Burger King is the first fast food chain in the UK to introduce vegan nuggets, continuing the industry’s quest for plant-based alternatives.
The company said its vegan nuggets are made from soy and other “vegetable proteins” – there wasn’t a full list of ingredients – and, like their traditional chicken counterparts, are covered in a crispy batter.
“They are designed to taste and look exactly like their meat originals,” says Burger King.
Fast food chains have been testing plant-based burgers for some time, many of which hit the market during Veganuary when thousands of Britons avoided meat for a variety of reasons.
McDonald’s followed KFC and Burger King with its McPlant burger last year and uses the increasingly popular Beyond Meat brand for its patties.
However, vegan nuggets have not yet had to catch on in the UK, although manufacturers like Quorn have long been offering chicken substitutes made from textured mushrooms.
McDonald’s sold vegan nuggets – made with potatoes, chickpeas, and corn – in Norway but stopped there, while KFC only brought out a plant-based version of its classic chicken burger.
Burger King’s Soco Nunez said the company’s plant-based nuggets took “years” to develop and it was “great” to be the first major chain to release a version.
They were made in collaboration with the Vegetarian Butcher, which was founded in 2010 by a farmer who developed into vegan “meat”.
Laura Iliffe of the Vegetarian Butcher said, “We defy anyone to tell the difference between our version and the original”.
Toni Vernelli, Veganuary’s marketing director, said the organization was “thrilled” to see Burger King’s latest product, not surprisingly.
“As more and more people want to reduce their carbon footprint, simply swapping chicken nuggets for vegan nuggets is an easy way to do that,” she added.
The nuggets are also certified by the Vegan Society and follow the chain’s plant-based Whopper and Royale burgers.