Beyond Meat burger such a hit at Carl's Jr., the fast-food chain is doing this

Fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. has a hit on its hands, and it isn't even real.

The restaurant introduced its meatless Beyond Famous Star burger in December and has sold more than 4.4 million of them since, making it Carl’s Jr.’s most successful burger launch in the past two years.

Patty Trevino, senior vice president of marketing for Carl’s Jr., said the faux burger’s successful trial prompted the chain to be one of the first to add it as a permanent menu item.

“We are proud that this burger has delivered on the premium quality and top-notch taste and are excited to welcome plant-based fans from far and wide to give it a try,” Trevino said.

Carl’s Jr. is even offering the meatless burgers for free with the purchase of a large drink on Thursday in its effort to have more diners try it. The chain said the burger patty has less saturated fat than beef, but still has 20 grams of protein.

“We know there are many options for plant-based offerings today, and at Carl’s Jr. we are putting our money where our mouth is to let fans taste ours for themselves — because we believe our Beyond Famous Star burger truly is the best plant-based meat option on the market,” Trevino said.

Carl’s Jr. was a relatively early adopter of Beyond Meat’s plant-based protein. Del Taco, Tim Hortons, Dunkin’ and Subway have all partnered with the meat alternative maker since then.

“We evaluated many options when looking at this space and have been thrilled about our decision to work with Beyond Meat as they are the market leaders in the category,” Trevino said.

Plant-based meat alternatives have taken off with consumers this year. Other large chains like White Castle and Burger King have inked deals with Beyond Meat competitor Impossible Foods.