Fast Food News Plant-Based What's New

McDonald’s Plans to Increase McPlant Availability to About 600 U.S. Locations in February

Starting on February 14, McDonald’s will be rolling out its new McPlant burger to around 600 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco Bay areas.

The McPlant started as a test run at eight McDonald’s locations beginning in November 2021, and is a plant-based patty from Beyond Meat Inc. This new offering features plant-based ingredients like peas, rice and potatoes and will be available for a limited time only.

McDonald’s stated that the test run expansion was due in part “to help us understand customer demand” and “its impact to restaurant operations.”

Drinks Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Silk Nextmilk May Be The Dairy Alternative You Have Been Waiting For

When I decided to switch to a plant-based lifestyle, one thing I definitely remember is the adjustment period. My mother practically raised us vegetarian, so I imagine the transition wasn’t as challenging for me as it was for others. For better or for worse, many of those healthy habits flew out the window when I left the nest. It’d be at least another 10 years before I found my way back to greener pastures. 

While many foods stick the landing perfectly fine, meats and dairy have always had more shaky dismounts. Consistency and taste have persisted as caveats in these experiments. Thankfully, in recent years there have been major strides made. And now, a new challenger has entered the non-dairy octagon. 

Popular brand Silk has released their latest creation, Nextmilk. This latest non-dairy innovation is made using creamy oatmilk and a plant-based blend featuring soy and coconuts, includes six key nutrients found in dairy, and offers Whole Fat and Reduced Fat options. I had the opportunity to taste the new offering and can honestly say it’s really good. It comes as no surprise that the flavor is more balanced than most milk alternatives I’ve tried. In my experience, Silk always does a great job at capturing full flavor profiles in their products. 

It should go without saying that Silk Nextmilk is lactose-free. It’s also Non-GMO Project Verified and has 30% less calories than dairy milk. If you’re looking to reduce your amount of dairy intake, but haven’t found a suitable alternative, stop by your local grocery store and try out the new Silk Nextmilk.

Fast Food News Plant-Based

KFC To Launch Plant-Based Beyond Meat Fried Chicken

The demand for more plant-based fast food options keeps ramping up, with KFC now getting in the mix with its new Beyond Fried Chicken debuting on January 10.

This new menu item launch adds an interesting wrinkle to plant-based fast food, as most options have been seen as burgers. But with fried chicken now going green as well, the question is now which other fried chicken chains will follow suit? As a fried chicken aficionado myself, the option of plant-based fried chicken would be a welcome alternative that will help prolong my fried chicken-loving ways.

KFC first tested Beyond Fried Chicken in August 2019 during a limited run in Atlanta. The response then was overwhelming, as it sold out in hours. In 2020, Beyond Fried Chicken was tested at select restaurants in Nashville and Charlotte, garnering the same positive feedback and support.

Beyond Fried Chicken will be available for a limited time and is served with KFC dipping sauce, as a combo with Secret Recipe Fries and a medium drink, or as six and twelve-piece orders, with prices starting at $6.99.

Celebrity Grub Entrepreneurship Packaged Food Plant-Based Snacks Sweets

Legendary Music Producer Jermaine Dupri Launches Plant-Based Ice Cream Brand

As a lifelong fan of hip hop, the little kid in me would be amazed to see how far the culture has come. It was rare to see a hip hop figure expand their brand outside of music back in the days. RUN DMC, who basically reignited the Adidas cool factor with their love of the Shell Toe, were the first hip hop act to land a deal with a major sneaker brand. In subsequent years, as the genre gained popularity, many notable artists would follow suit. The rapper/sneaker combination had become commonplace. 

Alcohol is another business venture hip hop acts have frequently pursued. Once upon a time, alcohol brands would receive free endorsement from music videos, but that was simply because everybody liked a particular brand. That type of free endorsement famously ended in 2006 when the managing director of popular champagne Cristal expressed prejudiced sentiments regarding its use by rap acts. The highly publicized statements threw fuel on the entrepreneurial gas of hip hop.

Since those days, hip hop has expanded beyond mere sneakers and alcohol, as rappers and artists have even begun to move into the food space in recent years. One legendary figure of hip hop culture that’s stepping in that direction is famed music producer Jermaine Dupri.

With a solidified discography, it makes sense Dupri would have his sights set on exploring another space. His newly launched plant-based ice cream brand JD’s Vegan is here to do just that. As a practicing vegan for 15 years, Dupri wanted to share the benefits he’s experienced with others. Many people are interested in healthier alternatives, but need something familiar to help them take further steps. 

To help realize this dream, Dupri teamed with international dessert legend, Malcolm Stogo. Stogo has helped major ice cream chains around the world for over 25 years. The collaboration resulted in a coconut-based ice cream, with the initial offering available in three Atlanta-inspired flavors; Welcome to Atlanta Peach Cobbler, Apple Butter, and Strawberry Sweetheart. Check out the descriptions below for a taste:

  • Strawberry Sweetheart ($6.47) – creamy dreamy strawberry puree swirls and real strawberry chunks dipped into a velvety cloud of coconut cream will be your new sweet romance
  • Welcome to Atlanta Peach Cobbler ($6.47) – fresh cut slices of golden peaches and crumbled cobbler will make you feel the warm summer sun of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Apple Butter ($6.47) – delicious crisp apples are whipped into a fine buttery spread then stirred with a toasted cinnamon streusel crumble

You can now purchase JD’s Vegan ice cream at all participating Walmart locations. Additional flavors are Key Lime Pie, Chocolate My Way & (404) Cookies & Cream are also available.

Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

Popeyes UK Serving Up New Plant-Based Creole Red Bean Sandwich

Popeyes locations in the UK are getting a new plant-based sandwich thanks to a partnership with LIVEKINDLY Collective.

The new Creole Red Bean Sandwich will be making its debut on November 20 and features Popeyes’ signature red beans and fiery Cajun spices fried into a crisp patty and accompanied by a Red Creole sauce, sweet pickled red onion, baby gem lettuce and a generous slice of beefsteak tomato all on a buttery toasted vegan brioche bun.

Popeyes has plans to offer the new Creole Red Bean Sandwich worldwide, with franchises in India launching the plant-based option next. As of this writing, no release details yet in regards to a US debut.

Fast Food

McDonald’s To Test New McPlant Burger In Select US Markets

Plant-based options are becoming more and more prevalent on fast food menus globally. McDonald’s, being the global brand that it is, is exploring that front, by partnering with Beyond Meat to test a new plant-based McPlant Burger.

The new McPlant Burger will be tested in select US markets for a limited time starting November 3, 2021. It features a Beyond Meat Patty topped with American cheese, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard and mayo on a sesame seed bun.

The following markets will be among the first McDonald’s locations in the US to offer the new McPlant burger starting November 3:

  • Irving, Texas
  • Carrollton, Texas
  • Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • Jennings, Louisiana
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • El Segundo, California
  • Manhattan Beach, California
Fast Food News Plant-Based What's New

Burger King Will Be The First To Test Plant-Based Impossible Nuggets

Photo: Burger King

Burger King will officially be the first fast food chain to test out plant-based Impossible chicken nuggets.

Starting October 11, Burger King will test the plant-based nuggets at locations in Des Moines, Iowa, Boston and Miami as an eight-piece order.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve teamed up with Impossible to make waves in the industry. In 2019, we became the first quick-service restaurant to serve the award-winning, plant-based Impossible patty and offer the iconic Impossible Whopper,” Burger King North America Chief Marketing Officer Ellie Doty said in a statement. 

The success of the Impossible Whopper was undeniable two years ago, making it a fair assumption that based on consumers’ shifting attitudes towards plant-based meat and a market for it that has increasing demand, Impossible chicken nuggets could be another win for Burger King.

News Packaged Food Plant-Based

Impossible Chicken Nuggets Launch At Select Restaurants

Photo: Impossible Foods

Starting today, Impossible Foods will be launching Impossible Chicken Nuggets at a select number of restaurants throughout the U.S., with a few regional chain restaurants in California having availability later this week.

The following restaurants will be serving the new Impossible Chicken Nuggets as of today:

  • Fuku, New York City, NY
  • Red Rooster, New York City, NY and Miami, FL
  • Joyland, Nashville, TN
  • Crossroads Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA

Besides the product itself being brand new, the Impossible Chicken Nuggets also feature a new detail of being soy-based with sunflower oil, unlike the Impossible Food’s typical and signature plant-based heme.

Impossible Foods claims that the Impossible Chicken Nuggets have 40% less saturated fat and 25% less sodium than animal-based chicken nuggets, creating a healthier option for nugget fans dining out.

As for a wider release, later this month, the Impossible Chicken Nuggets will make their retail debut at stores like Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, ShopRite, Giant and Gelson’s. By the end of the 2021, Impossible Chicken Nuggets are projected to be available at more than 10,000 retail locations.