A branch of KFC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands will be replacing all chicken with meat-free Quorn products to mark the national “Week Without Meat” initiative, which will be taking place across the country this year from the 9th to 15th March. Though the fast food giant’s initiative will be limited to their branch located in Rotterdam, it does signal that major food companies are now taking heed to the widespread demand for vegan and vegetarian options as consumers become more eco and health-conscious.
A branch of KFC in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will be going entirely chicken and meat-free for one full week from 9th – 15th March this year. Ditching all meat on the menu, Rotterdam’s branch of KFC will be partnering up with Quorn to replace all items using the brand’s vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives, which generates a lower carbon footprint compared to conventional meat products.
The campaign is a part of the country’s national Week Without Meat initiative, which has taken place in March annually since 2018 to help drive the rapidly growing meat-free and flexitarian population in the Netherlands. According to a recent Dutch survey, nearly 9 million Dutch people – almost half of the country’s population – agreed that eating meat is an outdated concept.
Much like the infamous Veganuary pledge, the Week Without Meat is a call on all Dutch people to refrain from eating meat and fish and opt to go vegetarian instead for one week. It hopes to help raise awareness about the positive impact of eating less meat, from health benefits to saving the environment, and to show consumers how easy it is to ditch meat products.
Commenting on the decision to take part in the campaign, UK Executive Director of ProVeg International Philip Mansbridge said: “For a branch of KFC to go 100% meat-free for a full week is nothing short of pioneering. We are seeing a glimpse into the future of fast food right here.”
While this particular campaign will be held in only 1 of KFC’s over 22,000 worldwide locations, the fast food giant has stepped up their meat-free offerings globally in recent years. Last month, KFC announced that they will be rolling out vegan “Zero Chicken Burger”, which is made from Quorn patties across all 900 United Kingdom locations. KFC has also previously partnered up with Silicon Valley food tech Beyond Meat to create the first “Beyond Fried Chicken”, which debuted across 70 locations in the United States.
These moves reflect that major food industry players can no longer ignore the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences for healthier and more sustainable meal options. Recently, the world’s largest pizza chain Pizza Hut revealed that they will be rolling out more vegan cheese and vegan menu options across the United Kingdom, citing increasing consumer demand for plant-based, ethical and eco-friendly food.
Similarly, confectionery conglomerate Mondelez announced that they are now trying to develop a vegan version of its most iconic product, the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar. Another FMCG giant, Nestlé, also unveiled plans to aggressively pursue the plant-based space by dishing out more vegan and vegetarian products across every product category in the food retail sector.
Lead image courtesy of KFC, compiled by Green Queen Media.