Wendy’s restaurants in Canada have secretly launched a burger with a vegan meat patty.
Wendy’s hasn’t publicly announced the burger and the dish is not yet on the fast-food chain’s website. But images of the new Plantiful Burger cropped up on outdoor advertisements in Toronto. The sign showed a meaty burger alongside the words: “Where’s the beef? Not here.”
The “100 percent plant-based” patty is made with pea protein. Wendy’s staff told Compassion Over Killing — a non-profit animal protection organization — that the burger contains egg. It’s not clear whether the egg is in the mayonnaise, which could be removed on request, or in the bun of the burger.
The low-key launch shortly follows comments made by Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor earlier this year. During the company’s 2019 second-quarter earnings call, Penegor was asked about the company’s interest in plant-based protein.
“Clearly there is growth out there in plant-based proteins and we believe that it is a trend that will be here to stay,” the CEO said, adding that Wendy’s is “taking a hard look at what the options would be for us at the restaurant.”
In August, a petition was created that encouraged Wendy’s to “join 2019” and launch a vegan burger. The petition amassed nearly 30,000 signatures.
“A plant-based burger would not only be better for animal welfare, the environment, and health, but also great for business at Wendy’s,” the petition reads. “Beyond Meat recently went public with investments and raised nearly a quarter of a billion dollars while also soaring 163% from their original IPO (the biggest increase for a US company since 2000).”
Vegan Food in Canada
The popularity of plant-based food is soaring in Canada and major food brands are eager to keep up. McDonald’s just teamed up with Beyond Meat to bring plant-based meat to its Canada restaurants.
Carl’s Jr. Canada introduced the plant-based Beyond Burger earlier this year. The meat-free burger — called the Beyond Famous Star — features a char-broiled Beyond Burger patty, American cheese, mayonnaise, special sauce, lettuce, tomato, and dill pickles. Customers can order it without cheese or mayonnaise to make it vegan.
White Spot also added the Beyond Burger to its menu. The Vancouver-based restaurant chain added the option after serving up meat-centric food for 90 years.