The Maccies Happy Meal is a modern fast food icon. Up there with the Big Mac or The Whopper, the small red box is arguably responsible for putting a stop to more childhood tantrums than the promise of ice cream, sweets or a spanking put together. But, despite its legendary status, there has always been a major black mark against its name for certain members of society.
For years, veggies and vegans were among the few people who couldn’t get fully on board with the McDonald’s fanfare. As the rest of us tore open toys, nuggets and cheeseburgers, our anemic, protein-deficient compatriots often had to make do with a packet of soggy fries, some fruit and a watery drink, all while watching on with jealous, hungry eyes. When you’re young, it’s easy to overlook this obvious injustice. As you get older, the inequity of the situation becomes impossible to ignore.
Small wonder that the franchise have finally decided to act. As of January 3rd 2019, McDonald’s restaurants across the UK will offer the chain’s first ever vegetarian Happy Meal, putting an end to decades of food envy. The meal itself is made up of a red pesto goujon wrap, tomato ketchup and shredded iceberg lettuce, all served inside a soft toasted tortilla.
A collaboration between the Britmums network, Vegetarian Society and the restaurant themselves, the final recipe was carefully selected after months of rigorous consultation with both parents and children. To make matters even more exciting, the wrap itself is technically vegan, though it is not being advertised as such since the tortillas pass through the same machines as other animal contaminated products.
Not only will the new vegetarian Happy Meal excite plant-based kids, there’s also a new addition to the menu for the adults. As an alternative to the uninspired and often insipid Vegetable Deluxe, the chain have come up with the brand new Spicy Veggie wrap - a combination of two red pesto goujons, relish, red onion and tomato. It looks like times are a changin’ in 2019.
Though the new additions might come as a shock to some, the powers that be have given some strong indications that this may be the start of a major new policy shift. Lynne Elliot, chief executive of the Vegetarian Society, made it clear that the business have been interested in working with the group for some time, stating, “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, especially as McDonalds tell us a third of their customers think it’s important to eat more veggie meals. There’s a growing demand for veggie food everywhere and it’s fantastic to see McDonald’s meeting the needs of their customers.”
Whether you’re excited or couldn’t care less about the new announcement, one thing is clear. Thanks to this latest release, making it through Veganuary just got a whole lot easier for hundreds of fast food fans up and down the country. They might not be a Big Mac, but the new wraps still sound pretty delicious.