Fast-food giant Burger King may soon have its day in court after a group of angry vegans has filed a lawsuit against the company for its alleged deceptive business practices relating to their vegan menu option, the Impossible Whopper.
Burger King’s Impossible Whopper is a burger with patties that are made with plant-based meat and is marketed towards vegans and non-meat eaters. However, a lawsuit from a group of vegans claims that Burger King is cooking the plant-based burger patties in the same grill where they cook meat-based burger patties. For the plaintiffs, this practice has contaminated what is supposed to be a meat-free product.
The vegans said that the fast-food chain’s food preparation process is unclear; however, they argue that as vegans, they wouldn’t have bought the burger if they knew that it was prepared in the same cooking surface where meat and its by-products are prepared and collected.
“Plaintiff, like the other members of the Class, reasonably believed that the Impossible Whopper was, in fact, ‘0% beef’ and, therefore, did not contain any meat or meat by-products. The plaintiff would not have purchased the Impossible Whopper if he knew that it . . . was coated in meat by-products,” the court documents revealed.
The vegans claim that their rights as consumers have been violated and demand that they will be paid just compensation for what happened. The plaintiffs ask the court to order Burger King to pay the profits of the burger’s sale to them.
Aside from the demand to “return all benefits gained, profits received, etc. from its deceptive marketing and sale of its Impossible Whopper to make full restitution to Plaintiff and the Class,” the group of vegans also said they want Burger King to make an actual vegan burger. It also asks for injunctive and equitable relief and actual, compensatory, and any other damages the court sees fit to award. The plaintiffs have not listed any specific dollar amount of compensation in the suit.
In an email to Fast Company, Burger King said that “we do not comment on pending litigation.”
Amidst the claims of the vegans that Burger King deceived them and “contaminated” their food, a quick search of the fast-food chain’s website would reveal that there was a broiler-free option for vegans who don’t want their meet to be cooked in the same grill as to where meats are cooked.
“For guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request,” the website reads.
This is not the first time that Burger King’s Impossible Whopper has been on the headlines recently. Earlier this year, a Brooklyn location has been the center of a controversy after they have sent vegans who ordered the Impossible Whopper a burger with meat patties in it. Reports show that some of those vegans have eaten two of the burgers before realizing that they are eating meat.