Among the resolutions of the new year is always to improve our feeding towards a healthier scheme, and 2022 started with the news that Burger King in the UK it will already sell vegan nuggets and KFC in the United States plant-based fried chicken, a menu that could also reach Mexico in the coming months.
“Consumers are becoming more interested in formulations based on plants for various reasons, including health benefits and improved animal welfare. The pandemic has played a role, as people consider plant-based products to be healthier and safer than meat due to the presumed zoonotic origin of COVID-19,” said Graciana Méndez, senior regional analyst for Latin America at consumer insights.
According to data from Euromonitor, 54 percent of Mexicans are freeing the consumption of some animal proteins from their diet for digestive reasons, another 49 percent answered that it makes them feel better during the day, 44 percent for medical recommendations , another 30 percent because they read that it would do their health good, to name a few reasons.
In this way, Mexicans are part of a global wave for food of plant origin that is estimated at 44.2 billion dollars in 2022, with a view to doubling by 2026 and exceeding 161.9 billion dollars in 2030, show data from Statista.
In Latin America alone, 90 percent of the population said they want to eat more plant-based foods, according to a survey by Ingredion.
In accordance with the above, even Kantar revealed that 6 out of 10 Latinos who are regulars at fast food are already looking to reduce their meat consumption, an opportunity that Burger King, KFC and even Alsea are already exploring through the Mexican company Heartbest.
KFC Mexico prepares vegetable chicken
The restaurant chain KFC in Mexico is considered to also enter the alliance with Beyond Meat and integrate plant-based fried chicken into the menu.
“KFC is considered within the brand’s global program that seeks to offer an alternative of plant-based products to all consumers,” the company responded to El Financiero.
They added that at the moment there is no confirmed launch date for the country, although it is expected that the innovation will be implemented in the medium term.
“In this way, KFC Mexico reiterates its commitment to offer alternatives to satisfy the palate and the needs of all types of consumers,” the company concluded.
Burger King goes for more vegetable flavors
At the end of 2020, the Burger King restaurant chain entered the Whopper Vegetal on its menu in Mexico, which is already known by half of its diners, and 93 percent of those who consume it buy it again.
After the entry of this product, they now analyze the vegetable nuggets.
“In the United Kingdom, nuggets make a lot of sense and in Mexico we are evaluating whether it would be the same or not, and we see that there are many requests for vegetable whoppers but with other flavors and we are also exploring that,” said Brian Kleiman, director of marketing for Burger. King Mexico.
She added that women are the gender that declared the greatest interest in consuming plant-based ingredients.
He also announced that in other issues related to a healthier product, the chain is committed to removing all artificial colors and flavors from its menu by the end of 2022.
Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza will become vegetables with Heartbest
Burger King could be adding not only plant-based meat, but also cheese and other plant-based ingredients, due to a pilot program that Alsea is working on for its Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza brands with the Mexican firm Heartbest.
“We do not have meat, we are an alternative dairy company, with milk, cream or grated cheese. We are doing tests with Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks with Alsea to incorporate our portfolio of products in their menus, it is something that will not be executed in the short term, there are tests to be done, but it is already ‘on going’”, revealed Luis Mejía, manager of strategy and growth for Heartbest.