The world’s largest fast-food chain McDonald’s is introducing its first-ever vegan meal in the UK. The food item looks similar to chicken fingers but is called ‘Veggie Dippers’ and will be available in Northwestern Europe starting January 2nd.
The Veggie Dippers are bread bites filled with red peppers, sundried tomato, pesto, split peas, and rice and will sell for a retail price of £4.99.
Customers will be able to enjoy them with fries, which are vegan-approved in the UK, or in a happy meal.
The dippers were originally featured in McDonalds Spicy Veggie Wrap, with the menu description referring to them as ‘goujons’ in a tortilla accompanied by red pesto, spicy relish, tomato, lettuce and red onions.
“The Veggie Dippers are the same goujons as those used within the Spicy Veggie one but are prepared in a way that avoids contamination with any dairy ingredients, making this product fully vegan,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told news outlet Delish.
This isn’t the first plant-based food option McDonald’s has debuted. The fast-food giant has sold Beyond Meat burgers, referring to them as the P.L.T. (Plant Lettuce and Tomato). Other countries included in the test market for the patty were Germany and Israel.
Although McDonald’s was a late investor in the plant-based food space compared to other restaurants like A&W and Carls Jr, the mainstream hype around alternative meat will likely cause the company to invest further.
According to market research firm Nielsen, alternative plant-based meat sales have increased by 23 percent between 2017 and 2018 to over $683 million.
In addition, Thomas O’Neil, the head of food marketing for McDonald’s claims vegetarian options sold at the restaurant are one of the fastest-growing food categories.
“In the last 12 months we’ve seen an 80 percent uplift in customers ordering vegetarian options at McDonald’s, so it is time for the brand famous for the dippable McNugget to launch a dippable option for our vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian customers,” said O’Neill. “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.”
Although these products have yet to become available in the states, if they resonate well with the European consumer base, Veggie Dippers could make their way to a US McDonald’s location in the future.