Today, fast-food chain Arby’s—known for its slogan “we have the meats”—unveiled a new marketing concept: “megetables,” or plants made out of meat. The idea was created in response to the rapid growth of plant-based meat—made by companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods—on fast-food menus. “People love meat already. What Americans have a harder time doing is enjoying vegetables,” Arby’s Chief Marketing Officer Jim Taylor told Fast Company. “So we said, ‘If they can make meat out of vegetables, why can’t we make vegetables out of meat?’ We’re going to introduce to the world a category we call ‘megetables’—we’ve applied for trademark. Our first vegetable is going to be the marrot.” The “marrot”—turkey that is shaped into a carrot—may be sold for a limited time based on customer response, which, evidenced by commenters on Facebook, is skewing negative. “Imagine being this insecure about the fate of your industry. Go with the flow, my friends, you’re not doing yourselves any favors fighting the inevitable,” user Alex Perez said. In May, Arby’s made a public statement about its stance on plant-based meat options. “Arby’s is not one of the restaurant companies interested in working with Impossible Foods,” the company said. “The chances we will bring plant-based menu items to our restaurants, now or in the future, are absolutely impossible.” Commenter Hooper Brown responded, stating, “Wow, such a strong moral position to take. I’m so thankful Arby’s has committed to have its head in the sand. I hope to quote this again in a few years when shareholders change their mind.” Many commenters on Facebook were confused about the chain being so opposed to adding plant-based meat (“Don’t seek out foes where there’s nothing but allies and money to be made,” Felix Chesire Thompson commented), with some pointing out that foot traffic at Burger King locations that offer the Impossible Whopper has increased by 18.5 percent.
Photo Credit: Arby’s