Jack In The Box Enters The Plant-Based Race A Little Late (But Worth The Wait)

Better late than never, Jack in the Box will be offering an Impossible Burger option.

Jack in the Box is hopping on the plant-based fast food bandwagon. Like many chains before it, the burger franchise wants to satisfy non-meat-eaters, but is being very cautious about it.

The company is testing the waters by only offering the Impossible Burger at participating Phoenix-area locations for a limited time, according to a press release. Jack is also doing things a little differently than his other burger buddies by not creating a brand-new sandwich for this rollout or keeping the plant-based meat limited to one menu item. Instead, customers at these specific locations can ask to substitute the usual beef patty on any burger for an Impossible patty at an extra charge of $1 or $1.50 per patty.

I give Jack in the Box points for some originality here. I'm no vegan, not even vegetarian-leaning. But if I were, I think I'd be annoyed that at most leading fast food chains, non-meat-eaters have to order one particular sandwich instead of being able to branch out to the regular menu.

"Jack in the Box's test with Impossible Foods will aim to meet the expectations of flexitarians and those looking to eat less meat, while maintaining the craveability and menu versatility for which Jack in the Box is known," reads the press release. I do love options!

Though Jack is late to the party, he's not the only one behind the plant-based curve. McDonald's only just announced that it will be testing out the McPlant, a Beyond Meat offering, next month in eight U.S. McDonald's locations. (The McPlant won't be strictly vegan though, since it will have cheese and mayo and be grilled alongside beef burgers.)

This isn't the first change Jack in the Box has made recently. Back in 2019, the chain was struggling to stay true to the description "fast food." The goal was to cut down service time by the end of this year. Not sure how easy it is to juggle both greater efficiency and an expanding menu, but good luck.