Vegan fast food – steps in the right direction
Fast food is popular – over one third of the population eat at least one fast food meal every day. We want more people to choose a plant-based meal rather than an animal-based one, so it’s important to ensure that fast food restaurants have some tasty vegan options.
Many fast food restaurant chains are cautiously dipping their toes into the market to see what the demand is like for plant-based options. Here are some examples we’ve heard about:
- Starbucks is currently doing a limited trial of six new food items in three locations in Washington DC and Virginia, and their oatmeal breakfast item is available nationwide as a staple. For the first time last Fall, they offered a special vegan-by-default drink, the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato.
- Subway tested a Meatless Meatball Marinara sandwich at 600 locations in the US and Canada in 2019, and that option is now available across Canada, although not in the US yet.
- McDonalds have signed a 3-year contract with Beyond Meat to test out various plant-based options in European locations. They are testing the McPlant burger here in the US so we hope they will plan to roll it out nationally soon.
- Burger King has been offering their Impossible Whopper for several years across the US. They are currently testing a plant-based chicken sandwich at select locations.
- Chipotle has been offering their plant-based protein, Sofritas (a tofu-based vegan protein) available at all locations for several years now. This year, they are adding two new plant-based options in their Lifestyle Bowls – the Veggie Full Bowl which is based on white rice, black beans and fajita veggies, and the Plant-Powered Bowl which includes supergreens, Sofritas, and fajita veggies, along with the salsa and guacamole.
- Taco Bell unveiled its first vegan beef option, called “the real seasoned plant-based protein” in 2021 and has rolled it out to various test locations. Working with Beyond Meat, they have also launched a Beyond Carne Asada Steak, a vegan version of the chain’s marinated steak, at 50 test locations in Ohio.
Let’s hope that the many test products from these various fast food companies are successful, and are rolled out to restaurants nationwide as soon as possible!