From Greggs' steak bake to Wagamama's vegan watermelon tuna – how high street chains are going plant based

IF you’re taking part in Veganuary, you’re certainly not short of places to eat out – here we reveal what high street chains have to offer.

A record 300,000 people have signed up to go plant-based this month, according to figures from the official Veganuary campaign.

This marks a 50,000 increase in the number of participants who went meat-free and dairy-free in January 2019.

So it's hardly surprising that everyone from Greggs to Wagamama, and even McDonald's, has jumped on the plant-based bandwagon.

But what exactly is on the menu for those attempting Veganuary?

Here we reveal what new vegan products have come out this month.

Caffe Nero – Veganero Menu

Caffe Nero is taking on Greggs with its very own vegan sausage roll – although it's almost triple the price at £3.45.

The coffee shop chain is also releasing vegan croissants, a caramel and chocolate cheesecake and a vegan meatball panini.

These new products all come as part of its permanent "Veganero" menu, which launches on January 8.

Prices will vary between cafés, so check your local to see what it charges.

Caffe Nero already has a range of vegan-friendly drinks, including caramelised almond latte and ginger latte.

See its full menu online.

Costa – Vegan Smoky Ham & CheeZe Toastie

Costa has just released a Vegan Smoky Ham & CheeZe Toastie, which is made with Quorn ham and vegan coconut cheeZe.

The toastie starts from £2.95, although prices do vary between restaurants.

Costa told us it's going to be around "until Spring" so customers won't have all that long to sample it.

The coffee chain has around 25 different vegan items on its menu, all of which can be viewed on the Costa website.

Greggs – Vegan Steak Bake

Fans were queuing up into the early hours to try Greggs' new vegan steak bake when it launched yesterday.

Instead of steak, the bake is filled with Quorn pieces, diced onion and a vegan-friendly gravy.

The meat-free filling is then wrapped around a 96-layer puff pastry that doesn't contain butter or eggs – and hasn't been glazed.

Priced at £1.55, the vegan steak bake costs 5p more than its meat alternative, which is £1.50.

It joins the vegan sausage roll, which was released in January 2019, as a permanent item.

KFC – Vegan Burger

After teasing its return for several months, KFC finally brought back its Imposter Burger for good this week – but it's now simply called the Vegan Burger.

KFC's Vegan Burger uses Quorn fillets that have been coated in the Colonel’s Original Recipe mix of herbs and spices.

It's served with vegan mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce and is sandwiched between a soft glazed bun.

The Vegan Burger is available now without sides for £3.99, although check the price of your local KFC.

This is the first fully vegan meal option for KFC – see its online menu for more meat-free and dairy-free sides and drinks.

McDonald's – Veggie Dippers

McDonald's first full vegan meal hit stores yesterday, and it includes new veggie dippers that taste of tomato pesto.

The veggie dippers – which have been "Vegan Approved" by The Vegetarian Society – are made with red pepper, rice, sundried tomato pesto and split peas, all surrounded by crispy breadcrumbs.

They're priced at £3.29 for four sticks – or £4.99 as part of an adult's meal – although again, prices do vary between restaurants.

McDonald's has experimented with vegan options in other countries, with its McFalafel and McVegan burgers in Sweden, but this is the first permanent option in the UK.

Nando's – Vegan Perinaise

Nando's has revealed its plant-based twist on its famous Peri Peri sauce: the new vegan Perinaise.

The chicken chain says it tastes "just as good as the original" with pots and bottles of it being sold in supermarkets and restaurants now.

You can buy tubs of Perinaise in Nando's restaurants from 60p as well as 265g bottles in Tesco supermarkets for a RRP of £1.90.

We've asked Nando's if this is a permanent product and we'll update this story when we hear back.

Pizza Hut – Vegan Pepperphoni Pizza

This Pizza Hut pizza might look like its topped with slices of pepperoni, but it's actually a meat-free substitute.

The so-called "pepperphoni" is made from pea protein on top of a Violife vegan ch**se base.

It's only around until January 31, so you'll need to be quick to get your hands on a slice.

Prices start at £11.69 for an individual pizza and £19.89 for a sharing size, although check the price of your local Pizza Hut before ordering.

Pizza Hut has a selection of other permanent vegan pizzas which can be found on its website.

Subway – Vegan Meatless Meatball Marinara

The iconic Subway sandwich has had a vegan makeover with this new meatless meatball option.

The sub chain says the meatballs have been packed with all the "delicious flavour of the tasty original" with a vegan-friendly Marinara sauce, topped with dairy-free cheese.

We've asked Subway for the price of the Meatless Meatball Marinara, as well as how long it's around for, and we'll update this article when we find out.

Subway also does a Vegan Sub, which contains a vegetable patty stuffed with sweet peppers, red onions, spinach, garlic and chilli.

Wagamama – Vegan Tuna Steak

Wagamama has launched a vegan tuna for Veganuary – and it's made from a dehydrated watermelon that's been sliced and served hot.

However, the restaurant says the flavour remains like that of watermelon, rather than fish.

The dish costs around £13, depending on which Wagamama you go to.

There's already the famous Vegatsu – a vegan Katsu dish – at Wagamama.

In more fast food news, McDonald’s has boosted its coffee loyalty scheme so you can now get TWO free cups for less.

And did you see how Burger King trolled McDonald’s by revealing there was a Big Mac behind every Whopper in its 2019 ads?

McDonald’s and Burger King menu calories compared – from chicken burgers and cheeseburgers to fries and milkshakes.

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