Vegans and vegetarians must be ecstatic with the news of a new meatless burger being introduced in town by one of the hottest fast-food chain in the world, KFC, in collaboration with the meat substitute brand Quorn. “In the recent years, meat-free protein alternatives have been gaining traction with more people opening up to alternative protein sources. This led to the creation of the ‘Zero Chicken’ concept — a chicken-less burger that tastes unmistakably and satisfyingly KFC! We are beyond excited for Malaysians to finally taste the Original Recipe KFC Zero Chicken Burger to believe it for themselves!” said Evelyn Ng, Deputy General Manager Marketing of KFC Malaysia.
Sadly, the excitement of vegans and vegetarians are short-lived because KFC has given a heartbreaking disclaimer that their meatless burger is not suitable for them. You might ask how a meatless burger is not suitable for people who don’t eat meat Singapore’s Today Online reports that the meat-free patty is “fried in the same oil as some chicken products”, and “the mayonnaise used in the burger is not vegan”. Due to these reasons their burger is claimed to be not suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
While this news of KFC introducing a meatless burger that taste like chicken has been over sensationalized in the internet, many questions have been circling the internet whether or not this meatless burger is even worth the try. Firstly, one would think why would a fast-food restaurant, renowned for its crispy and golden chicken, want to start selling meatless burger anyway? Would it work? Would any meat-eating people even bother spending that much for a fake chicken? Why sell a meatless burger when it’s not suitable for vegans/vegetarians?
We believe that this burger is either catered for non-vegetarians who want to make that “transition” to become vegetarian, those who are semi-vegetarian or to entice meat-eaters to try meat-free options. This burger gives a leverage to those who want to still enjoy the chicken “taste” while not actually eating it. As weird and questionable as it sounds, KFC claims their meatless burger does taste like an actual chicken, but it ain’t it.
The biggest question in everyone’s mind. How was the burger, anyway? As a vegetarian and having tried the burger recently, I would say that I’d give it a pass and consume a hearty pure vegetarian burger instead. Not to say that the burger tasted bad, but as per their tagline “Tastes like chicken, but it ain’t chicken”, it would be appealing to a meat-eater, and not the other way round. The only thing that felt off for me was the look of the look of the patty. It clearly resembled a real chicken patty, not that I’ve ever eaten one but I’ve seen aplenty. However, the opinion of some of non-veg friends who ate the burger said it does taste like chicken too.
However, in all honesty and fairness, I would complement the portion and size of the burger, which was pretty generous in size. The patty was about an inch in thickness and tasted crispy. Their standard burger is priced at RM12.99 which I feel is fairly priced for what consumers get in return.
I have tasted veggie burgers from other fast food chains before and I must say, KFC really made an effort into making this meatless burger worth every penny while creating an option for non-meat eaters. Kudos to you KFC! We hope the next time you introduce a permanent meatless burger that is actually vegan/vegetarian friendly!