Burger King Austria’s new campaign is boldly challenging the public’s expectation of what “normal” ought to be. In a climate-conscious world, making plant-based the default standard for burgers is quite a statement. The brand’s experiment is simple and straightforward. When customers order a burger, cashiers ask, “normal oder mit fleisch?” Which translates to “normal or with meat”. The phrasing of the question ensures that customers clearly voice their preferences, while also causing them to think about their choice.
The dinner trial was hosted at a restaurant in Margaretengürtel, Vienna, and the goal was to make people think about whether consuming meat should be “routine.” The meat-free standard campaign was a great success and has sparked vigorous debate online about whether eating meat every day is really necessary.
In many modern cultures, eating meat is considered the “norm.” However, this was not always the case in human societies, and the increasingly frequent and extreme weather events brought on by human-induced climate change have led more and more people to reconsider plant-based lifestyles.
Industrial beef and other livestock production generates massive quantities of greenhouse gas emissions while also using up precious natural resources such as land and water. Those who are concerned with reducing their environmental footprint know that they can do so in a meaningful way by following plant-based diets, which is why so many are choosing to change their food practices.
This change isn’t necessarily easy, which is why simple but thought-provoking campaigns such as Burger King Austria’s are essential tools in shifting the collective mindset of society. The marketing director of the TQSR Group (Austrian master franchisee of Burger King) Jan-Christoph Küster said, “With the provocative question ‘Normal or meat?’, we want to show that we take our customers and their needs seriously. Because from now on, we also serve almost our entire range on a plant-based basis.”
He goes on to say that “at Burger King, we are making meatless indulgence a permanent fixture on our menu because meat no longer comes naturally to everyone.” Küster explained, “Meat is one option, but it is not the only one. We leave it open to our guests what is normal for them.”
The 2021 book by Dutch Anthropologist Roanne Van Voorst, “Once Upon a Time We Ate Animals” is a playful and provocative interrogation of the modern obsession with animal protein in case you want your mind shifted just a bit more!
This isn’t the first eco-conscious stunt Burger King has pulled in recent years. Check out these other stories we’ve shared about how Burger King is removing plastic toys from its kids’ menus, and how the company is reducing its methane production.