Not everyone is on board with the concept of vegan “meat,” especially traditionalists who may not be on board with the latest changes in food trends and demands.
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Cracker Barrel learned that lesson the hard way after the restaurant chain faced massive backlash on social media over the decision to introduce vegan “sausage” to menus nationwide.
The restaurant took to Facebook to post a photo of a breakfast dish with Impossible™ Sausage patties, a new offering from the company.
“Discover new meat frontiers,” the post reads. “Experience the out of this world flavor of Impossible™ Sausage Made From Plants next time you Build Your Own Breakfast.”
Customers and fans of the chain, however, seemed to take offense to the image and menu addition as the post garnered over 11,000 comments and 6,600 reactions, most of which were senselessly angry.
“Not in a billion years am I eating this,” one user wrote. “The only thing impossible will be how to recover from this mess.”
“Are you kidding me? Who do you think your customer base is?” said another. “I still order the double meat breakfast and it’s not even on the menu anymore.”
Others jumped to the defense of the chain, saying that the decision to include meatless options for customers was inclusive to those who couldn’t eat meat for dietary reasons, poking fun at the naysayers and calling them “snowflakes.”
“Hello self-absorbed and selfish people,” one commenter penned. “Some of us are vegetarians and vegans and we appreciate alternatives when we eat out. Maybe order what you want, we order what we want, and hush already.”
Still, many waged on calling the decision to include a vegan option “woke” and claimed they would no longer eat at Cracker Barrel.
“You used to serve REAL things: Real butter Real meat Real smiles Real good food,” one distressed Facebook said. “Now you want to add in FAKE sausage. Bye bye old friend. When you get rid of the imitation sausage, I would like to come back. Until then, good bye.”
Cue the dramatics!
Given the immense backlash, Cracker Barrel told Entrepreneur that the company appreciates the love (and passion) that fans have for the restaurant and its menu.
“At Cracker Barrel, we’re always exploring opportunities to expand how our guests experience breakfast and provide choices to satisfy every taste bud – whether people want to stick with traditional favorites like bacon and sausage or are hungry for a new, plant-based option like Impossible Sausage,” the company said via email.
Cracker Barrel is among the many legacy chains to begin experimenting with meatless options on their menus.
Burger King introduced the Impossible™ Whopper in 2019 which gained so much popularity that the chain rolled out two more meatless burgers this summer.
KFC also made waves when it introduced Beyond Fried Chicken this past January, a meatless alternative to the company’s beloved fried chicken.
It looks like many other brands may be making the jump in the years to come.
In 2020, the global vegan food market was sized at $23.31 billion, with a projected estimate of reaching a $61.35 billion valuation by 2028.
Cracker Barrel’s patties are supplied by Impossible Foods, which supplies meatless options for countless local and national chains such as Starbucks, Applebee’s, The Cheesecake Factory, and Bareburger.