Some of the meat at Cracker Barrel may be fake, but the beef it causes is very real.
On Monday, the chain posted on Facebook about a plant-based sausage made by Impossible Foods that Cracker Barrel had added to breakfast menus earlier this summer. The post sparked strong reactions from followers, with many complaining that Cracker Barrel shouldn’t offer the meat option.
“I just lost respect for a once great Tennessee company,” one person commented. Another comment said: “Not going to happen! Cracker Barrel used to be so good, we looked forward to eating in them, but not anymore,” while another person wrote “bad choice.” Others expressed skepticism that the product would taste good. Several commenters dismissed the “woke” addition to the menu.
Not all reaction was negative, however, and many thanked the chain for the alternative. “I couldn’t even tell the difference. I think it’s great for people who can’t eat meat for some reason,” one person wrote.
In a statement to CNN Business, Cracker Barrel said it is “always exploring opportunities to expand how our guests experience breakfast and offer choices to satisfy every tastebud — whether people want to stick with traditional favorites like bacon and sausage or are hungry for a new , nutritious plant-based alternative like Impossible Sausage.”
On Thursday, Cracker Barrel responded to the controversy on Instagram, posting a photo of the plant-based hot dog and pork hot dog together. “Where pork-based and plant-based sausage lovers can breakfast all day in harmony,” the caption reads. Road rival McDonald’s (MCD) has eliminated all-day breakfasts.
Cracker Barrel added Impossible Sausage to its menus as part of a broader overhaul of its offerings. The chain said this was its “first plant-based protein at a time when more than ever consumers are seeking better-for-them plant-based options.”
Eaters are gravitating toward alternative meats, with major chains, such as Dunkin’ and Burger King, adding them to their menus.