The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Where’s the Beef? Not in This Burger: Wendy’s Tests New Black Bean Burger

Posted on May 26, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Myrial Holbrook

You’ve may have heard by now that Wendy’s is testing a new black bean burger at two locations in Columbus, Ohio (5505 W. Broad St. and 739 Bethel Rd.). This test has been running for several weeks but has been extended indefinitely due to the popularity of the burger.

The burger is topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese, and asiago ranch sauce, all sandwiched between a multigrain bun. Wendy’s states that, when ordered without the cheese and asiago ranch sauce, the “ingredients in both the bun and the black bean patty would be considered vegan.” The burger comes frozen to the store, where it is then cooked “in a separate oven so it does not contact the grill where we prepare meat.” When we asked Wendy’s for its full ingredient list., they responded with the following statement: “This is early in our process for deciding which products we may move to a broader market test before we consider them for an expanded place on our menu or in any other locations. Because of this, we cannot provide complete details on all ingredients as they are subject to change during this phase of testing.” So please use your judgment to determine if this burger is appropriate for your diet.

What we did find out from Wendy’s is that the list of ingredients currently includes the following ingredients: “Black Beans, Wild Rice, Farro, Onions, Brown Rice, Soybean Oil, Carrots, Panko Bread Crumbs, Quinoa, Corn, Green Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Rolled Oats, Brown Rice Flour, Red Wine Vinegar, and other ingredients including WHEAT.” Wendy’s does give the disclaimer that “the restaurant as a whole is not vegan or vegetarian so cross contact with other menu items is possible.”

Could this be the beginning of a veg movement at Wendy’s? Wendy’s is remaining non-committal on the subject, stating, “We are in the very early stages of testing at this time. We do not have a timeline on when the black bean burger will be available outside our current test market.” We can’t be certain of the future of better vegetarian and vegan options at Wendy’s, but we can hope for the best.

The contents of this posting, our website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

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