Impossible Whopper for the Win

Burger King’s new Impossible Whopper is driving “steady traffic” since its release this summer.

October 21, 2019

ST. LOUIS—Burger King exclusively released the Impossible Whopper, a meat-free alternative to its classic burger, in St. Louis this summer, and it’s been met with great success, reports CNBC.

During the burger’s trial period that began in mid-July, Barclays used geolocation tracking to study traffic at Burger King restaurants in St. Louis with the new burger, compared with stores nationwide without. Barclays found that traffic grew 18% in the St. Louis locations after the burger’s introduction. In that same period, there were no comparable gains at St. Louis-area McDonald’s locations.

“Since mid-July, we have seen Burger King gain traffic nationally relative to McDonald’s with the gains accelerating as we approached the nationwide launch of the Impossible Whopper,” the Barclays team wrote. Our research suggests that, “following the national launch of the Impossible Whopper, BK stores have seen a 2 percentage point traffic lift nationally, relative to McDonald’s.”

Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper nationwide in August and now, the chain is on track to see a 3.5% increase in U.S. same-store sales. Meanwhile, stock for Restaurant Brands International, the Canadian multinational fast food holding company of which Burger King is a subsidiary of predicts its stock will rise about 23%.

Barclay researchers wrote, regarding the increase and its relation to the Whopper, “On Burger King’s Impossible Whopper… in our view, the evidence supports the fact that the Impossible Whopper can draw traffic for BK.”