It seems that every week in the world of vegan food news is more exciting than the last and this week is one for the books. Vegan chicken spread its wings, landing at AMC Theaters nationwide, 7-Eleven hot menus in Canada, and, of course, all 4,000 locations of KFC. Hot dogs had a great week, too, with Wienerschnitzel adding three veggie dogs to its national menus. And vegan seafood had a few breakthrough moments this week. Read on for more.
Vegan chicken hits KFC, AMC, and 7-Eleven
This week, all our vegan chicken dreams came true. Not only did KFC expand Beyond Fried Chicken to its national menu at 4,000 locations nationwide, but other parts of the convenience food universe got into the meatless chicken fun, too.
At AMC, movie-goers can now nosh on vegan chicken nuggets made by Impossible Foods while enjoying a film. The new soy-based nuggets first hit stores and restaurants—including select locations of Burger King—last year and are the first plant-based chicken product developed by Impossible Foods, known best for its Impossible Burger.
7-Eleven stores in Canada also jumped on the vegan chicken train this week with the launch of Lightlife’s vegan chicken tenders. Available at all 600 locations of the convenience store chain across Canada, the vegan chicken tenders are warmed in the oven and come out toasty in minutes. Lightlife’s new vegan chicken is part of 7-Eleven’s Healthy To Go menu, developed to help Canadians find healthier plant-based options.
Wienerschnitzel goes meatless
Wienerschnitzel is the world’s largest hot dog chain and this week, it became the best when it added three veggie dogs to its menu nationwide. The dogs are made with the Signature Stadium Dog, a smoked vegan sausage created by plant-based brand Field Roast from a blend of pea and fava bean protein. Its signature smoky flavor comes from it being double smoked using maple hardwood wood chips and a combination of steam and dry heat.
Wienerschnitzel first tested Field Roast’s hot dog on select menus last February and after selling a whole-lot-of-veggie-dogs, the chain made them permanent additions to its menu. The chain now serves the Barbeque Veggie Dog (served with barbecue sauce, a pickle spear, and onions); Chicago Veggie Dog (topped with a pickle spear, tomato, sport peppers, onions, relish, mustard, and celery salt); and the Backyard Veggie Dog (topped with dairy-based American cheese, a pickle spear, tomato, ketchup, and mustard). While the hot dog meat is vegan, Wienerschnitzel does not serve these items on vegan buns.
Breakthroughs in vegan seafood
Industrial fishing is wreaking havoc on our ocean, and once it goes … we go. Luckily, some very big innovators are looking to take fish out of the seafood equation by creating plant-based alternatives that are just as good.
This week, the vegan seafood space welcomed salmon burgers from Good Catch Foods, which already makes a host of fish-free products such as salad-perfect tuna in pouches, breaded fish sticks, crab cakes, and fish burgers. The brand’s six-legume blend is once again the base for its new salmon burgers, which also feature a squeeze of citrus to balance out its oceanic flavor.
Another huge innovation in vegan salmon was unveiled this week by Israel-based startup Plantish. While the startup is only six months old, Plantish has already been able to achieve the seemingly impossible: a whole-cut vegan salmon fish filet that tastes, flakes, and cooks just like the real thing. The young company just raised $2 million to scale its concept and will showcase it at pop-ups later this year with the aim of producing whole-cut vegan salmon filets at scale, and for a low price, by 2024.
New dairy-free ice cream to love
While new vegan chicken, hot dogs, and seafood are all tasty news bits, we will never forget about dessert. This week, Magnum bolstered its existing vegan ice cream portfolio with a new Non-Dairy Hazelnut Crunch flavor that features a decadent hazelnut ice cream base with salted caramel swirled throughout, which is dipped in caramelized hazelnuts and non-dairy chocolate. Magnum also released tiny bite-sized vegan ice cream bars in a variety pack of Classic and Almond flavors—all enrobed in that crackly chocolate shell.
Magnum is not the only brand to debut new vegan frozen treats this week. Ben & Jerry’s got very creative with its new line of pints created to resemble classic American ice cream sundaes, including a vegan flavor made to celebrate Veganuary. The Non-Dairy Berry Revolutionary features a raspberry ice cream base with chocolatey sandwich cookies and chocolatey cookie swirls, and is topped with soft whipped non-dairy ice cream with caramel swirls and chocolatey chunks.
While this flavor is currently only available in the United Kingdom, when we pressed Ben & Jerry’s about a US launch, they gave us an ambiguous (but maybe hopeful), “you never know.” In the meantime, we’ll just force ourselves to indulge in the two new vegan flavors (Bananas Foster and Boom Chocolatta) Ben & Jerry’s just launched in the US last week.
Vegan cookies for Veganuary
Craving cookies mid-Veganuary? You’re in luck as Insomnia Cookies just expanded its vegan selection to include two new options: Chocolate Banana Bread Cookie and The All the Above Cookie (which is loaded with chocolate-covered pretzels, coconut, and both white and dark chocolate chips).
These cookies are available only for Veganuary and join Insomnia’s existing three vegan flavors—Chocolate Chunk, Double Chocolate Chunk, and Birthday Cake—that the delivery service launched in 2020. The best part? You can get these sweet circles of joy delivered as late as 3am because Insomnia (almost) never sleeps.
For the latest vegan news, read:Sandwich Chain Blimpie Just Launched Its First Meatless Meatball Sub Keto Named the Least-Healthy Diet of the Year. How Did the Vegan Rank?Plant-Based Protein Equal to Whey for Building Muscle, New Study Finds
Main photo credit: Katelyn Perry