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Burger King in Germany has just added plant-based chicken nuggets to its menu this month. It is part of a collaboration between the fast food giant and The Vegetarian Butcher, a Dutch plant-based meat brand, in response to growing demand from customers for more sustainable meat-free alternatives.
The new plant-based chicken nuggets are made by The Vegetarian Butcher, a brand acquired by consumer goods giant Unilever in 2018. They contain soy protein, cornflakes, oat fibre, natural flavourings and added vitamin B12 and will be available in selected Burger King outlets in Germany. According to Burger King, they were launched in response to the growing demand from mainstream consumers and the “trend towards conscious nutrition”.
While the nuggets do not contain any non-vegan ingredients, a spokesperson for Burger King said that the product will be “prepared” in the same fryer as animal-based meats.
In a statement, Hugo Verkuil, the CEO of The Vegetarian Butcher said he is “delighted” with the partnership with the fast food giant, and described the product as a “delicious vegetable-based alternative for all meat lovers who want to reduce their meat consumption.”
“In order to be able to offer guests and fans a very special taste experience, Burger King has worked intensively on product development and has brought in The Vegetarian Butcher as a strong partner who represents the same quality standards, added Klaus Schmäing, marketing director of Burger King Germany.
In order to be able to offer guests and fans a very special taste experience, Burger King has worked intensively on product development and has brought in The Vegetarian Butcher as a strong partner who represents the same quality standards.Klaus Schmäing, Marketing Director at Burger King Germany
“Burger King is the first to offer its guests the opportunity to try meat-free chicken. Of course, nobody has to do without the crispy taste experience like the original: ‘Without meat’ means in this case ‘with maximum taste’.”
Just last week, The Vegetarian Butcher launched in Hong Kong in a major collaboration with a number of local restaurants, who have launched exclusive limited-time menus featuring the brands’ plant-based substitutes.
Amid the rising plant-based trend, other fast food giants are also beginning to dish out plant-based nugget offerings. Take fried chicken chain KFC, for instance, who recently partnered with agribusiness firm Cargill in China to launch meatless nuggets in the country, followed by its roll-out of Alpha Foods’ nuggets across Hong Kong.
It’s also eyeing other alternative meats, including 3D bioprinted lab-grown chicken nuggets, which KFC plans to debut in Russia later this year as a part of the company’s aggressive strategy to shift towards more sustainable substitutes all over the world.
Burger King has previously launched plant-based menu items in other markets. In the U.S., the chain famously collaborated with plant-based food tech leader Impossible Foods to introduce an Impossible Whopper nationwide.
Lead image courtesy of Burger King Germany.