There’s a real chance that in the not-too-far-off future you will be able to enjoy a tasty Chick-fil-A sandwich sans chicken. The company confirmed to Business Insider that it has been at least considering its meat alternative options. “A vegetarian option or a vegan option is something we’re looking at, we’re thinking about, and have some [research and development],” said Amanda Norris, the fried chicken chain’s executive director.
What exactly does that mean? The BI piece didn’t quite elaborate. I also reached out to Chick-fil-A, which didn’t provide more information.
Other chains, however, are dabbling with meat alternatives. Burger King is testing out the Impossible Burger in select markets; McDonald’s is experimenting with a vegetarian burger in Germany; Carl’s Jr. is also offering meat alternatives from Beyond Meat. There are many more examples like this, too.
With that, it’s not terribly surprising that Chick-fil-A is tinkering with the idea of fake meat. The question is: What plant-based protein would it offer? Unlike most chains, Chick-fil-A doesn’t serve a burger–so it likely wouldn’t turn to the big leaders in the space, since they mostly offer burger and hot dog substitutes. There are, of course, a great deal of vegan chicken offerings, so it’s possible the fast food chain is looking into those. Or, perhaps, it’s looking into developing its own product–be it chicken-like or something different altogether.
My understanding is that Chick-fil-A is still in the very early stages of even exploring this vegetarian path. The real question remains: Would customers want such an option? While many people would at least be intrigued to try a vegetarian Chick-fil-A, it’s unclear if its core customer base would bite.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop.