ALEXANDRIA—For 2022, fast-casual restaurants are introducing more faux “meat” options, starting with a vegan “chorizo” at Chipotle Mexican Grill and plant-based fried “chicken” from Beyond Meat at Yum Brands Inc.’s KFC, both available as limited time offers.
At Chipotle, the plant-based chorizo was first tested in the Denver and Indianapolis markets in August 2021, the restaurant said in a news release. The sausage is made with natural protein from freshly grown peas, Chipotle peppers, ripe tomato paste, crushed garlic, Spanish smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil.
“We are thrilled to introduce guests to our new, flavor-packed Plant-Based Chorizo during a season when healthier options are top of mind,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer, Chipotle. “Plant-Based Chorizo is our best chorizo ever and proves that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to enjoy a vegan or vegetarian protein.”
Over at KFC, Beyond Meat’s plant-based fried chicken will hit menus for a limited time starting January 10, Reuters reports, following initial tests in the Atlanta market in August 2019. Customers can order the chicken, which isn’t vegetarian or vegan, as a combo or in 6-12-piece packs.
“The mission from day one was simple—make the world-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken from plants,” said Kevin Hochman, president, KFC U.S. in a news release. “And now over two years later we can say, ‘mission accomplished.’”
NACS Magazine explored the plant-based trends in “Plant-Based Food Takes Root” in the May 2021 issue.