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Fast Food News Plant-Based Sustainability What's New

KFC Will Be Selling Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets In China Next Week

On Monday, KFC announced that it will be selling vegan chicken nuggets in China from April 28 to April 30, as it continues its expansion into the plant-based market.

The fast food giant said that the nuggets will be sold in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, and will be manufactured by Cargill Ltd. 

This comes after extremely successful plant-based product testing in multiple countries, which showed enough consumer demand to expand the dishes into more locations in the US. Notably, the company is using a different manufacturer for the Chinese launch, as they tapped Beyond Meat in the US and Lightlife in Canada, respectively.

This isn’t the only way in which the brand’s Chinese release differs. Customers will have to purchase a pre-sale voucher for 1.99 yuan that entitles them to five chicken pieces, according to the company’s official Weibo account. 

This is an interesting path to take, as KFC surely looks to avoid the expansive line that occurred during the high profile Atlanta launch of the company’s plant-based fried chicken. It’s reminiscent of the pre-sale lotteries and raffles that many sneaker companies have done to avoid real-life lines and online crashes during hyped shoe releases. 

We’ll surely be keeping our eyes peeled for any visuals of the new nuggets, as well as any potential plant-based nugget voucher resale market, so check back soon.

Categories
News Plant-Based Theme Parks

Disney Partners With Impossible Foods for Plant-Based Expansion

Photo provided by Impossible Foods

Disneyland Resorts and Parks, as well as Florida-based big brother The Walt Disney World Resort, are known to offer an experience that keeps your inner child alive and kicking. Everything from immersive theme rides to life-sized Disney characters spread over 30,000 acres, it’s hard not to enjoy, if not a tad overly stimulating. Ever-watchful of ways to expand upon the entertainment incentive, Disney has now joined the Impossible Foods movement in a newly inked partnership. 

Impossible Foods is now the official plant-based “burger vendor” for both Disney resorts including Disney Cruise Line ships. The partnership comes following their September 2019 announcement to introduce meatless items to all Disney resorts.

To sweeten the deal even further, we’re also rewarded with three new menu items: the Impossible Cheeseburger macaroni and cheese, Petite Impossible Burger with guacamole and cheddar jack cheese, and an Impossible Meatball sub sandwich.

With the demand for meat alternatives growing globally each year, this is a natural move for the Happiest Place on Earth. The new Impossible menu items are now available at all Disney resorts.

Photo provided by Impossible Foods
Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based

Starbucks Launches A Beyond Meat Breakfast Sandwich In Canada

Plant-based proteins are finally making it onto fast food breakfast menus and as a breakfast lover who’s unable to eat meat for the next few months, I couldn’t be happier to have another morning option that isn’t fruit or oatmeal.

After flocks of customer requests to add more diverse protein options to the menu, Starbucks locations throughout Canada will be releasing a Beyond Meat Breakfast Sandwich early next week. Next week, Beyond Meat fans up north will be able to sink their teeth into these meatless breakfast sandwiches.

The Beyond Meat, Cheddar, and Egg Sandwich is made with a 100% plant-based Beyond Breakfast Sausage comprised of ingredients such as soy, peas, brown rice, and gluten. Paired with a fried egg, and a slice of cheddar cheese, the sandwich is loaded between two slices of English Muffin.

While meatless, the new breakfast sandwich isn’t truly vegan — as it still contains egg and cheese. The chain, however, says all you have to do is take the egg and cheese off upon ordering to get that full vegan effect.

Look for this new sandwich at all Starbucks locations across Canada beginning March 3.

Full disclosure, I own a share of Beyond Meat.

Categories
Plant-Based

Prime Roots’ Plant-Based Bacon Was Made Available To The Public And Sold Out Entirely In Hours

Bacon is a tough thing to recreate when you’re trying to steer away from animal products. As a lover of all things bacon, there have been many a time where I’ve been unimpressed with what the plant-based world had to offer in terms of capturing that salty magic. Prime Roots, however, has come pretty darn close to the real deal, and made its official public debut Friday, February 14.

The bacon is made with “Koji”— an umami-rich protein that has become a staple in Prime Roots products.

The super protein home grown by Prime Roots is said to be frequently utilized by Michelin Star Chefs and throughout haute cuisine.

Co-founder Kimberlie Le said it has taken the company years to perfect the taste and texture of Koji to get it to taste like meat. When cooking, the product pretty much looks, tastes, curls and sizzles as if it were real bacon.

On Valentine’s Day, the plant-based bacon launched on the Prime Roots website and completely sold out in a few short hours according to Le.

“We had hundreds of people who contacted our team that couldn’t get their hands on the bacon,” she said. “We’re currently working on deciding which products to launch next and also expand the availability of our next product drop.”

No word yet on when the next drop will happen, but fans of vegan bacon will want to keep their eyes on Prime Roots before they announce their next release.

We got our hands on some and the cooking process was pretty identical to bacon. Taste wise, it definitely doesn’t have that magic you can only get from the cured pork belly, but man is it close.

Could Prime Roots’ bacon be what Impossible and Beyond is to burgers? I guess we’ll soon see.

Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based

KFC Expands Vegan Fried Chicken To 70 Locations In The US

Last year Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that they partnered up with Beyond Meat to offer some plant-based alternatives to fried chicken. For one day, the vegan protein was sold at a KFC in Atlanta and the launch did gangbusters in numbers.

The restaurant sold out of the plant-based meat in less than five hours after opening its doors, with lines wrapped around the block with people waiting to get their vegan fix.

According to LiveKindly, KFC is bringing the Beyond Meat back to restaurants in 70 locations. This includes select cities such as Charlotte, Belmont, Salisbury, Lincolnton, Mint Hill, Davidson, and Nashville.

For anyone who missed the initial launch, KFC plans to expand this release even longer than the single day. The Beyond Chicken will be available from Feb. 2 through Feb. 23 while supplies last. During this time, you can order your vegan chicken with a dipping sauce or tossed in Honey BBQ, Buffalo, or Nashville Hot Sauce. They come in either 4-pieces, 12-pieces, or as combo options on the menu.

Categories
Health News Plant-Based Restaurants

Truth & Tonic Is First Plant-Based Cafe On Las Vegas Strip

Photo Provided by Canyon Ranch

Las Vegas is notorious for many things. Aside from over indulgent gambling, city lights and raucous behavior, one cannot overlook the buffets. Vegas is buffet heaven. Add to that an innumerable amount of restaurants that satisfy any flavor preference, it’s pretty close to a foodie’s dreamland. That’s, erm, if the city ever slept. From cheap eats to fine dining casino treats, the place that seems to offer it all has surprisingly enough added something plant-based to their array of options.

Enter Canyon Ranch, an award winning leader in health and luxury spa getaways. Starting in 1979, Canyon Ranch has since expanded their integrative professional approach to wellness throughout the U.S. Their first Las Vegas location opened in 1999 at The Venetian® Resort. Since its launch, they’ve opened several culinary concepts within the city that further promote their 360° health based ethos. 

On January 17th, Canyon Ranch opened their latest brainchild, and first fully plant-based cafe on the Las Vegas Strip, Truth & Tonic. Noticing the uptick in veganism, one that’s reportedly grown 600% in the past three years, Truth & Tonic falls perfectly in line with Canyon Ranch’s wellness gospel. The cafe is headed by Executive Chef Pete Ghione and joins fellow Canyon Ranch restaurants CR CREAT and the aptly named Canyon Ranch Grill.

In hopes of “breaking down the barriers that typically divide vegan and non-vegan,” Chef Ghoine has curated a menu suited for anyone who enjoys tasty yet healthy eats. He shares the Truth & Tonic mission here: 

“By incorporating plant-based ingredients that are equally unexpected and satisfying to our menu, Truth & Tonic makes the overall journey to wellness a more desirable and enjoyable experience,” he says. “Our diet is an integral piece to one’s well-being and as the first fully vegan restaurant on The Strip, we are excited to bring this health-conscious option to our guests.”

With an all-day menu that ranges from roasted cauliflower dressed in house made caesar to a caramelized curry cauliflower, spinach, and toasted pine nuts frittatas made with “Just Egg,” Truth & Tonic is sure to be palate pleasing. Your next Vegas visit doesn’t have to end with a hangover. Before the drive of shame back, detox your night of sin with a stop by Truth & Tonic.

Photo Provided by Canyon Ranch
Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

Fast Food’s Iconic Folded Egg Just Got A Plant-Based Version In Grocery Stores

When you go to fast food chains like McDonald’s or Sonic for a breakfast sandwich, you can usually tell it apart by the distinct folded shape of the egg. A feat hard to pull off in the kitchen, it acts as a signature for these fast food morning meals.

Folded eggs have never been something you could just buy somewhere, since pre-cooking eggs into that shape and freezing them isn’t the most ideal way to store it. However, plant-based egg maker JUST came out with a form that is ready to reheat and stick into any breakfast sandwich.

The new plant-based folded eggs were just announced in a press release, providing a convenient folded egg-like product that can be used at home for breakfast. JUST’s vegan egg is made predominantly from mung bean protein, and the company claims to use 98% water, 83% less land, and 93% less carbon dioxide emissions than conventional egg production.

Each box of the folded plant eggs comes with a pack of four, and will be sold in the freezer section. While the folded egg is obviously meant for those wanting to put it into a sandwich, another usage for it could be to reheat the vegan egg, cut it up, and put it into a fried rice or other dish that calls for scrambled egg.

Photo courtesy of JUST

JUST also announced a drastic price slash on its refrigerated liquid egg product, cutting the cost down by a whopping 35 percent, according to VegNews. This makes a bottle of JUST egg on par with the cost of a dozen organic eggs, approximately $4.99. While it’s still on the pricier end of eggs in general, flexitarians and plant eaters alike have a more accessible and affordable animal-free alternative as a result.

The folded eggs will be available in 5,000 stores at its launch in April, with stores like Whole Foods, Albertsons Safeway, Gelson’s, Kings Food Markets, and Giant Martin’s getting a first crack at it. As for JUST’s standard product, the price drop will occur some time in the second quarter of 2020.

Categories
Grocery Plant-Based What's New

Trader Joe’s Officially Launches Their Take On Plant-Based ‘Bleeding’ Burgers

While Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have long dominated the plant-based burger space, several other vegan patties have surfaced over the past year. To kick off 2020, Trader Joe’s has decided to throw its hat into the ring with its own, in-house rendition on the plant meat that can cook to “medium rare.”

Photo courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Initially leaked in September 2019, Trader Joe’s has officially sent out a release that confirms the nationwide rollout of their meat-free burger patties. The “Protein Patties,” as they’re called, are made similar to Beyond Meat’s, with a base of pea protein, sunflower oil, and beet powder that allows the burgers to look pink and juicy in the middle when fully cooked.

Each 8-ounce package of the patties costs $4.49, putting it on par with Beyond Meat, Impossible, and other refrigerated plant-based meats currently in grocers. While that’s still a hefty price compared to the current cost of ground beef, given all of the new entrants into the market in the past year, it should only be a matter of time before the price of plant-based meat drops below that of regular meat.

The Protein Patties began their release across the nation on January 20th, so if they’re not at your local Trader Joe’s store yet, you should expect to see them soon.