Popeyes is adding its first plant-based option to its menu: a vegan burger. And it’s got all of the company’s iconic, Louisiana-style fixings.
Well-known for its fried chicken, the American fast-food chain will launch the vegan burger in its first-ever UK location. The restaurant is set to open on November 20 in Westfield Stratford in London. The company aims to expand further across the pond, opening 350 new locations in the UK in the next decade.
Popeyes’ vegan burger
The new plant-based burger features a breaded and fried red bean patty, lettuce, and tomato on a Brioche bun. It’s slathered in a Creole-inspired sauce made with garlic, peppers, onion, tomato, and parsley.
Unlike Popeyes’ fast-food competitors like Burger King, McDonald’s, and Carl’s Jr., the fried chicken chain is forgoing popular vegan meat tech brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Instead, its vegan patty features a proprietary blend, fashioned after its popular sides: red beans and rice.
Popeyes’ launch is in line with the UK’s growing appetite for plant-based foods. Especially amid the coronavirus pandemic, which saw sales of vegan products skyrocket.
Fast-food goes vegan
Popeyes is just the latest fast-food chain to add a new vegan choice to the menu.
In September, McDonald’s launched its vegan McPlant burger in the UK for the first time. The following month, it expanded the test to include more than 250 restaurants. The option includes a thin plant-based meat patty, which was developed by Beyond Meat especially for McDonald’s. The chain is slated to launch the vegan burger nationwide next year.
In the U.S., Burger King took its vegan menu to the next level following the launch of its Impossible Whopper. Now, lucky customers in Boston, Miami, and Des Moines, Iowa can get their hands on Impossible chicken nuggets. The nuggets, which feature soy protein and sunflower oil, have a similar taste and texture to that of animal-derived nuggets.
And KFC, which has vegan options in several countries now, could be launching plant-based chicken tenderloins in the near future, according to the company’s president, Kevin Hochman. “We don’t think that plant-based is a fad, we think that’s something that’s going to continue to grow over time,” he said. “We’re pretty bullish on that.”