Chick-fil-A’s new sandwich might come as a surprise. The fast-food chain, known best for its iconic chicken sandwich, recently announced a new menu item — featuring no chicken at all. In fact, it’s made of cauliflower.
Creatively named the “Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich,” the new menu item is exactly that: the same buttered, toasted bun and pickles that fans have come to know and love, but with a patty of fried cauliflower in the middle.
Today, Chick-fil-A announced the test of a one-of-a-kind plant-forward entrée, the Chick-fil-A™ Cauliflower Sandwich. Beginning Monday, Feb. 13, the sandwich will be available in three select markets. Read more: https://t.co/rqX4FrUsEy pic.twitter.com/wSERDJloTL— Chick-fil-A News (@ChickfilANews) February 9, 2023
The sandwich, which is being tested in select cities, is the chain’s first plant-based sandwich.
The rollout comes as other major fast-food restaurants — from McDonald’s to Taco Bell to Burger King — have debuted their own plant-based options in recent years (although some customers have questioned Burger King’s “plant-based” offerings).
According to CNBC, Chick-fil-A spent years researching the right choice for its meatless debut.
“We explored every corner of the plant-based space in search of the perfect centerpiece for our plant-forward entrée,” Chick-fil-A Culinary Lead Stuart Tracy explained in a statement, which was shared by the outlet. “Time and time again, we kept returning to cauliflower as the base of our sandwich.”
Starting next week, the cauliflower sandwich will be available in and around Denver, Charleston, South Carolina, and Greensboro, North Carolina. It remains to be seen how long the trial will last or when Chick-fil-A will expand the sandwich to new markets.
Despite layoffs at major plant-based brands like Beyond Meat, the appetite for meat alternatives has seemingly been growing in recent years. In 2021, Bloomberg estimated that the industry would be worth over $160 billion by 2029.
As USA Today reports, the sandwich is cooked with dairy and eggs, so it’s not considered vegan. It’s also cooked in the same environment as the chain’s other sandwiches, which may be a turn-off for some vegetarians.
Fast-food fans took to social media with divided reactions after the sandwich was announced. Some seemed confused or grossed out by the idea.
“A true tragedy,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I give it a month,” another added.
Others, however, were far more positive.
“I’ll give it a whirl, has to be better than BK’s plant burger,” one user wrote.
“I’d try it. I suspect it’s tasty,” another commented.
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