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Vegans Slam Nando's For Making Plant-Based Option But Grilling It Alongside Chicken

Vegans Slam Nando's For Making Plant-Based Option But Grilling It Alongside Chicken

The high street chicken chain clarified that its new plant based burger 'The Great Imitator' is not actually vegan.

Joanna Freedman

Joanna Freedman

Nando's announced the exciting arrival of The Great Imitator on Monday - a meat free alternative to its spicy chicken, made out of pea protein.

And while many veggies and vegans naturally rejoiced at the news, some were later left a little disgruntled when they learnt that all was not quite as it seemed.

It turns out that though the meal is entirely plant-based, Nando's are not calling it vegan - due to being cooked in the same kitchen at the chicken.

"Nandos launching 'vegan' chicken but it's cooked on the same grill as the dead animal chicken. Y'all didn't even try @NandosUK," one Twitter user wrote after hearing about the burger.

The Great Imitator is entirely plant based (

Meanwhile, another sarcastically penned: "Nandos: look we're releasing an entirely plant based vegan chicken wrap/burger/pitta!!!!!

"Also nandos: we're gonna cook it on the same grills as the actual chicken though so you can enjoy your vegan chicken covered in real chicken juices."

A third wrote: "Love to see yet another food chain launching a "vegan" option that turns out is cooked on the same grill as meat and therefore is cross contaminated. I don't understand who nandos is trying to appeal to here?"

While some had a problem with a grill being shared, other veggies and vegans reasoned that it wasn't a deal breaker for them, and still praised the chain for improving the variety of plant-based options they had on their menu.

"Vegans who act like this can get f***ed off, we should be applauding Nandos for this not asking them to setup an entirely new cooking station, using more resources and more energy for the relatively small amount of people who will have this," one person wrote in reply to the backlash.

The 'fake chicken' is made from pea protein (

Meanwhile, another advised fellow vegans: "The statement from Veganuary is encouraging vegan[s] to hold off condemning them for trying new products - if it is a success, a truly vegan version and infrastructure will happen."

A third simply quipped: "I'll eat a vegan kfc burger and I'll eat a vegan nandos. Cry about it x".

The new veggie meal will sit alongside the Burgers, Pittas and Wraps. Available to order in restaurants and online from today (13th October), The Great Imitator sees four strips of the meat alternative grilled to serve.

Like any Nando's meal, eaters can choose to up their heat with the chain's signature PERi-PERi sauces.

Despite criticism from some, the chicken chain even has the support of animal activists PETA in the venture. In fact, they helped develop the new burger.

Dawn Carr, Director of Vegan Corporate Projects at PETA, says: "PETA is delighted to have played a part in Nando's journey to putting this delicious plant-based chicken on the table.

"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!"

Nando's is also launching the entirely plant-based Sweet Potato Wedges with Garlic PERinaise to go alongside The Great Imitator, with 10p from each purchase goes to Nando's Fighting Marlia.

Tyla has contacted Nando's for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Nando's

Topics: Tasty Food, Vegan, Nando's, Tasty