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Nando's is launching plant-based 'chicken'

‘The Great Imitator’ has been created to taste exactly like Nando’s famous peri-peri chicke

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 13 October 2020 09:58 BST
The Great Imitator
The Great Imitator (Nando’s)

Nando’s has launched a new plant-based alternative to chicken, the first time the chicken restaurant has ever offered customers a substitute to meat on its menu in the UK.

From its plates of flame-grilled chicken wings to its saucy chicken wraps, Nando’s hails itself as a restaurant that specialises in spicy (or not so spicy) chicken dishes.

But from Tuesday 13 October, the South African franchise will offer UK diners the opportunity to try a meal that reportedly tastes exactly like chicken, but which does not contain any meat.

“The Great Imitator”, as Nando’s’ new plant-based dish is named, is made entirely from pea protein and can be found on the menu in the “Burgers, Pittas and Wraps” section.

It has been designed to taste, smell and look exactly like the restaurant’s peri-peri chicken breast fillet and is served in four strips.

Nando’s pointed out that as the plant-based dish is prepared on the same grills used to cook chicken, it is not being described as vegan, despite not containing any meat.

The firm added that the launch of The Great Imitator marks one step in its commitment to becoming a more environmentally-friendly company by reducing its carbon footprint.

Dawn Carr, director of vegan corporate projects at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), praised Nando’s for adding its new plant-based dish to its menu in its UK restaurants.


“Nando's can't guarantee zero risk of cross-contamination, so it's not calling it vegan, but as all the ingredients in the burger and pitta versions are completely animal-free – right down to the mayo – we say these are an excellent choice for vegans, vegetarians, meat-reducers, and chickens. Cluck yes!" Ms Carr said.


In addition to making The Great Imitator available to customers in Nando’s restaurants across the UK from this week, the company is also replacing the mayonnaise in its burgers and pitta wraps and the lightly-spiced yoghurt mayonnaise in its wraps with its signature vegan peri-naise sauce.

The Great Imitator costs £5.90 on its own, £7.90 with one regular side and £9.40 with two regular sides.

Nando’s launched a plant-based meat alternative in Australia earlier this year.

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