January 6, 2022 7.00 pm This story is over 29 months old

The Lincolnite Tries: Fast food plant-based offerings this Veganuary

Sampling some of the big brands’ vegan food

By Local Democracy Reporter

Veganuary is well and truly underway to kick off 2022, and a range of fast restaurants have been expanding their plant-based range for customers, so The Lincolnite decided to see which is best.

Each January since 2014, there has been a challenge run by registered nonprofit charity Veganuary to educate and raise awareness of the lifestyle behind veganism and a plant-based diet.

Since this began, fast food chains have responded by launching their own vegan alternatives to classic favourites, with Greggs’ vegan sausage roll stealing the headlines in 2019 after it launched and became a popular choice among vegans and non-vegans alike.

This has been followed by the likes of McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and Domino’s as more options are made available for those with a vegan diet.

We decided to put some of them to the test, ordering from a range of the top

Staff members at The Lincolnite tasted each product and gave it a ranking out of five based on look, taste, and value for money, before merging the scores to create an overall average rating; here are the results.

1st: KFC’s Vegan Burger (£3.99) – 3.91/5

KFC’s Vegan Burger is the plant-based champion according to our office! | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 3.75
  • Taste – 4.25
  • Value – 3.75

Filled with a vegan Quorn fillet made of Mycoprotein, it is still coated in KFC’s 11 herbs and spices and never cooked in the same oil as the regular chicken. On the KFC website it is declared the “best vegan chicken burger out there” and here in the office we seemed to agree!

2nd: McDonald’s McPlant Burger (£3.29) – 3.83/5

The McPlant was rolled out across McDonald’s restaurants in the UK at the start of 2022. | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 3.75
  • Taste – 3.75
  • Value – 4

The McPlant is a vegan burger made of a plant-based patty co-developed with Beyond Meat, featuring vegan sandwich sauce, ketchup, mustard, onion, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and vegan alternative cheese. You can hardly tell the difference from a regular meat patty, too.

3rd: Subway’s Meatless Meatball Sub (£3.99) – 3.16/5

The meatless meatball marinara at Subway really does what it says on the tin. | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 2.75
  • Taste – 3.25
  • Value 3.5

Largely similar to the original Subway classic, the meatless meatball marinara sub has signature marinara sauce and plant-based meatballs with mozzarella-style plant-based cheese slices. As is often the case with Subway, it is good value for money too at £3.99 for a six-inch sandwich.

=4th: Caffe Nero’s Vegan Sausage Roll (£3.50) – 3/5

Caffe Nero’s vegan sausage roll was launched in 2020 and proved to be a big hit. | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 3.75
  • Taste – 3.25
  • Value – 2

Launched in 2020, a year after the now infamous Greggs vegan sausage roll, Caffe Nero brought out their own version and it is still going strong to this day. Instead of a meat substitute, the vegan puff pastry is filled with roasted butternut squash, courgette and sweet potato.

=4th: Greggs’ Vegan Festive Bake (£1.60) – 3/5

Greggs are known for catering for plant-based diets, and the vegan festive bake is no exception. | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 1.75
  • Taste – 3.25
  • Value – 4

Festive bakes are a staple of Greggs’ Christmas menu, and the vegan alternative maintains the same level of taste you expect from the meat version. Sage and onion stuffing balls accompany vegan bacon crumb and Quorn mycoprotein pieces inside delicious puff pastry.

6th: Burger King’s Vegan Royale (£5.99) – 2.83/5

The Vegan Royale at Burger King. | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 3.25
  • Taste – 3.5
  • Value – 1.75

Certified by the Vegan Society, Burger King’s Vegan Royale has a crispy plant-based patty with iceberg lettuce and alternative mayo in a sesame seed bun. The price is very steep compared to other options out there, which ultimately lets it down.

7th: Domino’s Vegan PepperoNAY (£16.99) – 2.66/5

Domino’s released a brand new vegan-friendly pepperoni pizza for £16.99. | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 2.5
  • Taste – 3.75
  • Value – 1.75

Another to be restricted by its price, Domino’s Vegan PepperoNAY pizza costs £16.99 and while the taste of the specially created vegan pepperoni is almost unrecognisable to the traditional meat, it is considerably more expensive than other things out there.

8th: Pizza Hut’s Vegan Pepperphoni (£12.89) – 2.5/5

Pizza Hit offer a vegan pepperoni pizza for £12.89. | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 3.5
  • Taste – 2.5
  • Value – 1.5

Not as generous with the pepperoni servings as Domino’s, Pizza Hut’s vegan offering uses Violife vegan cheese to, as the company eloquently put it, “cheat on meat again”. The standout of this is the look of it, but taste leaves a lot to be desired, as does the value for money.

9th: Costa’s Vegan Bac’n Bap (£3) – 1.58/5

Costa’s Vegan Bac’n Bap costs £3 and can be eaten hot or cold. | Photo: The Lincolnite

  • Look – 0.75
  • Taste – 2.5
  • Value – 1.5

At first glance it really isn’t anything to write home about, which is the primary demise of Costa’s Vegan Bac’n Bap, along with the fact it costs £3 for one, the taste is actually a pleasant surprise. You can tell the difference, but it’s not catastrophic.