Panda Express launches its first vegan orange chicken with Beyond Meat
On July 26, Panda Express will launch a vegan version of its iconic Orange Chicken at test sites across greater New York City and Los Angeles. The new Beyond The Original Orange Chicken is made in partnership with Beyond Meat and includes an all-plant-based breading and vegan sauce, VegNews can confirm. Panda Express has developed a vegan version of its legendary Orange Chicken, which has been on the chain’s menu since 1987, to meet customer demands for plant-based options and to attract a new population. looking for meatless meals.
“As the creator of The Original Orange Chicken, Panda has significant brand equity in this staple Chinese American comfort food. We have co-developed Beyond the Original Orange Chicken with Beyond Meat to capture the irresistibly crunchy texture of our signature dish, while providing our guests with a plant-based option of the dish they know and love, ”said the chef. Jimmy Wang, Executive Director of Culinary. Innovation at Panda Express, VegNews said. “This partnership perfectly brings together Panda’s expertise in American Chinese recipes and Beyond Meat’s cutting-edge plant protein knowledge to create a new take on a favorite classic.
While the new Vegan Orange Chicken is only available in limited test locations while supplies last, its performance will inform Panda Express’s strategy for a wider launch. “With this regional launch, we are gathering information and learning how we can improve the customer experience with this brand new product for wider future deployment,” said Wang. “We’re sure people will love the new menu item. “
Vegan at Panda Express
Prior to 2019, Panda Express didn’t offer much for customers looking for ready meals without animal products, as many of its vegetable products were made with original chicken broth and seasonings. animal. However, after working with the Vegan Outreach organization, Panda Express has reformulated some of its articles to remove animal-based ingredients, including its first vegan dish: Eggplant Tofu (available in some places). Other vegan options at Panda Express are Super Greens mixed vegetables as well as white and brown rice.
While Panda Express removed chicken-derived ingredients from its chow mein when working with Vegan Outreach and called the dish “plant-based”, Panda Express chow mein is not suitable for vegans because it contains eggs. Panda Express does not advertise any of its items as “vegan” due to cross-contamination concerns.
Beyond Meat launches vegan chicken
Panda Express is the latest chain to partner with Beyond Meat to create a bespoke vegan chicken menu. In August 2019, KFC worked with Beyond Meat on Beyond Fried Chicken, an option available for a day at a location in Atlanta. After selling the vegan chicken in less than five hours, KFC expanded the test market to locations in Tennessee and North Carolina before expanding the test to more than 70 locations in Southern California by July 2020. While Beyond Fried Chicken’s initial test was found to be effective, vegan chicken is no longer available on test sites and KFC has yet to announce the nationwide launch of Beyond Fried Chicken.
And while KFC is evaluating its options, 400 restaurants nationwide have just added a brand new vegan chicken product from Beyond Meat. After discontinuing its previous iteration of chicken strips offered in 2012, Beyond Meat has spent a decade developing a new vegan chicken that mimics its animal-based counterpart in every way. The brand’s Beyond Chicken Tenders products, made with field beans and pea protein, are now available in the restaurant chain, and restaurants, including traditional chicken and wing stores, pubs and chain stores. pizza, use them in a variety of dishes to replace animal meat. .
The Wisconsin Toppers Pizza chain, which added a vegan menu developed by Milwaukee vegan chef Melanie Manuel last year, uses the new Beyond Chicken Tenders as a topping on their new Buffalo Chicken-Less Topper and Vegan Nashville Hot & Crispy pizza. Pizza. The chain also serves the breaded fillets as an appetizer, an approach other chains, such as Sarpino’s Pizza, are also taking. At Burger Patch, the Sacramento-based vegan chain, the first restaurant to feature the California capital at Beyond Burger in 2017, offers vegan versions of classic chicken dishes using the new Beyond Chicken Tenders, including a spicy chicken sandwich. and crispy.
Once the option launches on July 26, all Panda Express locations that will offer Beyond The Original Orange Chicken can be found here.
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