McDonald’s has launched a veggie Happy Meal option for the first time ever – and it begs the question, what have they been feeding vegetarian children in the meantime?
The new Happy Meal comes with a vegetarian wrap filled with a red pesto goujon, tomato ketchup and shredded lettuce, and is priced at £2.49.
It follows a poll that found one third (33%) of McDonald’s customers believe they need to start including more meat-free meals in their family’s diet.
Working with the Britmums network and the Vegetarian Society, McDonald’s invited parents and their children to select the final flavour and they chose the red pesto goujon wrap, which is also dairy-free.
The latest menu addition has the backing of singer Frankie Bridge, who said: “Having more meal options that the kids enjoy makes my life all the easier and the Veggie Happy Meal wrap flavour was literally chosen by children, so I know it’s something that my son Parker will love too.
“I think it’s important that our diet is varied and full of choice, and for me at the moment, this means introducing more meat-free meals.”
Mum-of-two Pooja Dattani-Pau complained to the fast food restaurant after her children were unable to eat Happy Meals due to the lack of veggie options. “My two children feel disheartened as all the other kids have a Happy Meal with a toy,” she wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“I am very disappointed with this as surely being a vegetarian should not mean being treated any different.”
Mandeep Sangha agreed. “We have the same issue with Gia,” Sangha commented. “Diyan gets a happy meal (as he eats meat), Gia is veggie so therefore can’t get a happy meal. Totally infuriating.”
Another parent said they simply ordered a bun and cheese without meat for their child so they could have a Happy Meal.
Commenting on the menu addition, Lynne Elliot, chief executive the Vegetarian Society, said: “We’re really proud to have worked closely with McDonald’s for over 10 years and it’s great to see their veggie menu developing.
“There’s a growing demand for veggie food everywhere and it’s fantastic to see McDonald’s meeting the needs of their customers. It is especially important for young veggies to be able to choose something to eat when they are out with their friends.”
The fast food restaurant has also launched a new Spicy Veggie Wrap for £2.99, made with two red pesto goujons, spicy relish with tomato, lettuce and red onion all wrapped in a tortilla.
The new menu item joins the Vegetable Deluxe and Spicy Vegetable Deluxe which were the only two vegetarian main options sold by McDonald’s.