Is That Soy in Your Whopper? Plant-Based Meat Sales Rising

FILE- This Jan. 11, 2019, file photo shows the Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger containing wheat protein, coconut oil and potato protein among it's ingredients in Bellevue, Neb. From soy-based sliders to ground lentil sausages, plant-based meat substitutes are surging in popularity. Growing demand for healthier, more sustainable food is one reason people are seeking plant-based meats. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

From soy-based sliders to ground lentil sausages, plant-based meat substitutes are surging in popularity. And carnivores — not vegans or vegetarians — are among the biggest consumers.

This week, Burger King announced it will test a plant-based version of its Whopper in St. Louis. Burger King says its research shows even meat eaters don’t want to eat meat every day.

Analysts say growing demand for healthier food is one reason people are seeking plant-based meats.

Better technology and marketing also is fueling sales. Newer startups like Beyond Meat and Burger King’s partner Impossible Foods have won over carnivores with plant-based products that look and taste like meat.

Nielsen says annual U.S. sales of plant-based meats jumped 42 percent between March 2016 and March 2019 to a total of nearly $888 million.

By: Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Business Writer