Recently, White Castle made a bold move. It took the Impossible Burger — a plant-based burger that was supposed to be the closest yet to meat in taste and feel — and brought it to a mass market with the Impossible Slider, serving it up to its fans. There were some concerns when it launched: The Impossible Slider is $1.99, compared to a standard slider’s 90 cents. But those concerns appear to be ill-founded: The Impossible Slider is moving burgers and then some.
Forbes followed up with White Castle and found the Impossible Slider has been doing gangbusters business:
Though the company would not disclose specific numbers, VP Jamie Richardson said the test is going “exceedingly well. The customers are enthusiastic. Sales have exceeded expectations and some restaurants are selling as many of 300 of these sliders a day,” he said.
White Castle, being a privately owned family company, doesn’t discuss how many burgers its 420 restaurants get out the door in a given day, but it’s safe to say there’s not a restaurant out there that doesn’t like making $600 a day in extra revenue. Impossible also states its customers are seeing double-digit sales growth, which, particularly for fast food places, is a big, big deal.
The main question is, will the Impossible Burger hop to other menus? White Castle is one thing; it’s a relatively small family-owned company that can make bold moves. The fast food giants like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and others are franchised, which makes introducing products a more complicated proposition, even if KFC is hard at work on vegetarian fried chicken. But it’s worth remembering these are businesses, intent on making money. As customers become more concerned about how eco-friendly their food is, think more about their health, and as the price of beef keeps rising, if customers want plant-based proteins, it’s going to happen.