Fast food giants Burger King, KFC ramp up plant-based offerings as demand surges

USA – Fast food giants Burger King and KFC are expanding their meat-free menus to meet a surging demand for plant-based food options.  

To keep its customers happy, Florida-headquartered Burger King has pledged to shift to a 50% plant-based menu by 2030. 

The shift according to the company is in line with its commitment to cutting carbon emissions to zero by 2050.  

The company says keeping half of its menu meat-free will help lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 41%. 

“We’re pleased to announce the launch of BKUK’s new vegan nuggets across our menus nationwide – an important next step in achieving our target of a 50% meat-free menu by 2030,” Murdoch states. 

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“Adapting to customer preferences is a key focus at Burger King whether through clear nutrition and allergen labeling or by offering vegan and vegetarian options.”

To kickstart the meat-free pledge is Burger King UK which has started the new year with the launch of vegan nuggets that are made from soy and plant proteins and certified by the Vegan Society.

 The American multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants stresses that the vegan nuggets taste the same as their chicken-based counterparts. 

“The launch is another positive step in reducing our carbon footprint and driving innovation in our menus in response to the growing demand for meatless alternatives and products with no animal protein in the UK,”  Murdoch said.

The nuggets follow other plant-based Burger King offerings, including a Rebel Whopper burger and a Vegan Royale burger.  

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KFC to launch Beyond Meat fried ‘chicken’ across United States 

Meanwhile, Yum Brands Inc’s KFC has said that it will start selling plant-based fried “chicken” from Beyond Meat Inc across the United States on Jan. 10 for a limited time.  

Prices for the Beyond Fried Chicken at KFC will start at $6.99 in most places but will vary by location, according to a company statement.

The chain started testing Beyond’s plant-based chicken in August 2019 in Atlanta and expanded to more areas the following year. 

In February 2021, Yum and Beyond announced a global partnership to create plant-based menu items for Yum’s KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut over “the next several years.”  

As the plant-based trend hits the fever pitch, major fast-food chains have been vying for partnerships with faux meat makers as they add vegan and vegetarian menu options.  

Beyond rival Impossible Foods Inc is working with Burger King, a unit of Restaurant Brands International Inc.  

Meanwhile, McDonald’s recently launched its vegan McPlant burger in Britain, and the Greggs vegan sausage roll and vegan steak bake have proved extremely popular choices in the UK.  

This move is in line with the #2 trend from Innova Market Insights for 2022 which highlights how global consumers consider plant-based alternatives to be healthier and better for the planet.  

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