Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Burger King launched a veggie Rebel Whopper in over 2,500 locations in 25 countries across Europe on Tuesday.
The rollout is one of the biggest product launches in history.
The Vegetarian Butcher, a Netherlands manufacturer bought by Unilever in late 2018, has partnered with Burger King to supply the plant-based patty as more people shift to diets with less meat, Unilever announced Tuesday.
"When I started The Vegetarian Butcher nine years ago, my goal was to be the biggest butcher in the world," Jaap Korteweg, a ninth-generation farmer and founder of The Vegetarian Butcher said. "To create products for meat lovers, with the ambition of providing the same taste and experience, but plant-based. Working with Burger King on the Rebel Whopper has been amazing, and we can't wait for all Burger King guests to enjoy it."
Burger King launched the Rebel Whopper in Sweden earlier this year along with the Rebel Chicken King, another veggie sandwich. The product is not labeled as vegan because it's cooked in the same broiler as meat products and comes with mayonnaise, though customers may request it without the mayo. The company also launched an Impossible Whopper made with a plant-based patty from Impossible Foods earlier this year.
The roll out of the veggie Impossible Whopper in the United States was successful, driving 5 percent of global comparable sales growth in the United States, the "strongest level since 2015," according to Restaurant Brands International Chain third-quarter report released late last month.
Burger King will test extending the Impossible patties to Whopper, Jr. burgers in 180 restaurants in the United States, the company said, including restaurants in Milwaukee, Cedar Rapids, Augusta, Cincinnati and Buffalo.
Other fast-food chains have also piloted plant-based alternatives. McDonald's piloted a plant-based burger from Beyond Meat company in 28 restaurants in Ontario, Canada, in September. Wendy's is testing black-bean burgers.