McDonald’s New Zealand has announced a vegetable-based burger will now be on menus nationwide, following a successful trial earlier in 2019. Available from this week onwards, the McVeggie is perfect for flexitarians who may want an alternative to the traditional meat proteins in burgers.

The vegetable-based burger is made up of a crunchy vegetable patty, with whole-leaf lettuce, fresh tomato, and red onion, topped off with creamy garlic aioli in a chilli chive bun.

The vegetable patty is crumb-coated and made up of a mixed vegetable blend (potato, peas, corn, carrot and onion) along with cheese, herbs and spices. While the vegetable patty is vegetarian, it is fried using the same equipment as the tempura coated McChicken patty, so may not be suitable for all vegetarians.

“We continue to evolve our menu over time as our customers’ tastes and lifestyles change,” said McDonald’s NZ general manager Dave Howse. “We know more and more Kiwis want vegetable-based options in their diet, and that includes when they visit Macca’s, so the McVeggie is a great new choice on our menu.”

Recent research from Colmar Brunton revealed more than half a million Kiwis are choosing to eat less meat* and there is an increase in the number of people who eat a more vegetable-based diet.

“We trialled the McVeggie earlier this year, to make sure the burger build and how it is prepared suits the needs of the majority of our customers,” explained Howse.

“With the equipment we have available, we have to cook the patty in the same oil used for other products like McChicken patties. This product is intended for flexitarians, rather than being vegan or vegetarian, but for some vegetarians, our preparation method will be okay.”

Globally, McDonald’s has released a number of meat-free options. The McVegan burger was tested in Sweden in 2017 and permanently added to menus in Finland and Sweden. In January of this year, McFalafel was also introduced in Sweden and a vegan Spicy Veggie Wrap is currently sold in UK restaurants.

A vegetarian patty was trialled in McDonald’s New Zealand’s Greenlane restaurant several years ago, along with a gluten-free bun. The McVeggie was trialled in Mount Wellington, Stoddard Road and Royal Oak restaurants earlier this year.