Sponsored article: The commercial opportunity linked to increased demand for plant-based (vegan or vegetarian) dishes is probably the worst-kept secret in hospitality. But despite growing demand, plant-based has never really, truly been open to ‘the masses'. But has all that now changed?
The big fast-food players have, of course, had vegetarian options on their menus for a long time. But what has arguably never been available is a plant-based offering that delivers all the satisfaction of its meat-based counterparts. That is until the Vegetarian Butcher teamed up with Burger King UK. The two have recently come together to launch two new plant-based burgers: the Vegan Royale and the Plant-Based Whopper.
The Vegetarian Butcher is known for its range of meat alternatives that cook like meat, taste like meat and deliver the texture of meat. A partnership with the likes of Burger King brings the most meat-like of meat alternatives into the mainstream for perhaps the first time – helping eco-conscious consumers to cut down their meat intake while getting all the flavour satisfaction one would expect from a great BK burger.
From Burger King's perspective, they have big goals to achieve: the business has pledged to deliver a 41% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per restaurant by 2030. And with meat being a significant contributor to these emissions, it's no wonder the two brands have come together.
The Vegan Royale is a take on Burger King's iconic chicken burger, the Chicken Royale. Developed specifically for Burger King under the watchful eye of the Vegan Society, this new iconic ‘chicken' burger is set to be the crowning glory of the restaurant's plant-based menu. Burger King's aim was to ensure the Vegan Royale matched up to the same heavenly flavour of its chicken counterpart and, in doing so, the restaurant chain claims to have created the best-tasting vegan ‘chicken' burger on the market to be enjoyed by vegans, flexitarians and, quite frankly, just anyone who loves a delicious burger.
Soco Núñez de Cela, marketing director of Burger King UK, said: "At Burger King UK we're all about delivering great tasting food for our customers, so we've purposefully taken our time with the Vegan Royale to make sure it's the best on the market. In fact, we would go as far as to say it's an identical taste experience to the original Chicken Royale."
Millie Powell, marketing manager at the Vegetarian Butcher, said: "We're on a mission to help people make easy and tasty plant-based switches, and by recreating the taste of the Whopper and the Royale with our plant-based patties, we're ensuring everyone can enjoy the taste, texture and satisfaction of these Burger King classics – but without sacrificing a thing."
Beyond mainstream fast-food: making plant-based profitable for your business
The team behind the Vegetarian Butcher believe that chefs don't need to sacrifice anything to serve up meat-free dishes that tick all the taste, texture and flavour boxes for vegans and meat-eaters alike. They also believe that their meat alternatives can help businesses to overcome one of the key challenges associated with vegan and plant-based dishes in the future: that of pricing. Many restaurateurs struggle to reach their cost-per-head benchmarks for vegan dishes; torn between seemingly ‘ripping off' vegan diners and making enough margin from the dish to justify its position on the menu. With quality meat replacements, however, chefs can heighten the perceived value of a vegan dish in order to justify the price point.
Soy-based and packed with protein, the Vegetarian Butcher is a leading light in the meat replacements category with a broad range of meat alternatives from ‘NoChicken' to ‘NoMince'. Years of research and development has taken them from humble beginnings in Holland to being the ‘butcher of the future', with a complete product range that cooks like meat, tastes like meat and has the texture of meat.
For more about the Vegetarian Butcher range plus recipe inspiration from chefs who've already made the switch, visit ufs.com/tvb.