Nando’s has launched vegan chicken burgers in Australia.
The Great Pretender burger—which features a pea and wheat protein-based patty—was initially trialed Nando’s locations across Queensland. The chain recently announced that the new vegan protein option is now available in all of its 270 Australian locations.
The patty itself is plant-based, but some adjustments are needed to make the meal vegan. of Nando’s bread options except for the soft white bun, which contains dairy, are vegan. For the sauce, replace the aioli with the peri-peri chutney. However, the company notes that it is cooked on a shared grill with meat.
Nando’s Head of Food, Mario Manabe, describes the Great Pretender as being similar in texture and flavor to a chicken patty. It also caramelizes and smells like meat when cooked.
“Sensory testing showed us that those who’d never eaten plant-based meat alternatives or were perhaps a bit hesitant to give ‘fake meat’ a go, really liked the Great Pretender and said they’d eat it again,” he said in a statement.
Last year, a report by independent research company Roy Morgan revealed that 2.5 million Australians no longer eat meat. Hungry Jack’s—the Australian version of Burger King—serves vegan options, and Pizza Hut launched vegan cheese nationwide last year. Domino’s also offers a variety of plant-based options, including vegan ham, pepperoni, and sausage.
At the time of the Queensland trial, Manabe said the chain’s new meat-free burger caters to growing demand across the country. “Our aim is to make dining at Nando’s as inclusive as possible,” he said in a statement. “This addition will certainly help in catering to Australia’s ever-changing eating habits.”
Fast Food Chains Launch Vegan Chicken
Founded in South Africa, Nando’s now has more than 1,000 locations around the world. The chicken chain is popular in the UK, although it is not confirmed if or when it will launch vegan chicken in the country.
KFC, however, has already launched vegan chicken burgers in the UK. The fast-food chain debuted the Zero Chicken Burger nationwide in January.
“The Colonel was all about welcoming everyone to his table,” said Ira Dubinksky, KFC UK and Ireland’s Innovation Director, in a statement. “Now vegans, flexitarians and our fried chicken fans can all enjoy the taste of our Original Recipe together. We’ve worked hard to perfect the flavor and make a vegan burger the Colonel would be proud of. It’s the flavor of KFC, just with zero chicken.”