Vegan Fast Food – Consumer Insight

Recently, fast-food companies have been expanding their product offerings to include meat-alternatives, providing more options for those on Vegan and vegetarian diets.

We wanted to discover consumer sentiments on these new offerings, from three major chains with recent Vegan menu additions – McDonalds, KFC, and Burger King.

1 – What do UK consumers think of new Vegan menu items?

To find out, we ran a Sentiment Analysis Steer (research question) with the Vypr Community of 60,000+ consumers*, on each restaurant’s Vegan menu item.

Below are the sentiment summaries, by percentage of positive, negative, and neutral responses.

McDonalds – McPlant Burger

KFC – Vegan Burger

Burger King – Plant Based Whopper

As shown by a quick comparison of the figures, the responses indicated little difference between the sentiments for each Vegan item in respective chains.

Additional Insight – Greggs

Another plant-based food item that was trending when it launched in 2019, is Gregg’s Vegan Sausage Roll – we ran another Sentiment Analysis to see what consumers think of it now:

Looking at the resulting percentages, it’s clear that this is the most popular Vegan item across the restaurants we tested.

These were the results from our nationally representative sample, but we wanted to look specifically at whether Vegans and Vegetarians, who these items are most marketed to, would actually eat at these chains.

2 – Would Vegans and Vegetarians eat at fast-food restaurants?

To find out whether Vegans and Vegetarians would go to these fast-food establishments for a meal, we ran some more research.

Looking at both groups (Vegans and Vegetarians) combined, we noted the total percentage of ‘yes’ responses, after asking whether people would go to each restaurant for a meal.

We found an interesting difference when comparing results between McDonalds, KFC, and Burger King.

A large majority of the group voted yes to eating at McDonalds, but this dropped by 10% when asked if they’d eat at Burger King, and dropped even further for KFC, with only 42% voting yes.

What about Vegans in particular?

When using Vypr’s quick filters to look at each group separately, we found that Vegetarians followed a nearly identical pattern to the trend shown in the charts above, but there was a difference in how Vegans voted, with the overall percentage that voted yes to eating at these places being lower than the combined average:

  • McDonalds – 58% voted yes, they would eat a meal here
  • Burger King – 47% voted yes
  • KFC – 37% voted yes – and the majority voted a solid no (47%)

The general trend still held for Vegans – McDonalds received the highest percentage of yes responses, and KFC received the lowest percentage again.

We could speculate and guess the reasoning for this – which could be anything from organisation ethics, restaurant ambience, or even a name perhaps sparking connotations of meat (for example, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Burger King, compared to the more neutral McDonalds).

Only further testing can uncover the exact reasoning for this difference, delivering insights previously unseen – and it’s easy to do this on Vypr by using follow-up Steers.

To find out more, contact our friendly team by clicking the speech bubble chat box in the right-hand corner of your screen, or by submitting a contact form.


*Steers (what we call the research questions run on our platform) were run in February 2022, with Vypr’s robust consumer community. Learn more about our data here.

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