It has been a long time coming but McDonald’s has finally committed to launching a vegan meal in the UK, and the fast-food giant has worked with the Vegan Society to make sure it gets all the details right. On 2nd January 2020, in time for Veganuary, McDonald’s is bringing out its first-ever fully vegan meal in the UK.
Introducing the new veggie dippers made with red pepper, rice, sundried tomato pesto and split pea mix prepared in crispy breadcrumbs. They will be prepared separately from meat and dairy products which gains the fast-food chain the coveted Vegan Society accreditation.
Four veggie dippers will cost £3.29 or they will be made available as a full meal for £4.99 with vegan-friendly fries and a soft drink. There will also be a vegan Happy Meal for £2.99 which will include two dippers.
The launch has been reported widely in the mainstream media today. Thomas O’Neill, Head of Food Marketing at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, has commented that the company has seen an 80% increase in customers ordering vegetarian options at McDonald’s in the past twelve months.
“So it is time for the brand famous for the dippable McNugget to launch a dippable option for our vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian customers,” he said. “The Veggie Dippers are a delicious addition to our menu and we’re looking forward to seeing what customers make of our first vegan Extra Value Meal and Happy Meal in the New Year.”
McDonald’s has taken its time to commit fully to a vegan menu
Despite the success of Greggs’ vegan sausage roll and Burger King’s initial trials of the Impossible Burger, McDonald’s took its time to make a decisive move into providing vegan options despite several trials around the world. The fast-food conglomerate’s former CEO Steve Easterbrook openly questioned whether vegan options would increase the traffic of customers.
It is a mark of McDonald’s newfound commitment to embracing the vegan revolution that it is willing to adapt its kitchens to avoid potential cross-contamination. This should certainly avoid the kind of problems that Burger King has experienced in the USA where it is being sued by a disgruntled customer who complained that his vegan pattie was contaminated by animal juices after being prepared on the same grill as a meat burger.
With the growing market for flexitarians, McDonald’s is looking to capitalise on the new vegan trend. But ultimately McDonald’s DNA is about burgers. The chain has trialled vegan burgers in Germany, Sweden and Israel. It has recently announced a PLT vegan burger trial in Canada. So there is a way to go still before McDonald’s UK vegan eating experience resembles the company’s traditions.
PETA which has launched a petition for the chain to bring its McVegan burgers to Britain. So with separate cooking areas to prepare the new veggie dippers don’t bet against the move happening sometime next year.