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Meatless fast-food menu options have arrived at Burger King South Africa. The U.S.-based chain is bringing several vegan offerings to outlets across the country in a bid to help South Africans prioritize health and the planet.
In a partnership with Europe’s Vegetarian Butcher and the Pro Veg V-Label verification program, Burger King SA is bringing vegan meat and nuggets to its menu for meatless versions of its popular Whopper, plus a vegan Royale and chicken-free nuggets.
The announcement comes to sub-Saharan Africa’s most obese nation and third on the continent. Obesity rates across South Africa are more than 28 percent—and much of that is connected to socioeconomic and demographic changes that have increased access to unhealthy foods.
“The Flexitarians, Vegetarians, and Vegans, the wait is finally over,” the chain Tweeted last week. “Our 100% plant-based, 0% meat range is finally here. Same great taste, just no meat. You’ll have to taste it, to believe it.”
And so far, the items are a hit.
“The Veggie Kings are getting so much love! Who’s got their orders in?” the chain Tweeted on Monday.
In a statement shared on the ProVeg Facebook page, the group said the new menu items are now available in every location in South Africa; it operates more than 90 locations across the country.
“The time has come! We all waited for this announcement for a long time and finally, we can share with you that Burger King South Africa launched their plant-based meals that are available from now on in every Burger King store in South Africa!” the group wrote.
According to ProVeg the Royale and Nuggets are vegan certified and cooked in a “dedicated fryer” to avoid contamination from animal-based food. It says the V-Label “promises that the nuggets and Royale patties are cooked in a dedicated fryer that contains no traces of animal products.”
The group says it’s working with the chain to certify additional items, including the Whopper, which is currently prepared on the same grill as its animal burgers.
Burger King’s plant-based shift
South Africa has been slow to embrace vegan options compared to much of the rest of the world. Leading U.S. chains have adopted meatless options in key markets including the Impossible Whopper in the U.S. and the McDonald’s McPlant in Europe. In China, McDonald’s has introduced meatless options in a partnership with Beyond Meat. Fast-food chicken giant KFC has introduced vegan chicken in the U.S., UK, and, most recently, in Southeast Asia.
In a statement about the launch, Burger King South Africa’s CEO, Juan Klopper said the move is part of the chain’s goal of becoming a world leader in plant-based alternatives.
“By working with The Vegetarian Butcher and V-Label, we know we can create the industry’s leading vegan and vegetarian recipes,” Klopper said.
Earlier this year, Burger King partnered with the Vegetarian Butcher to launch a plant-based Whopper in Indonesia and across Asia. Last year the companies partnered on a vegan nugget launch in Germany.
Images: courtesy Burger King