When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision on same-sex marriage in June, there was no shortage of people talking about the burger’s enduring relevance.
But the topic didn’t become a hot topic on Twitter until August.
It wasn’t until August 17 that people started talking about how to make a burger that would satisfy the demand for meat-free food.
It’s been that way since 2007, when the popular fast food chain, KFC, launched a “meatless” menu.
In July, K-Town Burger took over KFC’s traditional menu, introducing a meatless burger that features a hamburger patty topped with onions and pickles.
KFC did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how it approached the burger and how the controversy affected its business.
In response to the controversy, KFI, a leading burger chain in the U, announced that it would eliminate meat-based menu items from its KFCs and other franchises by mid-2018.
“We believe that the current climate in the fast food industry is making it harder for families to make their own decisions about their food,” KFI President and CEO Jeff Deaver said in a statement.
“While we appreciate the many positive changes we have made over the last decade to the way we serve and prepare our food, we recognize that not everyone wants to sacrifice the healthiest option available to them.”
As of Wednesday, KfI has only announced a vegetarian menu option, with the rest of its menu excluding meat from its offerings.
That means KFC will continue to serve its hamburger and other meatless items, but will not have any beef, chicken or pork products on the menu.
KfIs burger is the first non-meat-based option KFC has introduced since it introduced its beefless menu in July 2007.
The company also announced that in September, it would stop offering chicken in its KFIs regular menu, citing an increase in chicken demand.
“At the end of the day, there are some folks out there who want to eat less meat, and we’re happy to have them,” KFC CEO Dave McMillan said at the time.
“But we are making a conscious decision to continue serving our traditional meat-centric menu and will offer an option to our customers that is better for the environment.”
But while many of the burger chain’s current menu options have remained vegetarian, KFI announced last month that it will add some beef to the KFC burger by adding an extra slice of cheese to the patty.
The move, which came after the company said that it wanted to give customers “the option to eat more,” sparked criticism from the National Meat Producers Council and some restaurants and advocacy groups.
The council said in an email to the Associated Press that “it is wrong for KFC to eliminate meat from KFC burgers in order to meet the rising demand for chicken, but that it is an unnecessary and unwise decision.”
The National Pork Producers council also blasted KFII for the move.
“KFC’s announcement today that it’s ending the use of chicken in the KfII beef burger is an insult to consumers, our consumers and the meat industry,” National Pork Council President and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Fagan said in the statement.
Fagan also noted that “the new KFC beef patty is the same as the KF II beef paty, but is significantly less fatty and tastier.”
“We know that KFC is making a major change in the way they serve their customers.
However, we urge KFC and its partners to continue offering KFC customers an option that is healthier and more satisfying,” he said.
KFI said it is not changing its menu or offering the new beef.
“It’s not an option we want to be offering,” a KFI spokesperson told Business Insider.
“In addition to offering a beef patio and the KFI Burger, we are also offering the KFRI Beef and KFJI Beef burgers as well as the popular KFC Burger, a meat-less option.”