climate change. I am also trying to reduce my meat intake and this makes it SO much easier since I do like a burger from time to time. Therefore, I am so glad that restaurants in Sweden are starting to sell these now. My wife hates Burger King but I have to get one of these for her just to see her reaction.
I do have to wonder when places like Flippin’ Burgers or Lådan will start offering these kind of burgers though. Those places pride themselves on the quality of the meat mix and they should – their burgers and sliders are absolutely delicious. I’d be willing to bet that if they could partner with a Beyond Meat or similar company, they could actually have a chance at changing the world’s perception of non-meat burgers AT SCALE!
Have you tried one of these or any of the Beyond Meat/Impossible Burger variants? What did you think?