Monday 6 January 2020 11:00 am

Burger King launches plant-based Whopper – but it isn’t vegan or vegetarian

Burger King is launching a plant-based version of its Whopper in the UK, but vegans and vegetarians won’t be able to enjoy the new burger.

The Rebel Whopper, which is made from soy, is not suitable for those avoiding meat because it is cooked on the same grill as the fast food chain’s beef burgers.

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This means the new burger – which launches on Burger King’s app today and nationwide on Wednesday – is not an option for those trying the ‘Veganuary’ challenge to avoid animal products in January.

Burger King is marketing the Rebel Whopper as a “flexitarian” offering – designed for customers trying to reduce their meat intake without cutting out animal products entirely.

“We wanted our first plant-based Whopper to replicate the indulgence and flame-grilled taste of the real thing as closely as possible, and we’re thrilled with the result,” said Burger King marketing director Katie Evans.

The new burger is served with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, onion, ketchup and mayonnaise – which is not vegan because it contains egg. 

Despite this, Veganuary welcomed the launch of the Rebel Whopper. In a statement, the organisation said the burger was not “aimed at existing vegans”, but instead at those “who want to reduce their meat consumption for health or environmental reasons or are considering going vegan”.

“We know that most people go vegan to spare animals from suffering and/or reduce their environmental impact,” they continued. 

“Eating a plant-based burger – whether cooked on the same grill as a meat one or on a separate vegan grill – will have exactly the same impact for animals and the planet.”

Read more: Greggs releases vegan Steak Bake

Many restaurant chains have launched new vegan offerings in a bid to tempt customers taking part in Veganuary.

Greggs launched its vegan steak bake last week, hoping to replicate the success of its hugely popular vegan sausage roll, while Pret a Manger has introduced a vegan croissant and removed all extra charges for non-dairy milks.