SOUTH AFRICA – In a bid to cater to the growing demand for meat-free food options, Burger King South Africa has introduced an array of plant-based offerings in its menu, all made with 100% plant-based ingredients.

Deemed to be the first fast-food chain to offer vegan-certified meat in all of Africa, Burger King created the new delicacies in partnership with Unilever Food Solutions and The Vegetarian Butcher.

The new menu items include Whopper, Vegan Royale (a vegan chicken sandwich), and Vegan Nuggets.

The quick-service restaurant chain says that vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyles have become increasingly popular in South Africa over the last few years as consumers look to lead a more healthy and balanced life, reports Bizcommunity.

According to a recent study conducted by the brand, the primary driver of plant-based eating was directly related to health, with four out of five consumers revealing that they were committed to eating healthy.

While some choose to avoid meat altogether, there are still those who choose to balance their week’s meals with meat and non-meat-based dishes – essentially following what has become commonly known as a ‘flexitarian’ diet.

Ezelna Jones, Group Marketing Executive at Burger King South Africa, says, “We understand that consumers are looking to make healthier food choices which is why Burger King is constantly looking for ways to make eating out easier.

“Early this year, we pledged our commitment to developing an entire menu containing 100% natural ingredients and now, we’re introducing healthy plant-based and vegan options.

“We very much support the idea of balanced, healthy eating, which is why we are excited for our guests to try our brand-new range of products.”

Jones goes on to explain that Burger King aims to be the global leader in plant-based alternatives in the QSR industry.

“Our aim is to offer vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based alternatives that do not compromise on flavour or price.

“By working with partners such as The Vegetarian Butcher and securing endorsements from industry leaders like V-Label, which is administered by ProVeg international, we know we can create the industry’s leading vegan and vegetarian recipes to truly bring BK to you Your Way,” he added.

In addition to the three new menu items, meals can also be accompanied by two dip pots for nuggets, fries and Pepsi – all vegan choices that have been endorsed by V-Label.

“V-Label is proud to have been involved with the vegan endorsement of Burger King’s new vegan menu options.

“We see this initiative as more than a trend and applaud Burger King’s shift towards providing new and existing customers with healthier, more sustainable, and ultimately, in our opinion, tastier options,” says Donovan Will, country director ProVeg SA, V-Label.

According to reports by Vegnews, Burger King South Africa’s vegan offerings are part of the chain’s goal to become a global leader in the plant-based space—and it has made a lot of progress in recent years.

Its first foray into vegan meat was in 2019 when it added the Impossible Whopper to its more than 7,000 locations across the United States.

The company is working with The Vegetarian Butcher to bring plant-based menu items to 25 countries, including Mexico, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

In the Asia Pacific region, Burger King is working with Australian company v2Food to supply plant-based meats to its locations in South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.

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