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Burger King ranked number one for plant-based offerings

May 3, 2023

Burger King has been crowned the UK’s most plant-friendly fast food chain by global food awareness organization, ProVeg International, in a ranking of the country’s top five outlets.

Sandwich giant, Subway, came second, followed by McDonald’s in third place. Pizza Hut and KFC took fourth and fifth places, in the ranking, which judged the outlets on their plant-based meals, sides and desserts and their menu presentation and labeling.

“We congratulate Burger King for landing the top spot and are pleased to see the efforts made by all five outlets,” said Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President at ProVeg.

“It is vitally important that fast food chains play their role in helping society transition to more climate-friendly diets by providing and promoting plant-based foods. All five major chains are making strides in the right direction, but there is still room for improvement,” de Boo added.

All outlets performed well in at least one category.

Burger King performed exceptionally well in the 'Main Dishes' category, with fully plant-based bacon as a permanent fixture on the menu, bringing them up to nine fully plant-based main dishes.

Subway scored points with a create-your-own model, their menu presentation, and, in particular, their use of 'VE' next to the fully plant-based menu items.

McDonald’s was awarded points for integrating fully plant-based items into the overall menu and using appealing language, such as 'juicy'.

Pizza Hut had several fully plant-based items listed, a build-your-own model, and integrated the plant-based items with non-plant-based items.

KFC scored points for their 'Original Recipe Vegan Burger', and for offering three fully plant-based dips and vegan side options such as fries, corn, and regular beans.

However, they all fell short in some way to promote plant-based products, leaving them with room to improve.

For example, the labeling of Burger King products can be confusing as they use The Vegan Society 'Vegan' label for some products, and their own 'Plant-based' label for others.

At McDonald’s, ProVeg would like to see category names such as 'vegan' and 'vegetarian' replaced with 'plant-based' and '100% plant-based' to appeal to a wider group of consumers.

Subway fell short of first place because of the limited range of fully plant-based main dishes, while Pizza Hut does not apply the relevant labels throughout the entire menu and does not list ingredients on their website.

KFC has scope for most improvement, such as integrating 'vegan' options with other menu items.

“Burger King has also committed to being 50% plant-based in the UK by 2030, which was not taken into account in the rankings but is worthy of imitation by the other outlets,” de Boo continued. “We need to see more fast food companies setting out their goals to transition to more plant-based foods to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and increase environmental sustainability.”

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