Burger King franchisees say Impossible Whopper sales are slow

Faux-meat sandwich added to '2 for $6' discount menu

Burger King is cutting the price of its Impossible Whoppers amid slumping sales.

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Stock in the fast-food chain’s parent, Restaurant Brands International, was up by about 4 percent since Burger King announced it was temporarily adding the faux-meat sandwich to its “2 for $6” discount menu. Burger King launched its Impossible Whoppers nationwide on Aug. 8 priced at $5.59.

BURGER KING OFFERS IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER DEAL TO SPUR SALES

The price cut came after Carrols Restaurant Group, which is the largest Burger King franchisee in the U.S. with more than 1,000 locations, said it was only selling about 28 Impossible Whoppers a day at each of its restaurants.

Carrols’ stock price was down about 2 percent by the end of trading Wednesday. It's not the only franchisee reporting a drop in Impossible Whopper sales. A Burger King owner in Little Rock, Arkansas, told Bloomberg he was selling fewer than 20 of the sandwiches per day at each of his stores.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
QSRRESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC.59.28-0.81-1.35%
TASTCARROLS RESTAURANT GROUP INC6.55+0.04+0.61%
BYNDBEYOND MEAT INC.139.58-2.25-1.59%
MCDMCDONALD'S CORP.219.34-0.37-0.17%

So could this be a sign that the plant-based food trend is slowing down? Burger King doesn’t seem to think so, as Carrols CEO Daniel Accordino recently told investors the chain was planning to expand its plant-based options this year, testing an Impossible Whopper Jr. and Impossible Sausage.

The Impossible Whopper sits on a table at a Burger King restaurant on Aug. 8, 2019, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Chris Finazzo, president for North America at Burger King, told FOX Business in a written statement that Burgher King is the world’s largest quick-service restaurant to feature a sandwich with a plant-based patty.

Our plant-based Whopper is available in more than 25 countries worldwide and continues to exceed expectations, drive traffic to our restaurants and attract new incremental guests,” he said. “We continue to see high levels of repeat restaurant visits, showing that guests are enjoying the Impossible Whopper and returning for more over and over again. The addition of the Impossible Whopper to the 2 for $6 promotion is just another example of our ongoing commitment to providing great products at a great value for our guests.”

Impossible Foods CFO David Lee recently told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto that the company has been working on a faux bacon that’s not just for vegans and vegetarians.

“We’re meant for everybody,” he said. “We certainly were designed to be kosher, halal, to serve meat-eaters … But candidly, our business and our mission is only served if hardcore meat eaters happily pick our product. That’s our target.”

McDonald's meatless P.L.T.

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Meanwhile, McDonald’s recently announced it was expanding its trial of “P.L.T.” sandwiches featuring protein from Impossible Foods’ competitor Beyond Meat. The faux-meat maker has partnerships with a variety of chains, including Dunkin, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.

Beyond held its IPO last May. After peaking near $240 in August, it remains up about 86 percent from its initial price.

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