Wendy’s proves plant-based burgers are Made to Crave with its Spicy Black Bean Burger

Wendy's new plant-based burger, Spicy Black Bean Burger, photo provided by Wendy's
Wendy's new plant-based burger, Spicy Black Bean Burger, photo provided by Wendy's /

Wendy’s plant-based burger, the new Spicy Black Bean Burger, is its latest Made to Crave menu addition. Since Wendy’s is always committed to getting it right and its Made to Crave menu focuses on flavor innovation, bold ingredients and great value, the newest menu item will quickly become many people’s favorite order. This food menu item isn’t about substitution; it is about taste innovation.

The new Spicy Black Bean Burger will be available starting on June 28 only in Columbus, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. While this limited launch is available while supplies last, the test market offering will give the Wendy’s team much information as it looks to increase the availability across its channels.

During a recent media roundtable discussion regarding the launch of the Spicy Black Bean Burger, John Li, VP of Culinary Innovation at Wendy’s and Eryn Bennett, Manager of Culinary & Product Innovation at Wendy’s shared their insight on this plant-based burger innovation. With over a year and a half testing, the culinary team believes that it has created a Made to Crave option that it is first and foremost about the taste.

While the burger is described as a Spicy Black Bean Burger, it is actually a combination various vegetables within that patty. According to culinary team, they set out to make the best possible plant-based burger, not a meat substitute. Since Wendy’s is always focused on “Food Done Right,” the determination to get the taste, texture and combinations on point was imperative.

Most importantly, every new menu innovation needs to work within the brand’s high standard. Putting out a product just because of a food trend doesn’t drive the menu. Innovation without flavor is not part of the Wendy’s brand.

For Wendy’s, the Spicy Black Bean Burger is about building that perfect bite. With a patty made from black beans, carrots, corn, peppers and rice, it is the flavor foundation to the other toppings. From the crisp lettuce to the premium bun, each component builds to total enjoyment.

One item that sets this plant-based burger apart is the chipotle jalapenos. While other Wendy’s menu items offer jalapenos, the addition of the chipotle element adds a smoky quality that enhances the other vegetable flavors. Since you can customize Wendy’s orders, maybe you can convince your local restaurant to add a few extra chipotle jalapenos to your burger.

Li made it very clear that this spicy black bean burger is not like those tasteless versions from 30 plus years ago. More importantly, this new offering isn’t about following in the path of others. Like everything on the Wendy’s menu, it is about flavor first.

Based on the discussion, the Wendy’s culinary team seemed to hit a sweet spot with flexitarians. This Wendy’s plant-based burger isn’t about a “meat alternative.” It is creating a vegetable forward burger that has bold spice, contrasting textures and satisfies just like any other food item on the Made to Crave menu.

The new Wendy’s plant-based burger, the Spicy Black Bean Burger, will be available starting June 28 in the three select markets. Be sure to check out the Hot Deal Summer offers from Wendy’s over the upcoming months.

The real reason why Wendy's burgers are square. light. Related Story

What do you think about the new Wendy’s plant-based burger? Do you think that the Spicy Black Bean Burger is a smart addition to the Made to Crave menu?