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Wendy's Spicy Black Bean Burger


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Forget Fake Meat: Wendy's Is Testing a Black Bean Burger

 

Wendy's says they're taking aim at the competition's "bland" meat-free burgers.

A shift towards plant-based meat has been one of the biggest trends in the fast food business (alongside, ironically enough, the explosion in chicken sandwiches). But even though many menus now have more vegetarian options, most of those new items are meant to replicate real meat. The two biggest names in the plant-based movement have been Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods -- both of which shun traditional veggie burgers for more high-tech, research-based, meat-mimicking products.

 

But what's wrong with more old-school vegetarian options -- especially if they taste good? Wendy's, for one, thinks they're perfectly fine and the chain has just announced plans to test a new Spicy Black Bean Burger.

Wendy's spicy black bean burger
CREDIT: WENDY'S

Arriving this Monday, June 28 in three test markets -- Columbus, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh -- the Spicy Black Bean Burger is being billed as a tastier alternative to what everyone else has been trying. "Certain plant-based creations have spawned a bland reputation for the category -- looking at you McImpossible -- but luckily, Wendy's has spice in her DNA," the company stated. "Bursting with a medley of flavor in every bite, this new sandwich features a signature black bean patty crafted with a blend of spices like paprika and chipotle pepper, crunchy chipotle jalapenos, creamy, expertly melted pepper jack cheese, fresh tomatoes, sweet onion slices, crisp romaine and a smoky chipotle sauce all housed in a warm, premium toasted bun."

Oh, and don't worry: Despite its black bean base, the patty is still a square. This is Wendy's after all.

"The sandwich was designed for flexitarians seeking a meatless option that is packed with a unique and differentiated combination of spice (like only Wendy's can deliver!), crunch and texture," a Wendy's spokesperson told us via email. "The Wendy's culinary team crafted the Spicy Black Bean Burger sandwich to provide multiple levels of heat -- from the patty to the chipotle jalapeños to the cheese -- that work together to provide a sensorial experience for fans."

Available for a limited-time only, this new vegetarian menu item will set customers back $5.79 -- though the chain also says that customers who order through the Wendy's app can get a free medium fry and free delivery until July 1.

 

And speaking of spice, Wendy's slipped one other fiery item into the announcement. Starting on July 12, the chain will also be adding a new Ghost Pepper Ranch sauce to their menu nationwide. "Pair this sauce with Spicy Nuggets for a flavor explosion that sets your tongue ablaze," Wendy's writes. What have we done to deserve this delightful torture, Wendy?

Between this, and Burger King's embrace of the Impossible Burger, the times, they are a changin'.

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On 6/25/2021 at 3:42 PM, Barry McCockinner said:

It should be illegal to refer to it as a burger if it is not filled with meat. That's a salad or something. Not a burger.

Don’t care much what you call it.  Just interesting that the big fast food chains are making meaningful investments into non-meat options.  Hard not to read the tea leaves here.

Had to look it up though.  Definition of a burger is essentially a patty made of a savory ingredient.

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My daughter is a vegetarian.  The more options there are for her, the simpler it makes things for me and my wife if we want to take her out for dinner. 

I guess this gives us another option when we are on a road trip, which is about the only time we eat fast food.

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48 minutes ago, TeddEY said:

Don’t care much what you call it.  Just interesting that the big fast food chains are making meaningful investments into non-meat options.  Hard not to read the tea leaves here.

Had to look it up though.  Definition of a burger is essentially a patty made of a savory ingredient.

I'm not eating bugs, man. Not doing it.

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Still don’t understand why people who are so against eating meat have no problem eating imitation meat.

That “impossible whopper” from Burger King isn’t even better for you.

Has more calories, saturated fat and is more expensive than a regular whopper.

Fast food joints can embrace this stuff if they want…then the vast majority won’t eat it, and it’ll eventually be stricken from the menu.

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1 hour ago, Lith said:

My daughter is a vegetarian.  The more options there are for her, the simpler it makes things for me and my wife if we want to take her out for dinner. 

I guess this gives us another option when we are on a road trip, which is about the only time we eat fast food.

Agreed.  It's not something to seek out, by any means, but it's interesting that these major burger chains are pivoting towards options that are at least healthier in appearance, and also meat free.

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1 hour ago, Untouchable said:

Still don’t understand why people who are so against eating meat have no problem eating imitation meat.

That “impossible whopper” from Burger King isn’t even better for you.

Has more calories, saturated fat and is more expensive than a regular whopper.

Fast food joints can embrace this stuff if they want…then the vast majority won’t eat it, and it’ll eventually be stricken from the menu.

The data I've seen is that the Impossible Whopper has less calories and less saturated fat.  Where's your data from?

Whopper-Comparison.jpg

I also don't think anyone is saying it's a health food, either.  Simply, a plant-based option.

The reasons for this go beyond health, of course.  Though, those should not be ignored.  Plenty of people are vegetarians/vegans for ethical and environmental reasons, and this is an option for them, even if it's not a healthy one.  In a 2014 survey, 1% of Americans claimed to be Vegan, and that number rose to 6% is 2017.  That growth is staggering.  Apparently 26% of Millennials are vegetarian, which is also astronomical.

As for you prediction, it's worth noting that the Impossible Burger is coming up on 2 years on the market this summer, so it's not some flash in the pan.  It doesn't appear to be going anywhere.

I don't know, I just think it's interesting how these corporations are responding to these trends.

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1 hour ago, joewilly12 said:

@TeddEY

Wendy's and Burger King 

Image result for clint eastwood gifs

For the most part, I agree.  It's to be avoided.  My reason for posting is more about the efforts of these corporations than as an advertisement or recommendation.

I eat meat, fwiw.  Less and less red meat, but plenty of chicken.

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