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Lewis Hamilton’s plant-based restaurant chain is taking on the biggest industry players. A new partnership with Mediterranean brand Heura has seen Neat Burger develop vegan chicken nuggets that are available now.
The new menu item is a combination of Heura’s legume-based protein and Neat Burger’s bespoke chicken spice blend.
Newcomers to the space
Heura is a fresh face in the alternative protein sector. Hailing from the Mediterranean, it is not yet widely available in the U.K. but consumers can order from specialist online vegan suppliers such as The Vegan Kind. Restaurant partnerships are also springing up, with Asado Burger in Bristol the latest to join the Heura family.
The company has brought its vegan protein directly to the U.K. before, in the form of a London pop-up location in December. It also attended the Plant Based World Expo Europe. Now, it will be available in all six of Neat Burger’s London restaurants, plus the four in development. It was announced last year that 20 delivery-only kitchens will be opened as well. These will be completed in conjunction with Deliveroo and Reef, with a view to offering the whole of London access to products.
An alternative to known names
Neat Burger was founded By FI driver Lewis Hamilton to offer plant-based diners access to fast-food made from clean proteins. Dishes including burgers, hotdogs and sides have been given a plant-based twist. Newly Heura-powered nuggets are the latest addition. Diners can choose from boxes of five,10 or 15 pieces. The collaboration is timely, with Veganuary already underway.
Neat Burger is now valued at £70 million. The news came after a successful funding round led by SoftBank’s RajeevMisra. Securing another £7 million in investment, the company has committed to tripling in size in 2022.
News of the Heura and Neat Burger partnership comes shortly after Burger King launched its own vegan nuggets. It partnered with The Vegetarian Butcher to create the first major fast-food chain vegan nuggets on the U.K. market. Burger King already has a Vegan Royale chicken burger and Plant-Based Whopper option on its U.K. menu. Both chicken items are certified by The Vegan Society.
Vegan partnerships taking over
Wagamama and OmniFoods have collaborated to create a unique fish and chips analogue for U.K. restaurant-goers. Released for Veganuary, the Tempura F-ish + Bang Bang Yaki-imo represents a move away from traditional flavour profiles simply being veganised.
KFC U.K. has brought back its Quorn-filled vegan burger, this time permanently. Released for a limited time only initially, consumer demand has seen it come back with a ledge to remain in the menu forever.
Coffee chains are recognising the value of savvy partnerships too. Caffè Nero has come together with THIS again, releasing two new vegan sandwiches in January. Chicken and sausage options are both available.
It’s not just the Veganuary U.K. hub that is seeing lengthy partnerships activated. Pizza Hut Canada just revealed that it will be making Beyond Meat permanently available in all of its restaurants. The Italian Sausage Crumbles have proven popular enough to outlive a limited release.
Lead image courtesy of Neat Burger.