Original article by Amy Barnes for Forbes
Carl’s Jr.’s memorable commercials feature juicy hamburgers and celebrities enjoying them. Its latest commercials feature a burger that goes beyond its typical fare. Tennessee-based Carl’s Jr. and California-based Beyond Meat have partnered to create the Carl’s Jr. Beyond Famous Star burger. Beyond Meat’s plant-based Beyond Burger patty stars in a new sandwich that will be offered at over 1,000 Carl’s Jr. restaurants in the U.S. Beyond Meat has its own celebrity following and influencer network with investors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Gates.
The big flavor of the Beyond Meat-based burger is only matched by the size of the Beyond Meat/Carl’s Jr. partnership. By offering the $6.29 burger (with the option to add to any existing burger for $2), it is the biggest restaurant deal for Beyond Meat so far. Previous collaborations between competitor Impossible Burger and other burger chains like Hopdoddy’s (The Impossible), White Castle (The Impossible Slider) and Umami (The Impossible Burger) have brought meatless burgers to the masses but on a smaller scale.
Before Carl Jr. and Beyond teamed up on the Beyond Famous Star Burger, diners wanting a meatless burger could pick up Beyond Burgers at 25,000 grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, colleges, and theme parks, including TGI Friday’s, BurgerFri, Bareburger, Kroger, Publix and more. Specialty grocer Whole Foods Market didn’t treat the Beyond patties any differently than meat; it become the first ever plant-based product sold in their meat department. Whether diners are just cutting meat out of their diet briefly or looking to become vegan or vegetarian, the Beyond Meat patties and Beyond Star burger become an answer to eating out without feeling left out.
“We know people are looking for options — in fact, roughly one-third of consumers identify as flexitarians — and we’re thrilled to partner with Beyond Meat to bring more delicious, irresistible flavors to our menu. The new Beyond Famous Star is a true industry game changer, and we’re proud to add it to our roster of innovative offerings and build on the legacy of mouthwatering flavors,” said Jason Marker, chief executive officer of Carl’s Jr. parent company CKE Restaurants.
The two companies may seem different on the surface. Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat filed its initial public offering late last year while Carl’s Jr. was founded in 1941 and is privately traded. One is located on the West Coast with 100% plant-based proteins like the Beyond patty, Beyond Sausage and Beyond Chicken strips. The other thrives as an iconic Tennessee-based company best known for its 100% Angus Beef Thickburgers, hand-breaded fried chicken fingers and made-from-scratch biscuits. However, both companies are always looking for ways to better serve their customers by offering healthier, yet flavorful choices at meal time.