Fast food is an unlikely industry to help save the planet, but Sonic recently announced it wants to try to do its part. The 3,500-plus-location burger chain is adding a mushroom burger – not a burger topped with mushrooms, or a burger patty swapped for a portobello, but a burger where the patty is blended with mushrooms to help reduce beef consumption – joining the growing “Blended Burger” initiative.
Originally conceived by the Mushroom Council, an industry trade group, the Blended Burger project suggests that by blending beef patties to include about 25 to 30 percent of mushroom, chefs can offer a burger option that is both healthier and better for the environment without sacrificing taste. Deemed more than just a mushroom marketing ploy, the concept has seen support from Menus of Change, a collaboration between The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that seeks to push “healthy, sustainable, delicious food choices,” and the James Beard Foundation. A number of high-profile chefs have given these beef-mushroom blend burgers a try, as well as some colleges and universities, but Sonic will be the first fast food chain to test out a “blended burger” on its menu.
- Fast Food Has Finally Beat Full-Service in Customer Satisfaction
- The Economics of Who Eats Fast Food Will Surprise You
- America's 10 Healthiest Fast Food and Fast Casual Restaurants
The chain has dubbed their take the “Sonic Slinger” and plans to test the new burger, which is somewhere between slider and a full-sized patty, in several markets for 60 days starting at the end of August. Scott Uehlein, Sonic’s vice president of product innovation and development, told Nation’s Restaurant News that the initial response with focus groups has been one of “disbelief” and “excitement.” “My hope is that a year from now we’ll be standing here talking about a national rollout,” he was quoted as saying.