Is Mc Donald’s Going Vegan?

0
104
Is Mc Donald’s going vegan?
Image by Jürgen Betz from Pixabay

In a new turn of events, McDonald’s, one of America’s largest fast-food companies seems to be caving into public demand by introducing more vegan offerings to its menu.  The industry giant has been effecting changes in the past few years while placing more emphasis on quality ingredients and being more transparent about its nutritional labeling.

View this post on Instagram

New Mac Donald’s VEGAN options on route -Veganism doesn’t need to mean healthy eating. It also doesn’t need to mean exclusive eating with exclusively vegan brands, in my opinion anyway. It’s all about using our green pound to show the vegan demand and to make it as easy as possible for people to choose cruelty free. Would you eat the new Mac Donald’s vegan options? #Repost @accidentallyveganuk ・・・ New veggie options coming from @mcdonaldsuk Jan 3rd. Red pesto veggie goujons to replace the veggie supreme burger. Sadly the sandwich sauce is unlikely to be vegan. Good news for young vegans however is that the veg goujons can be made into a mini wrap for happy meals. 📸@whelm.ed

A post shared by Anneka (@_iheartvegan_) on

With the number of vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians growing by the day, food retailers are steadily turning plant-based foods into their key market area. The vegan revolution is spreading fast, and it so far has a solid footprint in Mexico, the UK, and Kenya.

According to a 2018 report, the number of British vegans surged by an astounding 700 percent in two years.

One of McDonald’s success strategies is their observation of national markets and global trends. In that case, the company designs its global menus with a country’s religious and socio-cultural requirements in mind.

In Israel for instance, 50 out of the 180 branches only serve foods that conform to the Jewish dietary regulations (Kosher). Some non- Kosher branches also serve dairy-free desserts on specified orders.

In Saudi Arabia, all Mc Donald’s restaurants are Halal certified.

View this post on Instagram

#mcdonaldsvegan #mcdonaldsireland #mcdonaldsennis

A post shared by Adam Kalinowski (@kalinowsky_adam) on

In 2013, it opened its first exclusively vegetarian restaurant in Amritsar, Nothern India. The company’s Indian menu is quite diverse with the top sellers being select products such as McSpicy, McPuff and Veg Pizza.

The McAloo Tikki which is made from spices and potato was recently released in the US. It moves quite fast in India and is so far a favorite vegan burger option offered by the US.

More recent studies indicate that over 5% of Americans are vegan, which is a 600% increase from reports released back in 2014.

But why the sudden increase?

A report published by research firm Global Data to that effect reads, “Rising veganism and awareness of the impact of meat consumption are driving demand for meat-free substitutes.”

McDonald’s seems to be striving to impact the world more positively while keeping a close eye on the rapidly changing buying preferences of its customers.

In 2017, McDonald’s UK launched its first ever vegan-friendly Happy meal alongside the new Spicy Veggie Wrap on the main menu. 

For a long time though, the industry colossus has never been seen to regard veggies as highly as it should. Therefore, most vegans have a feeling that if not for fear of a legal backlash, it would still be deep frying potatoes in beef fat.

First ever releases

The company in 2017 released its first ever vegan burger in Finland. What it hasn’t said is whether it plans to roll out the option to the rest of the world.  The Veggie Happy Meal and the new Spicy Veggie Wrap has since been endorsed by the vegetarian society as a viable choice for its customers.

Explaining the decision to serve more veggie options, Menu Director at McDonald’s UK&I, Duncan Cruttenden said, “Our commitment is to offer great food, great choice and a great experience to our customers and we are constantly asking them how we can evolve and improve. We are really thrilled to be able to give our customers this new choice with the addition of the Spicy Vegetarian Wrap and our first Vegetarian Happy Meal.”

In response, the vegetarian society chief executive Lynne Eliot said, “We’re really proud to have worked closely with McDonald’s for over ten years, and it’s great to see their veggie menu developing, especially as McDonald’s tell us a third of their customers think it’s essential to eat more veggie meals.”

Following the introduction of a Vegetarian happy meal early in 2019, vegan nuggets could soon be enlisted on McDonald’s menu.

Are you wondering how they look or taste like?

Well, they are different from chicken nuggets since they are made from sweet corn, onions, carrots, and chickpeas.

However, they are still under test in Norway and not easily available.

Following the rush to grab vegan rolls at Greggs, it is so clear that vegan food is currently on high demand in the UK. This probably explains why McDonald’s is also under pressure to grab a share of this market.

In spite of the food giant’s effort to go fully vegan, many vegans are still quite skeptical about McDonald’s introducing vegan products to its menu.

“It’s great that veganism is going more mainstream and it’s becoming more accessible to people, but on the other hand, McDonald’s is still not an ethical company to support. There are other factors at play, not just the ingredients that go into the food.” , 26-year-old Sarah King, a vegan blogger from Bristol, told Radio 1 Newsbeat.

All the good intentions notwithstanding, the majority of vegan consumers still have reservations about the company’s products because it is still deep frying vegan nuggets in the same oils that cook the products that they are trying to avoid.

McDonald has to make this adjustment if they really want to make vegan a mainstream product.

McDonalds Vegan options

The Spicy Veggie One

It is made of Arborio rice, sundried tomato pesto and split peas and wrapped up in a floury tortilla. The snack was added the UK menus at the beginning of 2019 and is well approved by the vegetarian society.

The Happy Meal Veggie Wrap

What’s in a veggie Happy Meal?

McDonald says it introduced more vegan-friendly snacks following a consumer poll which showed that 33% wanted more meat-free alternatives from the chain.

The Happy meal snack has received a lot of positive feedback from parents including celebrity Frankie Bridge who told the Huffington Post UK that offering meal options for children makes her life easier.

It consists of tomato ketchup, shredded lettuce and a veggie goujon, all wrapped up in a toasted tortilla.

The McAloo Tikki

This features among the Indian McDonald’s bestsellers. It was launched at the end of 2018. Aloo is the Hindi word for potato, and it is made of peas, spuds, and spices. These are eventually sandwiched between bugger buns with vegan tomato mayo and a salad. Although the Indian offering is only being served at the single US branch, it is sold in all its 300 Indian restaurants.

Other McDonalds Vegan options that are available or have ever been listed include;

Vegetable Deluxe, Vegan Vegetable Nuggets, Falafel Nuggets, Happy Meal, the Big Vegan, Apple Pies, and French Fries.

And, so, is McDonald’s going vegan?

Well, based on the high demand that is being created by the growing vegan and vegetarian communities, the giant food master has no choice but take the necessary steps to meet it.

An entrepreneur on its scale cannot sit there and watch such a huge market gravitate into a competitor’s warm embrace.

At one point it carried out a consumer poll to find out how ready or potential the vegan market is. Such a move points to a motive to go vegan.

Also, the numerous vegan options listed in this article point to the evidence that there is sufficient goodwill on the part of the company to go fully vegan. The dilly-dallying being witnessed may be a direct result of logistical complexity occasioned by the company’s global presence and network.