95% of people who opt for vegan burgers when dining out also eat meat

The meatless burger is becoming more popular among meat-eating consumers.

Some 95% of people who purchased a plant-based burger this year also ate meat, new data from market researcher NPD Group shows.

There were 228 million servings of plant-based burgers at quick service restaurants this year, up 10% from a year ago. And while beef burgers are still the most popular burger on menus with 6.4 billion ordered, growth is flat compared to a year ago, according to the report.

‘U.S. consumers have not given up on beef burgers, but are willing to mix things up every now and them.’

—Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst

The substantial year-over-year growth among plant-based burgers is due primarily to greater availability at major chains like Burger King QSR, +0.52%  and White Castle.

While vegetarians and vegans are contributing to the growth in the plant-based market, they still make up a small single digit percentage of the U.S. population and are not the main contributors to market growth, NPD food analysts note.

What’s more, 18% of the adult population say they’re trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets; and 60% of U.S. adults want more protein in their diets, according to the report.

“Plant-based burgers allow consumers to substitute without sacrifice. They get the ‘burger’ experience while assuaging their need for more protein and social concerns,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “U.S. consumers have not given up on beef burgers, but are willing to mix things up every now and then.”

The hype is hotter than ever this year as major fast-food chains jump on the bandwagon. Burger King announced earlier this year it’s Impossible Whopper from soy protein, potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil and heme, a molecule that makes it look

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