Even More Fast Food Chains Are Trying Out Vegan Options

The vegan good news just keeps coming. Because demand is huge, more fast food franchises are deciding to offer vegan choices. While fast food isn’t health food, the fact that vegans have so many choices now is a sea change from where we were even five years ago.

The latest franchises announcing vegan additions to their menus include:

McDonald’s

I know, I know. Vegans sneer at McDonald’s. It’s the epitome of the type of food we do not wish to eat. However, every so often we find ourselves out and about with a need for a quick lunch that we can grab on the run. Until now, about the only options have been Taco Bell and Chipotle. But that’s changing.

McDonald’s is experimenting with a couple of different vegan burgers. In Chicago and across India, the chain is offering up the Indian-influenced McAloo Tikki burger. In Finland, it’s the El Veggo burger. In both Finland and Sweden, it’s the McVegan burger.

As January 2019 arrived, McDonalds announced a new vegan kids Happy Meal, available at all UK locations. The meal is a wrap filled with shredded lettuce, ketchup and meatless chicken fingers. An adult variety, the Spicy Wrap, is also available. They’re labeled “vegetarian” because they’re toasted along with the non-vegan McDonalds buns, but they’re 100 percent vegan.

KFC

A bucket of vegan chicken — from KFC? It’s surprising, but true. KFC now offers the VFC, a bucket of 12 pieces of vegan fried “chicken” that comes with four dairy-free “buttermilk” biscuits and vegan coleslaw. The “chicken” is exclusively produced by Tyson Foods, and it will feature the same 11 secret spices that made original KFC chicken so popular.

Interestingly, KFC says it will discontinue its Honey BBQ dipping sauce in favor of an agave alternative at all United States locations.

Right now, according to VegNews, you can get the VFC bucket only in Los Angeles, Nashville and North Carolina. By July 1, 2019, though, it’s rumored to be coming to KFCs all over the United States.

Pizza Hut

In the UK, you can find a vegan Pizza Hut pizza at every store in the franchise. It’s the limited edition “Jack ‘n’ Ch**se,” made with a tomato base, jackfruit and Violife vegan cheese.

Pizza Hut UK got into the vegan spirit by trolling the inexplicably anti-vegan Piers Morgan on January 3 with a tweet that said, “Here’s a picture of our new vegan Pizza. Everyone tag Piers Morgan in it to ruin his day.”

Nicely done, Pizza Hut.

Del Taco

Del Taco is partnering with Beyond Meat, using its faux hamburger crumbles in a proprietary blend of taco “meat” to make Beyond Tacos and Beyond Avocado Tacos. These special edition tacos are currently only available in California — at two Los Angeles locations, 16 San Diego locations and individual locations in Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

It’s also possible to request Beyond Meat filling in other menu items, such as nachos, burritos and so on. If demand supports it, Del Taco is prepared to roll out the Beyond Meat option to even more locations.

Bob’s Big Boy

One of the servers in Bob’s Big Boy suggested that the chain offer something vegans could order without having to modify anything. Finally, they’ve done so. Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, California, offers a vegan burger with a patty made by Hungry Planet.

The patty is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and offers 29 grams of protein. To keep it on the menu and make it a chain menu item, people need to order it. Bob’s Big Boy is hoping for the kind of success White Castle had with its 300-orders-in-one-day Impossible Sliders.

Carl’s Jr.

Here’s another fast food giant that’s partnering with Beyond Meat. At Carl’s Jr., the well-loved Beyond Burger is being used to make a vegan version of the Famous Star burger. It will be available at more than 1,000 Carl’s Jr. restaurants throughout the U.S.

“We know people are looking for options — in fact, roughly one-third of consumers identify as flexitarians — and we’re thrilled to partner with Beyond Meat to bring more delicious, irresistible flavors to our menu,” Jason Marker, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr., told Forbes.

Subway

There was a time when the only vegan option at Subway was a Veggie Delite sub with no cheese or mayo on Italian bread. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for even that much — it saved me countless times while I was traveling or otherwise in need of a fast lunch.

Today, after a vocal campaign by Compassion Over Killing, there’s more to love about Subway. In 540 locations, vegans and plant-based eaters can chow down on two new vegan subs — the Malibu Garden sub and the Black Bean patty sub.

In some locations, Subway has also tested other potential offerings. Vegans in Australia and New Zealand are trying out a vegan falafel sub. And locations in Finland are testing a vegan steak sandwich. Meanwhile, customers in D.C. got to taste the Sweet Riblet sub.

Whether any of these become permanent additions to the Subway menu remains to be seen, but it’s heartening that Subway’s testing so many vegan options.

Yes, for fast food fanatics, being vegan isn’t as limiting as it once was. You know this way of eating is going mainstream when the fast food industry works this hard to bring us options. We’re a bigger and bigger share of the market, and now they recognize it.

Even if you indulge only occasionally, celebrate the fact that we have more and more choices every day.

Photo credit: Getty Images

97 comments

Carla G
Past Member 3 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD4 months ago

tyfs

SEND
Louise A
Lara A4 months ago

tyfs

SEND
Helen C
Helen C5 months ago

Good news.....Better late than never

SEND
Shae Lee
Shae L5 months ago

Thank you

SEND
Kevin B
Kevin B5 months ago

Thank you

SEND
Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

great news. ty

SEND
Sophie A
Past Member 5 months ago

Thank you for sharing

SEND
Dr. Jan H
Dr. Jan H5 months ago

Bring it on.

SEND
Leo C
Leo C6 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

SEND