It wouldn’t be wrong to say that we are currently living in the era of the plant-based revolution. Many people are converting to veganism, and the world is changing its ways. The ‘woke’ population condemns the animal-based industry calling it cruel to animals. People believe that the meat industry exploits animals for meat and other things.
With veganism on a high rise, people are looking for more sustainable plant-based options for meat. A few years back, being vegan was a tough choice as there were only a handful of things you could eat. But today is one of the best times to be vegan. That’s because now you can get all of your favorite things in plant-based options. From vegan ice cream to vegan meat, things that seemed impossible are now available.
Many big food brands are moving towards veganism as well. I believe you’ll recognize most of them. They are not going meat-free but are adding vegan options to their menu, which is a step towards sustainability and in the right direction—what better time to start this list than the holy vegan month of Veganuary. So, let’s see a list of food brands moving towards veganism.
Their mascot might be a clown, but McDonald’s doesn’t fool around when it comes to food. The Big Mac is probably the most popular burger in the world. The downside was that it only catered to the meat-loving audience. So, they wanted a vegan slice too.
Enter: The McPlant. The McPlant was announced to be released in November 2020. It was made available in UK and Ireland at the beginning of 2021. This was McDonald’s collab with Beyond Meat, one of the best plant-based meat brands in the game. Other than a vegan patty, the McPlant also features vegan buns, vegan sauce, and delicious vegan cheese. So, you know that you’re getting a vegan burger without compromising any of the authentic burger elements.
Another good thing is that the burger is made separately from the meat items, making it completely suitable for vegans. You can pair your delicious McPlant burger with the famous McDonald’s French fries and veggie dippers, which have been vegan from the start (by default, I must add). Here’s to hoping there are more delicious vegan options available on the McDonald’s menu soon.
2. Burger King
McDonald’s may have done it right, but Burger King did it first. In 2019, Burger King released their Impossible Whopper, like the Whopper but vegetarian. I am not calling it vegan as the burger included mayonnaise. But if a customer asked for an Impossible Whopper sans the mayonnaise, it could qualify as a vegan sandwich. It wasn’t still suitable for vegans as the patty was flame-grilled on the same grill as the meat patties.
It seems over time, Burger King learned from its mistakes and has now come up with better vegan options. They introduced the Vegan Royale and the Plant-Based Whopper in 2021. The burger is their initiative to cater to the vegan customer base. In addition to these sandwiches, Burger King has also announced that they’ll sell vegan nuggets in 2022 across the UK.
This is a part of their pledge to make their menu 50% meat-free until 2030. It is also vegan food done right after the first mishap. Now, we have to wait to see what vegan offering they’ll introduce next.
We all know and love Cadbury’s sweet milk chocolates. The Cadbury Bournville was initially vegan, but as of 2021, it is not suitable for vegans. So, there was no vegan or plant-based chocolate option available.
That all changed for the better in January 2022 (or should I say Veganuary) when the released their Cadbury Plant Bar. The Cadbury Plant Bar is 100% vegan and is made from almonds. It is also available in two drool-worthy flavors, Smooth Chocolate and Salted Caramel.
The chocolate bar arrived a little late than it should’ve, but people are happy it’s finally here. It seems like Cadbury knows that it was a bit late to the party. This was reflected in its statement, “It took us time to get it just right, but we hope you agree, it was worth the wait!”. Let’s see if they are going flavors in their Plant Bar category.
Starbucks was one of the first few brands to introduce non-dairy milk in their beverages. It might be limited to soy milk, but it was still a great feat. The non-dairy drinks that started in the 1990s are discontinued, but Starbucks has vegan options.
Almost all of Starbucks’ drinks are available in plant-based milk options. You get to choose from multiple hot beverages, caffeine beverages, cold beverages, hot and cold teas, and refreshing drinks. You can get all this with four plant-based milk options: soy, almond, oat, and coconut.
Also, you can get some delicious vegan snacks at the world-famous coffee shop. You can get oatmeal, fruits, fruit bars, chickpea puffs, popcorn, kettle corn, kettle potato chips, kale chips. So, you don’t have to hesitate at a Starbucks. You can have anything your vegan heart wants. What can I say to Starbucks except for Kudos! They’re quite ahead in the game.
5. Pepsi Co
Pepsi Co has ventured into vegan territory with its collaboration with Beyond Meat. The joint venture is called The PLANeT Partnership. It was announced in 2021 to release plant-based food to better the environment. They intend to make plant-based products for a better and more sustainable future.
After a year of waiting, they have announced that the first product to come out of this venture will be a plant-based jerky. The vegan jerky might be available in early 2022. This is great news and a big step towards the food industry’s shift.
I know it sounds a bit odd that a brand with the word ‘chicken’ in its title could be vegan. But we live in strange times. The KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is their initiative into the vegan food items. A few items on the venue were already vegan without intention. But it’s good to see a food brand stepping up and understanding what the customer wants.
There’s a slight hiccup as well. The Beyond Chicken may share the same fryer as the other chicken. But recently, this has been changing, and some KFC locations, like in Canada, are frying the Beyond Chicken separately.
You can also get fries, kernel corn, salads without croutons, apple turnover, and drinks to go with your vegan meal. For sauces, you have limited options like ketchup and hot sauce. The BBQ sauce and Ranch are not vegan.
Domino’s has also added many vegan items to its menu. Though it was in different locations, it’s the thought that counts, right? In 2019, it added vegan pepperoni and vegan ham and cheese to its toppings list. Sadly, it was only in the locations across Australia.
After that, the brand stepped up even more and added vegan cheese and vegan chicken to their UK locations. As of 2022, they have collaborated with a vegan meat brand, The Vegetarian Butcher, to make vegan pepperoni. The vegan pepperoni is called PepperoNAY and will be available in their UK locations.
They have seen a drastic rise in demand for vegan options and are trying their best to meet this demand. We are hoping to see more vegan initiatives for Domino’s.
8. Pizza Hut
As part of the ongoing Veganuary, Pizza Hut has too released their vegan pie in their UK locations. Pizza Hut has collaborated with Frank’s RedHot Sauce. The vegan pizza will have vegan cheese and chicken paired with Frank’s buffalo-style sauce.
But this is not it. Pizza Hut also paired with Beyond Meat to release vegan pepperoni toppings. The vegan pepperoni option was made available across 70 locations at Pizza Hut in 2021. Although these are small steps, they are very important if the brand wants to add more vegan options to its menu.
So, this was a list of food brands moving towards veganism. While many of them have a slow pace, they must understand the need for vegan options. No brand can survive without its customers, and a large chunk of the customer base wants vegan options. We cannot foresee the future. But if all the brands keep doing work like this, I think we are moving towards a good future. Rest, I leave it to you. I’ll see you next time with another great article. Until then, happy eating!