Burger King Launches First Fast-Food Chain Vegan Chicken Nuggets In UK

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With Veganuary in full swing, Burger King becomes the latest food giant to announce a new plant-based menu addition. Vegan chicken nuggets, developed by The Vegetarian Butcher, are available now. The crispy nuggets come served with sweet chili dipping sauces. Customers can choose from a six, nine, or 20-piece box.

Unilever-owned Dutch brandThe Vegetarian Butcher, which created the nuggets, say soy forms part of the protein source, with each nugget wrapped in a crunchy batter coating. Burger King’s new addition comes with Vegan Society certification. This marks a step forward from the Plant-Based Whopper, which was rejected due to cooking methodologies.

Burger King chicken nuggets vegan
Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Give the people what they want

The news make Burger King the first fast-food chain in the country to offer a vegan chicken nugget option. The move comes after what the company describes as “years of development” and customer demand. “Adapting to customer preferences is a key focus at Burger King,” Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King UK, said in a press statement. “We are committed to helping our guests make good decisions about what they eat and drink and providing them with informed choices.”

The new nuggets join an increasingly diverse menu at Burger King. With plans in place to make half the menu meat-free by 2030, the company is investing in new plant-based alternatives semi-regularly. The mission for menu change comes as part of a wider company mandate to reduce emissions by 41 percent.

Already available for meat-free diners are the Vegan Royale and Plant-Based Whopper burgers. The first is a faithful recreation of the conventional Chicken Royale made with a meat-free fillet from The Vegetarian Butcher. It comes on a toasted bun, with vegan mayonnaise. 

The Plant-Based Whopper experienced some teething problems. Initially launched with egg mayonnaise, it was unsuitable for vegans. It has since been redeveloped and released. It features a soy protein burger, topped with salad. Burger King Singapore just announced the release of a plant-based Whopper too after increased requests from “locals fans”.

A solid partnership

Burger King and The Vegetarian Butcher have partnered around the world. 25 countries now have access to plant-based fast-food co-created by the two. Madrid saw more commitment than most, with the opening of a fully meat-free restaurant dubbed ‘Vurger King’ in October last year.

The U.K. is just getting a taste of chicken-free nuggets but the U.S. saw a version launched last year. Created using Impossible protein, the pieces were given a limited launch to gauge interest ahead of a potential nationwide rollout. The partnership with Impossible came after working together on the successful Impossible Whopper.

Image courtesy of KFC.

Creating competition

Timed to coincide with Veganuary, the Burger King nuggets launch has ignited curiosity about what other fast-food chains might be planning to unveil. So far, McDonald’s has been quiet, simply keeping its McPlant’s coming. KFC, however, has just revealed that it will be making its vegan chicken burger a permanent menu addition throughout the U.K. Consumer demand has driven the reprisal.

Subway has announced the addition of two new sandwiches. The T.L.C. Tikka (Tastes.Like.Chicken.) and T.L.S. (Tastes.Like.Steak.). The tikka option is limited editions, running through to mid-February. The steak sandwich is being rolled out across limited locations in the UK with no end date released.

Lead image generated from Burger King materials.


  • Amy Buxton

    A long-term committed ethical vegan and formerly Green Queen's resident plant-based reporter, Amy juggles raising a family and maintaining her editorial career, while also campaigning for increased mental health awareness in the professional world. Known for her love of searing honesty, in addition to recipe developing, animal welfare and (often lacklustre) attempts at handicrafts, she’s hands-on and guided by her veganism in all aspects of life. She’s also extremely proud to be raising a next-generation vegan baby.

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