Nando’s plant-based chicken unveiled in Brisbane

By Nick Hall | 05 Feb 2020 View comments

Another fast food favourite is putting its faith in the meat-free market with Portuguese chicken chain Nando’s plant-based protein launching in Queensland.

Dubbed ‘The Great Pretender’, Nando’s plant-based protein is a first for the South-African born franchise chain. The high protein, chicken alternative has been designed to give customers more choice, no matter the level of spice in their preferred meal.

Mario Manabe, Nando’s head of food, said the new Nando’s plant-based patty came in direct response to the emerging flexitarian market, and provided an avenue for Aussies to switch up their protein source when the mood strikes.

“The Nando’s Great Pretender was developed with insights from a series of market and sensory testing to ensure it is enticing to both meat-eaters and flexitarians. The result is a tasty, high protein meat alternative for our customers that we know they’re going to love,” he said.

Nando’s plant-based offering

While Nando’s plant-based offering marks the chain’s first step into the alternative meat sector, it only furthers the brand’s already established vegetarian menu.

Nando’s currently offers a veggie patty for customers, however Manabe suggested The Great Pretender’s texture is closer to a chicken burger patty, meaning it caramelises like meat when cooked.

“We’re excited to be innovating our menu and providing an option for Nando’s fans which still includes all the perks of our famous PERi-PERi flavour,” he said.

“We’ve used key ingredients from our signature PERi-PERi recipe to give The Great Pretender a kick of flavours including lemon, herbs and garlic, which all pair so well with our Nando’s African birds eye chilli. On top of this, the colour and coarseness of the protein itself and the juiciness of the patty have all been tweaked and re- tweaked to make The Great Pretender an absolute winner.”

The Great Pretender launch

The new Nando’s plant-based offering made its debut in late January, kicking off at the chain’s Albert Street store in Brisbane.

More than 500 burgers were given out on the day, with The Great Pretender making a full Queensland-wide release one week later.

Manabe suggested that while the new Nando’s plant-based addition was currently a Queensland exclusive, nationwide roll out was certainly in discussion.

“Our aim is to make dining at Nando’s as inclusive as possible, so this addition will certainly help in catering to Australia’s ever-changing eating habits,” he said.