Jack in the Box is the latest fast food chain to add a plant-based meat replacement: The San Diego-based company just debuted a pair of new “Unchicken” sandwiches at select locations.
Jack in the Box partnered with Raised & Rooted, an alternative protein brand Tyson Foods launched last year, to make the chicken-like patties. They’re made from pea protein and the same crispy breading Jack in the Box uses on its chicken.
“Unchicken” sandwiches will be available in regular and spicy varieties, and sold on their own or as part of a combo.
Chicken sandwiches have seen a boost in popularity since Popeyes introduced its signature sandwich, which famously sold out last year. In fact, "chicken sandwich and french fries" was the most-ordered item of the first six months of 2020, according to delivery app DoorDash.
Plant-based meat alternatives have also seen a rise in popularity, and companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have been partnering with other popular chains since last year, such as McDonald's and its Beyond Meat sandwich offering in Canada, and Burger King and its Impossible Whopper.
Jack in the Box said it expects its new faux chicken sandwiches would be popular with both meat eaters and vegetarians. DoorDash, too, claimed that meatless burgers saw a 443% increase in popularity during the first half of the year.
“We are excited to meet the growing demand for meatless alternatives with our new Unchicken sandwiches providing indulgent taste, crispy crunch and savory flavor in a new plant-based option,” Jennifer Kennedy, the chain’s chief product officer, said in a press release.
The sandwiches are available at select Jack in the Box restaurants in Monterey and Salinas, Calif., and Reno, Nevada, though Dec. 12, or while they last.
To promote the launch, Jack in the Box said it will also give away chicken-scented face masks on Oct. 23.