A&W Canada may launch vegan chicken nuggets nationwide.
The fast-food chain initially trialed vegan chicken nuggets for a limited time in British Columbia and Ontario last December. The test used plant-based nuggets made by Maple Leaf Foods-owned brand, Lightlife.
A&W Canada hosted a preview for reports and bloggers, including Erin Ireland. According to her Instagram post, the chain said it may launch the nuggets nationwide in 2020 if the trial goes well. And it looks like that may still be possible.
In response to a recent tweet asking for the vegan chicken nuggets to be added back to the menu, the restaurant replied that it hopes “to bring this product back again, across the country.”
@99fordfocus From time to time we run regional menu promotions, Dwigt. We are excited to see what Canadians think of our new Plant-Based Nuggets. We started with a limited time launch in B.C. and Ontario, but hope to bring this product back again, across the country.
— A&W Canada (@AWCanada) July 14, 2020
Vegan at A&W Canada
A&W Canada already offers the vegan Beyond Burger at all locations. It comes on a vegan bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. Make it vegan by asking for no mayo or burger sauce. The Beyond Burger’s permanent placement on the menu is the result of a successful trial in July 2018. A&W Canada also launched a sausage and egg breakfast sandwich featuring a Beyond Meat patty.
“We’ve always focused on making this product available to the largest number of people irrespective of socioeconomic status or geographic location,” Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat, told Forbes. “We want to be available in as many places as possible. Being in A&W Canada puts us a step closer to that goal.”
Beyond Meat is no stranger to fried chicken. Last August, the California-based brand collaborated with KFC on a one-day trial of vegan fried chicken at a location in Atlanta. Customers lined up down the block, with some waiting up to an hour.
Earlier this year, Beyond Meat and KFC followed up the trial with a new, improved vegan chicken recipe that it trialed at more than 70 locations in Charlotte, Nashville, and surrounding areas. The new recipe mimicked the flavor and texture of whole muscle chicken. Brown said that it “tastes and pulls apart like a chicken breast.”
KFC has found success with vegan chicken outside of the US. All 900 locations launched the Zero Chicken Burger earlier this year after a successful trial. KFC China dabbled with Cargill vegan chicken nuggets for a limited time last month. In Hong Kong, selected KFC stores launched Alpha Foods nuggets and Gardein chicken burgers.