Wendy’s Black Bean Burger Heats Up The Vegan Fast Food Race

Wendy’s is officially testing a black bean burger.

Starting June 28, the fast food chain establishments in Columbus, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville will be able to order the plant-based Spicy Black Bean Burger, but only while supplies last.

The galette is made with a blend of spices and crunchy jalapeños for extra spice. Wendy’s New Black Bean Burger isn’t vegan by default. The sandwich is served with melted pepper cheese, spicy chipotle sauce, tomatoes, sweet onions and romaine lettuce on a bun. It can be made vegan on request by omitting the cheese.

Wendy’s New Black Bean Burger

The decision to present a black bean patty – the symbol of old-school vegetarian options – stands out in a fast food landscape dominated by plant-based burgers that sizzle and taste like beef. Wendy’s presented her burger with a knowing nod. “Some herbal creations have spawned a bland reputation for the category – looking at you McImpossible – but luckily Wendy’s has spice in its DNA,” the company said. (The shadow of everything!)

Wendy’s was mulling over launching a plant-based burger, a black bean pancake– in 2015. The test began in Columbus and its expansion into the test market in 2016 included a commercial, but it was discontinued in 2017, so a nationwide launch never took place. So, will this burger make it to all of Wendy’s 6,500 stores? It’s on hold at the moment. But the company has some catching up to do in the plant-based burger game.

The vegan fast food burger race

In 2018, White Castle became the first fast food chain to sell the Impossible Burger, offered as a slider. Since then, several large fast food chains have jumped on the bandwagon to meet consumers’ growing appetite for plant-based burgers.

Other channels soon followed. Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper in a test market on April 1, 2019 (that was no joke) to roll it out nationwide later in the year. McDonald’s, the largest hamburger and fries fast food chain in the United States, signed a three-year deal with Beyond Meat earlier this year. He tested “McPlant”, a pancake made from beefy pea protein, in some international markets. (The closest McDonald’s to bring a plant-based burger to the United States was testing a Beyond Meat patty in Ontario in 2019.)

Carl’s Jr launched its Beyond Famous Star in 2018. Hardee’s also took advantage of the growing demand for meatless with its own Beyond Burgers in late 2019.

Will Wendy’s Spicy Black Bean Burger be a hit as others look into the next generation of plant-based meat? Wendy’s thinks so.

“The Spicy Black Bean Burger is a culinary creation that overturns the notion of a tasteless, textural black bean patty on its head by bringing our signature spice like only Wendy’s can,” said John Li, vice president of culinary innovation for The Wendy’s. Company.

About the Author

Editor-in-chief | New York City, NY Kat writes on sustainable food, fashion and food technology. They hold a BA in Film and Cultural Studies from Stony Brook University.


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About Jamie Collins

Jamie Collins

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