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The booming of vegan options at fast food chains (infographic)

10 July, 2019

Infographic about vegan options of fast food chains in the UK (McDonald's, Greggs, Subway, KFC)
Click on the image to enlarge it

We are in the last week that KFC trials in 20 of its restaurants, “The Imposter”, a vegan burger with a taste similar to its chicken equivalents.

Half of the participating restaurants are in the West Midlands (e.g. Birmingham, Walsall, Dudley), nine are in Bristol and just one in London (Gloucester Road).

On Friday, 21 June 2019, four days after the launch date of the trial, KFC tweeted that the burger had sold out. It took them 11 days to restock and the burger will be available until the 14th of July.

KFC couldn’t afford to ignore vegans. Though they make up only 1% of the total UK population (according to research by YouGov), the percentage is increasing: 2% of the non-vegan people in the UK plan to become vegans in the next 12 months.

YouGov data also show that there are specific segments of the population in which the percentage of vegans is higher: it’s 3% in 18-34 year-old women and 4% among Londoners.

Perhaps another reason why KFC was tempted to offer an option available for vegans is the success Greggs has with its vegan sausage roll and the much higher popularity it has among vegans.

Just before the launch of the Imposter burger, 20% of vegans were recent customers of Greggs while only 2% had recently eaten at a KFC restaurant. The equivalent numbers of the total population were 16 and 11 per cent respectively.

The increase of the popularity of Greggs among vegans was built gradually. In the second half of 2017 (July – December) 6% of the vegans would consider buying from Greggs. It went to 8% the next semester. Days before the 2nd half of 2018 begun, Greggs introduced the vegan-friendly Mexican Bean Wrap. The Consideration almost doubled (14%). Finally with the launch of the vegan sausage roll on the 3rd of January 2019, the Consideration percentage almost doubled again (26%) in the first half of 2019.

During the same period (second half of 2017 – first half of 2019) the percentage of vegans considering buying from KFC was stable, around 3%.

Greggs and now KFC are not the only fast food chains experimenting with options suitable for vegans. Between 4 October – 21 November 2017 McDonald’s trialled a vegan burger in Tampere, Finland.

Back in the UK, on the same day that Greggs launched the vegan sausage roll (3 January 2019), McDonald’s started offering the Spicy Veggie wrap. Subway followed on 17 April with a vegan sub.

The following table compares the flagship vegan options of the four high street chains (Subway, Greggs, McDonald’s and KFC):

BrandSubwayGreggsMcDonald’sKFC
NameVegan SubVegan Sausage RollThe Spice Veggie One WrapImposter Burger
Pricefrom £3.80£12.99
(£1.99 on Mondays)
£2.99
Energy371 kcal
(standard 6″ sub)
312 kcal364 kcal450 kcal
Ingredients of ‘meat’Sweet peppers, red onions, spinach, garlic and chilliMycoprotein (fungi-based protein) made by Quorn, herbs and spicesyellow split peas, tomato, breadcrumb, cooked Arborio rice and moreQuorn fillet, herbs and spices

Price

The vegan sausage roll from Greggs is the cheapest among the four options: £1. The wrap by McDonald’s and the burger by KFC cost £2.99 though you can buy the McDonald’s wrap for £1.99 on Mondays (McDonald’s wrap of the day offer). Subway’s vegan sub starts from £3.80 making it the most expensive option.

Energy

At 312 kcal the vegan sausage roll (Greggs) is the lowest in energy while KFC’s burger 450 kcal makes it the highest calorie option.

Conclusion

While we have mentioned four fast food chains that include/trial vegan options in their menu, there are plenty of other options suitable for vegans from other dining chains. And with the number of vegans increasing their future looks bright. Most likely the success of the trial period of the Imposter will make it a permanent item of KFC’s menu.

Sources

If you found this post interesting, why not have a look at other of our posts/infographics related to food:
Avocados in the news [infographic] – “Avocado hand”
We Are What We Eat: an infographic
The Food Cube (as the new Food Pyramid)

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