Unilever’s Burger King Whoppers Will Bring Plant-based Burgers To Overlooked Consumers: GlobalData


By Emmanuel Oluebube, Correspondent UK and Josephine Akaerr, Special Correspondent

Burger King’s expansion of Vegetarian Butcher patties in Latin America, China and the Caribbean shows that Unilever is serious about its aims to reach €1bn (US$1.2bn) in plant-based sales. Burger King will supply Unilever’s Whopper patties in several developing markets at similar prices to its meat equivalent. This is a very positive step, as, according to a survey by GlobalData, consumers in these markets have become more concerned with the environment since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, Ryan Whittaker comments: “The Chinese market is already extremely receptive to plant-based meat replacements, with over one in five saying that they’re buying less meat and more meat replacements. In comparison, Brazil has over a third noting that they are buying less meat and 14 per cent saying they are buying more meat replacements. However, accessibility, infrastructure and prices remain key barriers to South American consumers.”

Whittaker continues: “As Unilever double-downs on its plant-based sales, the company will need to find ways to bring this to markets where plant-based meat replacements are still in their relative infancy as a category. Partnering with Burger King to reach these markets at a similar price point to meat – and then transitioning to local meat-replacement production as demand increases – is a sound approach. Burger King is a household name and has spearheaded a lot of recent plant-based burger campaigns, aiming to attract those with flexitarian and reduced-meat diets.

“To put it plainly, consumers wishing to reduce their meat intake will buy products that taste good – especially if they are convinced it helps the environment and reduces the impacts of meat farming. Consumers globally want to buy from companies they think are making the world a better place.”

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Hepatocellular Carcinoma – Epidemiology Forecast Report to 2029, reveals that the diagnosed incident cases of HCC are expected to increase from 0.26 million in 2019 to 0.34 million in 2029, at an annual growth rate (AGR) of 3.24 per cent across the eight major markets 8MM*.

Of the 8MM, urban China is expected to have the highest number of diagnosed incident cases of HCC in 2029 with 0.22 million and increasing at an AGR of 4.44 per cent (2019­-2029), followed by Spain at an AGR 2.25 per cent and the UK at an AGR 2.03 per cent.

Associate Project Manager of Epidemiology at GlobalData, Suneedh Manthri comments: “The major drivers for the upward trend in the diagnosed incident cases of HCC can be attributable to the increase in alcohol consumption coupled with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis V Virus (HCV) infections among men and women in the decades prior to the diagnosis of HCC.

“Urban China has the highest diagnosed incident cases of HCC among the 8MM. Urban China also has the highest diagnosed incident cases of HCC with HBV, HCV, and alcohol use as risk factors.

It noted that despite there being “no articulated, harmonised regulatory approach for the near future”, the companies remained hopeful that officials would resolve the problem “soon”.

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