Are Millennials Killing Off the Hamburger?

The desire for plant-based burgers is growing

A pile of cheeseburgers and french fries. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Getty)
A pile of cheeseburgers and french fries. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Getty)
PA Images via Getty Images

The traditional American hamburger — all-beef patty, cheese, sesame seed bun — is under attack.

McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr. and even Burger King (which has “Burger” in its damn name) are beginning to embrace plant-based burgers, with nearly 10,000 fast-food joints set to be serving them by year’s end. 

George Motz, a hamburger expert who’s written four books and made a movie based on burgers, is nervous about what the rise of these laboratory-invented “imposter” burgers may lead to.

“If the next generation embraces these 100%, we will lose a sense of what a real burger should be,” Motz told Axios. “They are getting away from the real thing. Americans are intensely proud of their hamburger heritage. Now we have invented the fake hamburger.”

That said, he’s also confident the majority of Americans won’t make the switch to faux beef unless they are guilted into doing so. Even millennials, who would seem to be the target customer base for the plant-based burgers, won’t turn their backs on the traditional burger completely. 

“Millennials require not just food but a story behind it,” Motz. “They have to have context.”

Thanks to its history, the Whopper provides that. The Impossible Burger, while healthy, does not — yet.

Editor’s Note: RealClearLife, a news and lifestyle publisher, is now a part of InsideHook. Together, we’ll be covering current events, pop culture, sports, travel, health and the world.


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