McDonald's in New Zealand has launched a McVeggie burger that isn't suitable for all vegetarians

insider@insider.com (Emma Taylor)
McVeggie Burger New Zealand
  • The meat-free McVeggie burger has been launched by McDonald's New Zealand this week.
  • However, the new product comes with a proviso from McDonald's that the non-meat burger is "not vegetarian due to our cooking method."
  • David Howse, the general manager for McDonald's New Zealand, told The Guardian that the vegetarian patty is cooked in the same oil as animal meat, like the McChicken patty.
  • "This product is intended for flexitarians, rather than being vegan or vegetarian, but for some vegetarians, our preparation method will be OK," he said.
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McDonald's has released a non-meat McVeggie burger in New Zealand this week, which is being served up with a  stipulation for vegetarians.

The vegetarian patties — which are mixed vegetables in a casing of crumb — while perfectly fine for those avoiding meat, are fried on the same grill as the McChicken sandwich.

Speaking to The Guardian, David Howse, the general manager for McDonald's New Zealand said: "With the equipment we have available, we have to cook the patty in the same oil used for other products like McChicken patty.

"This product is intended for flexitarians, rather than being vegan or vegetarian, but for some vegetarians, our preparation method will be OK," he said.

On McDonald's New Zealand's website, the new McVeggie, which was successfully trialed earlier this year according to The Independent, is described as, "A delicious crispy patty made from potato, peas, corn, carrot, and onion."

The product blurb ends with: "Not vegetarian due to our cooking method."

A Facebook post on the New Zealand Vegetarian Society's page posted about the McVeggie with the caption "How do you feel about it?"

Remarks ranged from pleased the fast-food chain is taking a step in a completely vegetarian-friendly direction. A comment read: "I would be way happier if it was prepared vegetarian. But it's progress. The more vege junk food the better lol."

However, another replied: "How disappointing. Thought I'd finally have a food option when forced to go there with others."

The McVeggie is currently on the menu in McDonald's Australia featuring the same cooking-method caveat.

Although the McVeggie burger is not 100 percent suitable for all vegetarians, McDonald's appears to have learned from watching the mistakes of one of its competitors by putting their 'non-vegetarian' disclaimer front and center. Burger King is facing a potential million-dollar lawsuit in the US from angry vegans who are claiming the plant-based patties used in the Impossible Whopper were prepped on the same griddle as beef ones. 

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