McDonald’s is to join a growing list of fast food restaurants selling fully vegan meals.
McDonald’s said its Veggie Dippers meal – including vegan nuggets served with chips and a soft drink – will launch January 2, 2020.
It follows the likes of KFC and Greggs in introducing vegan options.
Animal rights activists Peta said a vegan meal was “the very definition of a happy meal”.
However, it said it would continue to campaign for McDonald’s to bring its McVegan burger, which is available in Finland and Sweden, to the UK.
McDonald’s new dippers are made of rice, red peppers, tomato pesto and split peas, fried in breadcrumbs.
The product will be fried separately from products containing meat, a spokesman said, and served with McDonald’s UK chips, which are vegan-friendly.
The move comes as restaurants are capitalising on increasing demand from UK customers for vegetarian and vegan food options.
McDonald’s said in the last 12 months it had seen an “80% uplift” in customers ordering vegetarian options.
The firm is the latest fast food chain to offer vegan products. Famously, Greggs launched a vegan sausage roll at the beginning of the year which it credited with boosting sales.ADVERTISEMENT
Other chains with vegan options include Frankie & Benny’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nando’s, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut.
The Humane Society, which campaigns for animal welfare, said McDonald’s move would help veganism go mainstream.
“When big global brands like McDonalds start serving up vegan food, it can have a huge meat-reduction impact overall,” director Claire Bass told the BBC.
Peta director Elisa Allen said: “A vegan meal – one that doesn’t require killing – is the very definition of a happy meal.
“We’ll continue to encourage consumers to vote with their wallets and choose vegan to help spare pigs, cows, and chickens a short, miserable life and a violent death.”
A survey by Mintel in 2018 found people giving a variety of reasons for eating less meat, including for its perceived health benefits, to try to lose weight, and because of animal welfare and environmental concerns.