The vegans who accused Burger King of deceptively marketing its “Impossible Whopper” didn’t put enough meat on their legal claims, a federal judge ruled.
The aggrieved diners failed to prove the fast-food giant duped reasonable consumers into thinking its meatless sandwich would be cooked on a different grill than its beef and chicken products, US District Judge Raag Singhal said in dismissing their class-action lawsuit.
“Plaintiffs argue Burger King’s advertisement promised more than a non-meat patty,” Singhal wrote. “… This Court cannot agree. Burger King promised a non-meat patty and delivered with the ‘Impossible Burger.’”
The customers also didn’t bother to ask how the burger was cooked or request that the restaurant prepare it differently to meet their dietary needs, Singhal noted. He gave the plaintiffs until July 27 to decide whether to amend their complaint.
Neither Burger King nor the plaintiffs’ lawyers immediately responded to requests for comment on the order.
A vegan man named Philip Williams brought the class-action suit in November claiming Burger King “contaminated” its Impossible Whoppers by exposing them to meat byproducts on its grills, a fact he said the chain failed to disclose on its menus. Five other customers who purchased the sandwich later joined the case.
But Burger King said it advised customers that the burger would be prepared in an “open kitchen environment.” Diners who desired a meat-free burger could also have the sandwich cooked without the broiler that’s used to prepare beef patties, the company said.
Burger King — owned by fast-food conglomerate Restaurant Brands International — rolled out the meatless Whopper last year with a wheat-and-potato-protein patty produced by Impossible Foods. Other chains including McDonald’s and Starbucks have introduced meatless sandwiches in partnership with Impossible rival Beyond Meat.