As Europe's Meat Consumption Drops, Burger King Places Vegetation to the Take a look at

Whereas People proceed to devour upwards of 220 kilos of meat per individual, some world areas are literally selecting to eat much less meat. And Burger King, a pacesetter in incorporating plant-based meat into its fast-food enterprise globally, is taking be aware. 

Over in the UK, Burger King goals to serve a menu that’s 50 p.c plant-based by 2030, partially to satisfy its sustainability targets and likewise as a mirror of shopper demand. 

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This fall, Burger King UK launched a marketing campaign in partnership with The Vegetarian Butcher—its plant-based meat provider—to problem the general public’s perceptions about plant-based meals. 

In keeping with a examine performed by the fast-food chain, 29 p.c of Brits are serious about a extra flexitarian life-style, notably on Mondays, that are seen as one of the best day to start out new habits. Nevertheless, 48 p.c consider they might miss out on style in the event that they selected plant-based choices.

To handle these issues, Burger King UK and The Vegetarian Butcher recruited Gogglebox star Joe Baggs to host a style check recreation referred to as “Is that this plant-based?” 

The purpose was to gauge whether or not members may differentiate between meat and plant-based merchandise. The vast majority of members have been shocked to seek out that the meals objects in query have been truly Burger King’s Vegan Royale and Plant-Primarily based Whopper, each of which they discovered to be “similar to meat.”

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The Burger King UK examine additionally uncovered that whereas 63 p.c of Brits are assured they’ll simply inform the distinction between meat and plant-based meals, 76 p.c attribute this to variations in texture and style. The “Is that this plant-based?” marketing campaign seems to have challenged these preconceptions, as many members have been keen to order the plant-based choices once more, stating they “style so good” and “look very meaty.”

Following this marketing campaign, Burger King UK launched a ‘Meat Free Monday’ promotion via its app, permitting customers to get a Plant-Primarily based Whopper or Vegan Royale for simply £2.99 on Mondays to encourage meat-eaters, flexitarians, and vegans alike to discover its plant-based choices.

Burger King blurs the road between meat and vegetation

Burger King’s marketing campaign within the UK will not be the primary time the fast-food chain has challenged customers to take a more in-depth take a look at plant-based meat as an indistinguishable various to animal meat.

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Final 12 months, in the same marketing campaign, Burger King Austria flipped the script by asking clients in the event that they wished “common or meat-based” Whoppers. 

“With this query, we need to stimulate the social debate and present that our plant-based options have a complicated style,” Jan-Christoph Küster, Chief Advertising and marketing Officer of the TQSR Group, the Austrian grasp franchisee of the Burger King model, mentioned in a German language assertion. 

“Meat is one possibility, however it’s not the one one,” Küster mentioned. “We depart it open to our friends what’s regular for them; everybody ought to have the identical style.”

Collectively, these initiatives aimed to make plant-based choices the default alternative, difficult typical norms round meat consumption. For its half, Burger King has been main the plant-based fast-food cost because it launched the Not possible Whopper Stateside in 2019.

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Since then, the worldwide chain has experimented with meat-free (and generally absolutely vegan) pop-ups everywhere in the world, together with wildly profitable occasions in each the UK and Germany that resulted in new menu objects comparable to vegan bacon cheeseburgers, plant-based rooster choices, and extra.  

Meat consumption falls in Europe

Burger King is onto one thing as a result of each the UK and Germany have clocked in a decline in meat consumption this 12 months. 

New authorities information signifies that meat consumption within the UK is at its lowest degree since data started within the Seventies. On common, folks ate 854 grams of meat per week at dwelling within the 12 months to March 2022, marking a 14 p.c lower since 2012. 

The decline in meat consumption additionally features a 26 p.c drop in beef, pork, and lamb, and an 11 p.c drop in rooster and different meat merchandise over the previous decade. In keeping with the information, takeaway meat consumption additionally fell, with folks consuming lower than half of what they consumed in 2012. 

A number of elements are attributed to this decline, together with the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the price of dwelling disaster precipitated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and broader life-style modifications. 

In Germany, a yearly survey commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Meals and Agriculture discovered that solely 20 p.c of Germans now eat meat day by day, in comparison with 34 p.c in 2015. 


Right here, the consumption of plant-based options has elevated from 5 p.c in 2020 to 10 p.c in the present day. This development is especially noticeable amongst youthful folks, with 18 p.c of these aged 14 to 29 and 10 p.c of these aged 30 to 44 consuming various meat merchandise day by day. 

Greater than half of the survey respondents, 53 p.c, have bought plant-based merchandise not less than as soon as. Moreover, 46 p.c of these surveyed mentioned they consciously restrict their meat consumption, adopting a flexitarian method to their food regimen. 

These findings have been introduced final month on the New Meals Convention, an occasion organized by meals consciousness group ProVeg Worldwide. 

“Germany actually has fallen out of affection with meat,” Lea Stockmeier, Senior Worldwide Occasion Supervisor at ProVeg and the convention organizer, mentioned in a press release. 

“Many individuals are deliberately consuming much less meat, and for a variety of good causes—curiosity, local weather issues, for the style, and out of concern for animal welfare,” Stockmeier mentioned.  

These findings, mixed with the drop within the UK’s meat consumption, validate Burger King’s method in these areas, the place plant-based meat is transferring in on animal meat as the brand new norm.

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