Are There Enough Meatless Burgers to Satiate Demand?


    It appears that the meatless burger fad is much more than a passing trend. Fast food restaurants are rushing to add meatless burgers to their menus. Demand across the United States is on the rise and fast food establishments are rushing to capture additional traffic, as suppliers are having a difficult time fulfilling orders.

    There are several imitation meat burgers out there, such as Beyond Meat, whose stock price has surged more than double since its initial public offering in May. Impossible Food is also a player. These meatless burgers are now on sale in nearly 20,000 restaurants across the US, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal also states that 15% of US restaurants offered meatless burgers as of March of 2019.

    Which Burger Chains Have Gone Meatless?

    White Castle was one of the first big chains to add the Impossible Foods meatless burger to its menu. Since the introduction of the meatless burger, White Castle has seen a 4% increase in same-store sales comparisons. During the past six months, TGI Fridays, CKE Restaurant Holdings, Del Taco Restaurants, Carl’s Jr. and Red Robin have also introduced Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods products to their menu offerings.

    Is Demand Greater than Supply?

    It appears on the surface that the demand is impeding the ability of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat to provide enough product. The introduction of meatless burgers into fast food restaurants is a sign that several companies believe that plant-based products considered as meat substitutes will appeal to the masses. Beyond Meat has a market value of $6 billion, as the shares have soared. You can track news on specific equity shares on iFOREX financial news. Impossible Foods has raised another $300 million from private investors in May, lifting total funding to $750 million since its 2011 founding.

    Why are Plant Based Burger More Expensive?

    The production process is expensive, despite the lows cost of purchasing plant-based products relative to raising livestock. The Beyond Meat burger cost more than 200% of the price of ground beef. Despite the high cost, the increase in foot traffic makes this tolerable. Burger King introduced the Impossible Whopper in April and saw an increase in foot traffic of 17% month over month, according to the Journal article.

    Some Restaurants Do Not Believe the Cost is Worth Adding Meatless Options

    While many fast food chains are quickly adding meatless options to their menus, there are some who prefer to sit on the sidelines. Arby’s, whose focus has always been on meat, namely its famous roast beef, believes that people will not be willing to pay more for something that does not taste as good. McDonalds, who is trying meatless options in Europe, said it is currently not planning to add meatless options in the US, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some chains, like Little Caesars Pizza, believe the cost of meatless options will decline, and they are currently providing meatless sausage on their pizzas. Both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods believe that greater scale will bring down the costs of meatless options.