Vegetables? No thanks! Or that’s what McDonald’s said when it debuted the McVeggie in Australia back in 2011. It was gone from the regular menu in less time than it takes to say Supersize Me! due to “lack of demand”. Now, McDonald’s has revised its opinion and joined other fast food chains – including Hungry Jacks, Grill’d and Schnitz – in rethinking its offering to suit the nation’s changing tastes.
Not only are Gen Z and Millennial’s more concerned about animal welfare and the environment than those who came before, they also happen to be buying more fast food. So what’s McDonald’s to do? Bring back the McVeggie Burger. A new, improved version, made up of a mixed vegetable blend (potatoes, peas, corn, carrot, onion) crumb-coated patty with cheese, lettuce, mayo and pickles.
South Australia is the first state to trial it and, if popular, it will be rolled out nationally. However, for vegans, the news isn’t quite so good. With the inclusion of cheese and mayo, the McVeggie Burger isn’t vegan, and the only vegan options remain the french fries and hash browns. Though there’s always the hack that made news this week, where you make up your own vegan burger with a bun (without the patty), extra salad and a hash brown. While McDonald’s has introduced vegan nuggets (chickpeas, onions, carrots and corn, coated in breadcrumbs then fried until crispy) in Norway, they are but a distant dream here in Oz.
But given that Australia is reckoned to be the third fastest growing vegan market in the world (after UAE and China), we suspect we’ll be seeing vegan options on the menu before too long. In the meantime, for those of you who are vegetarian (or just want to try something new), get in and order those burgers!
Images: McDonald’s / Instagram