When Cracker Barrel decided to shed its dated image and attract a younger audience with an updated menu of trendy mimosas and stuffed pancakes, he never expected to spark culture wars on social media. But that’s exactly what he did.
The channel’s Facebook page is currently hosting a heated discussion taking place in the comments section of its latest post. And the even more surprising part is that a simple menu addition sparked all the backlash the channel is currently facing. What was this polarizing article that divided the chain’s customers so much? The new plant-based breakfast meat.
The post in question, which was posted on Monday to promote the Impossible Sausage recently added to the chain’s breakfast menu, garnered almost 6,000 comments and 900 shares.
The addition was aimed at appealing to the growing number of vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian consumers, who are much more likely to be from a younger generation. One in five young people aged 18 to 24 describe their diet as containing no meat. On the other hand, 80% of Those 65 and over are meat eaters.
When Cracker Barrel’s social media team announced the addition on its Facebook page, many meat-eating customers couldn’t find the option that matched who they thought the company should market to.
“Are you kidding me?” said a Facebook user. “Who do you think your clientele is? I still order the double meat breakfast and it’s not even on the menu anymore.”
But for many, it wasn’t really about adding plant-based meat. It was about feeling like the restaurant itself was changing and leaving them behind.
“You can make it available for people who want fake food.” said a disappointed commenter. “I’ve been a Cracker Barrel breakfast fan for years. If you insist on faking it, I’ll go somewhere else.”
However, there was also a plethora of positive reactions. Most were surprised by the negative comments and expressed gratitude for the channel’s inclusion of those who don’t eat meat.
“It’s amazing that the snowflakes here are triggered by a meat alternative appearing on a menu,” one commenter said. “You can always order regular meat, you know that, right? Some of you need to build a backbone immediately.”
“Thank you, Cracker Barrel, for thinking of those of us who don’t eat meat,” said another. “I appreciate you and will order the Impossible Meat when I eat breakfast there again.”
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Although Cracker Barrel did not respond to the Facebook post, the company sent a statement to The Washington Post regarding the incident.
“We appreciate the love our fans have for our all-day breakfast menu. At Cracker Barrel, we are always exploring opportunities to expand the way our customers experience breakfast and provide choices to suit all tastes. taste buds, whether people want to stick with traditional dishes like bacon and sausage or are hungry for a new plant-based nutritious option like Impossible Sausage.”