White Castle is offering a veggie burger for a limited time.

COLUMBUS, OHIO — White Castle is offering a veggie burger for a limited time. The Veggie Slider, featuring a Dr. Praeger’s brand patty made with carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach and broccoli, is topped with a choice of honey mustard, ranch or sweet Thai sauce on the fast-food chain’s signature square bun.

The 99c burger was tested in New York and New Jersey markets.

“We are committed to asking good questions, listening to our customers and keeping up with changing tastes by developing new menu items that keep our guests craving and give them more options to feed the whole family,” said Jamie Richardson, vice-president of White Castle.

The introduction comes at a time when consumers may be seeking more meatless options at restaurants. After expanding Sofritas to more restaurants this year, Chipotle Mexican Grill executives said about half of customers who order the braised tofu option aren’t vegan or vegetarian.

As the quality and appeal of alternatives improve, such products as eggless eggs and chicken or beef substitutes are gaining ground. Twenty-eight per cent of consumers seek out vegetarian sources of protein, according to Packaged Facts, as more Americans adopt flexitarian lifestyles and increased interest in sustainable ingredient sourcing.

“While meat is an ideal protein source, vegetarian protein sources are becoming more popular now that there are more appealing center-of-plate options,” said Rick Zambrano, food research editor for Packaged Facts. “Analogs for chicken meat that have much better taste and texture are being introduced.”

Several other chains also offer veggie burgers, including Burger King and Smashburger. For customers who want to go meatless at Hardees and Carl’s Jr., the restaurants offer a veggie version of their famous Thickburger — with everything but the patty.