Update, December 1, 2021: The London location of Popeyes’ first UK restaurant has been seeing lines form down the block as customers wait for a taste of the chain’s fried chicken sandwich—the one that started it all. Food & Wine says that the feedback from British customers has been positive so far, with the chicken sandwich “living up to the hype created across the pond.” (Meanwhile, all we want is a taste of the Creole Red Bean Sandwich, which seems to be generating less buzz.)
Food & Wine also notes that Popeyes will continue to refer to its biscuits as “biscuits” in the UK, even though that’s the British word for cookies. Let’s hope that doesn’t cause confusion among the new customer base. But even if it does... what else do you call a Southern biscuit? A savory scone?
Original post, November 19, 2021: Every single fast food chain is slowly but surely catching on to the fact that plant-based options are a necessity for success. Next in line to have this obvious epiphany is Popeyes. According to a press release, LIVEKINDLY, a major plant-based food company, is partnering with the fast food chain to launch the first ever plant-based sandwich to appear on Popeyes’ menu. It will debut at the latest Popeyes location in London, opening this weekend.
The new Creole Red Bean Sandwich consists of a plant-based patty made from Popeyes’ red beans and Cajun spices. The patty is battered and breaded using a vegan version of Popeyes’ buttermilk coating. This sandwich sounds like it ticks all the necessary boxes; it’s certified Halal and registered with the Vegan Society. Unlike some plant-based sandwiches at other chains, this one is vegan from buns to condiments, with a vegan brioche bun, Red Creole sauce, sweet pickled red onion, baby gem lettuce, and a tomato slice on top.
To create the plant-based offering, Popeyes partnered with LIVEKINDLY, which owns brands such as Oumph!, The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, No Meat, and The Dutch Weed Burger.
After the UK, the brand plans to offer the Creole creation in India and then hopefully expand to offering it as a regular menu item worldwide. Overall Popeyes has been stepping up its game recently with new offerings and promotions. As the first company to kick off the chicken sandwich craze, it’s got to find new ways of keeping up the momentum.
Though the Creole Red Bean Sandwich will not be available in the United States as soon as some would like, I am already impressed. The real question will be if this new plant-based offering tastes as good as the press release makes it sound.