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The Miami-based burger chain is testing an egg sandwich made with a plant-based "pork sausage" patty from Impossible Foods following the national success of its Impossible Whopper, a meatless version of its signature plant-based "ground-beef" burger.
The Croissan’wich, as its called, features a toasted croissant, egg, cheese and the alternative sausage made with “heme,” a blood-like molecule that makes it look and taste like real meat. The breakfast item costs around $3.49 and will hit select Burger King test markets at the end of the month in Savannah, Georgia; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Montgomery, Alabama; Springfield, Illinois, and Lansing, Michigan.
Burger King was one of the first chains to add an alternative meat product to its menu at nationwide locations. The chain launched its Impossible Whopper last year following a successful test run in St. Louis. Now, it's moving on to plant-based breakfast, a growing food category.
The plant-based or lab-grown meat market could surge to $140 billion in the next decade taking about a10 percent bite out of the global meat industry, investment bank and financial services company Barclays predicts. And morning meals — including breakfast and a morning snacks – is the only food segment that has seen year-over-year growth, according to a report from market research firm NPD Group.
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Burger King’s alternative meat breakfast sandwich comes as more fast-food chains incorporate plant-based options into breakfast offerings.
Dunkin’ rolled out its Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich made with the company’s meatless sausage in November after a successful test run in the New York City market last July. The Beyond Sausage Sandwich became the second best-selling menu item in all Dunkin locations in Manhattan behind the coffee chain’s signature bacon, egg and cheese bagels, the company said. And last month, Los Angeles-based Carl's Jr. and Franklin, Tennessee-based Hardee's started serving up the Beyond "sausage patty" on its egg and cheese breakfast burritos and biscuit sandwiches.
Fewer people are eating breakfast at home, perhaps since the meal is the least costly for consumers to buy at restaurants, according to research from NPD Group. And the global frozen breakfast food market is forecast to reach $1.15 billion at a 6 percent growth rate by 2023, according to a report by global technology research and advisory company Technavio.
So it’s no surprise that fast food companies are investing in the most important meal of the day expanding their menu offerings. Wendy’s invested $20 million to start serving breakfast nationally in September. It said its franchisees planned to hire an additional 20,000 employees to fulfill morning orders. And Taco Bell introduced three breakfast combos, including a breakfast quesadilla and crunch wrap stuffed with eggs, cheese, jalapeno sauce and a choice of bacon or sausage to its menu around the same time.
“Foods like breakfast sandwiches appeal to consumers as an inexpensive, portable way to have a simple but somewhat balanced meal [of] eggs, sausage or bacon for protein, cheese and bread,” David Portalatin, a food industry advisor for NPD Group wrote in the report.
Meatless continues to be the future for fast-food restaurants at even some of the biggest meat companies in the country. To be sure, Tyson Foods in July announced it would start selling nuggets made from pea protein at grocery stores along with a blended burger made from beef and pea protein. And Nestle announced plans to roll out its Sweet Earth brand Awesome Burger in the U.S.