Not everyone agrees with the concept of vegan “meat”, especially traditionalists who may not agree with the latest changes in food trends and demands.
Cracker Barrel learned that lesson the hard way after the restaurant chain faced massive backlash on social media over its decision to introduce vegan “sausage” to menus across the country.
The restaurant took to Facebook to post a photo of a breakfast plate featuring Impossible™ Sausage Fries, a new offering from the company.
“Discover new frontiers of meat,” the post reads. “Experience the out-of-this-world flavor of Plant-Based Impossible™ Sausage the next time you build your own breakfast.”
Customers and followers of the chain, however, seemed to take offense to the image and menu addition, as the post garnered more than 11,000 comments and 6,600 reactions, most of which were nonsensical.
“Not in a billion years am I eating this,” one user wrote. “The only impossible thing 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 on the menu anymore.”
Others jumped to the chain’s defense, saying the decision to include meat-free options for customers was inclusive of those who couldn’t eat meat for dietary reasons, mocking naysayers and calling them “snowflakes “.
“Hello selfish selfish people,” one commenter wrote. “Some of us are vegetarians and vegans and we appreciate alternatives when we eat out. Maybe you order what you want, we order what we want and shut up.”
Still, many said the decision to include a vegan option “woke them up” and said they would no longer eat at Cracker Barrel.
“You tend to serve REAL stuff – Real butter Real meat Real smiles Really good food,” said one distressed Facebooker. “Now you want to add the FAKE sausage. Goodbye old friend. When you take off the fake sausage, I’d like to come back. Until then, bye.”
Sign up for the dramatics!
Given the immense backlash, Cracker Barrel said businessman that the company appreciates the love (and passion) fans have for the restaurant and its menu.
“At Cracker Barrel, we’re always exploring opportunities to expand the way our guests experience breakfast and offer options to satisfy every palate, whether people want to stick with traditional dishes like bacon and sausage or have hungry for a new plant-based option like Impossible Sausage,” the company said via email.
Cracker Barrel is one of many legacy chains that have begun experimenting with meat-free options on their menus.
Burger King introduced the Impossible™ Whopper in 2019, which became so popular that the chain launched two more meatless burgers this summer.
KFC also made waves when it introduced Beyond Fried Chicken last January, a meatless alternative to the company’s beloved fried chicken.
It looks like many other brands may make the jump in the coming years.
In 2020, the global vegan food market had a size of USD 23.31 billion, with an estimate expected to reach a valuation of USD 61.35 billion by 2028.
Cracker Barrel’s burgers are supplied by Impossible Foods, which provides meatless options for countless local and national chains including Starbucks, Applebee’s, The Cheesecake Factory and Bareburger.