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Cracker Barrel sparks uproar for plant-based sausage critics say is "woke"

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LEBANON, Tenn. (CNN) -- Some of the meat at Cracker Barrel might be fake, but the beef that it's causing is very real. On Monday, the chain posted on Facebook about a plant-based sausage made by Impossible Foods that Cracker Barrel had added to breakfast menus earlier this summer.

The post sparked strong reactions from its followers, with many complaining that Cracker Barrel should not be offering the meat alternative.

"I just lost respect for a once great Tennessee company," one person commented. Another comment said: "Not going to happen! Cracker Barrel used to be so good, we looked forward to eating in them but not anymore," while another person wrote "bad choice." Others expressed skepticism that the product would taste good. Several commenters decried the "woke" addition to the menu.

Not all of the reaction was negative, however, with many people thanking the chain for the option. "I couldn't even tell the difference. I think it's great for people who can't eat meat for whatever reason," one person wrote.

In a statement to CNN Business, Cracker Barrel said it's "always exploring opportunities to expand how our guests experience breakfast and provide choices to satisfy every taste bud -- whether people want to stick with traditional favorites like bacon and sausage or are hungry for a new, nutritious plant-based option like Impossible Sausage."

On Thursday, Cracker Barrel responded to the controversy on Instagram, posting a picture with the plant-based sausage and pork sausage together. "Where pork-based and plant-based sausage lovers can breakfast all day in harmony," the caption reads. Roadside rival McDonald's has eliminated all-day breakfasts.

Cracker Barrel added Impossible Sausage to menus as part of a broader shakeup of its offerings. The chain said that this was its "first plant-based protein at a time when more than ever, consumers are seeking plant-based options that are better for them."

Eaters are gravitating toward alternative meats, with major chains, like Dunkin' and Burger King, adding them to its menus.

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