Wendy’s takes a different approach to new plant-based burger, will not use a ‘meat alternative’

National

The burger will be available in three test markets as of June 28. (The Wendy’s Company)

(NEXSTAR) – Wendy’s is taking an altogether different approach — but not an entirely new one — for its plant-based burger.

This week, the Ohio-based chain announced that its new vegetarian option will be made with a spicy black bean patty, as opposed to the plant-based meat alternatives favored by Burger King or McDonald’s.

The sandwich, called the Spicy Black Bean Burger, will be available starting June 28 in three test markets, while supplies last: Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Jacksonville, Florida.

“Consumers are demanding plant-based sandwiches, and we’re answering the call in a way that only Wendy’s can with a mouthwatering sandwich packed with multiple layers of heat and flavor,” said Carl Loredo, the U.S. chief marketing officer for The Wendy’s Company, in a press release issued on Thursday.

The Spicy Black Bean Burger is made with a spiced black bean patty (square-shaped, of course), along with “crunchy chipotle jalapenos,” pepperjack cheese, chipotle sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion. Like all Wendy’s items, customers can omit ingredients from the made-to-order burger, if they so choose.

“The Spicy Black Bean Burger is a culinary creation that turns the notion of a tasteless, texture-lacking black bean patty on its head by bringing our iconic spice as only Wendy’s can,” added John Li, the vice president of culinary innovation at Wendy’s. “With the Spicy Black Bean Burger every bite is a sensorial experience bursting with flavor and texture just like our other craft and premium sandwich offerings on the Made to Crave menu lineup.”

Wendy’s has set $5.79 as the “recommended pricing” of the sandwich. Customers who order via the Wendy’s app can also get a free medium-sized order of fries.

Plant-based burger options at restaurant chains have expanded in recent years, with outlets such as Burger King, White Castle and Dunkin’ — among several other chains — have offering their own versions, all of which utilize plant-based proteins developed by Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat. McDonald’s, too, is testing its plant-based “McPlant” offering using a proprietary meat alternative developed together with Beyond Meat.

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