McDonald's launches its first ever veggie Happy Meal today as increasing numbers of people are banishing meat from their diets.
The fast food giant says its new Happy Meal Veggie Wrap is 100 per cent vegetarian and vegan, and is accredited by both the Vegetarian Society and the Vegan Society.
The wrap contains pesto goujons in a soft, toasted tortilla and is available for £2.49 at McDonald's across the UK from today (January 3).
All the ingredients in the new Veggie Happy Meal Wrap and its adult counterpart, the Spicy Veggie Wrap, are dairy free and vegan.
However, some people have said the meals are still not vegan-friendly because the tortilla wraps pass through the same toaster as McDonald's burger buns, which contain milk.
So are the wraps suitable for vegans or not?
The new wraps have been approved by The Vegan Society, the oldest vegan society in the world (it coined the term 'vegan' in 1944), who praised the fast food giant's move to improve its vegan range.
Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said: “Anything that gives more choice for people to eat vegan food is a positive move and shows that even McDonald’s have to accept that veganism is growing.
“As more customers learn about the ethical, environmental and health benefits of the vegan lifestyle, many businesses have been reacting positively by introducing vegan options.
“Vegan food is not exclusively for vegans; in fact, it’s suitable for most diets and religions, and often constitutes a safe food option for all, making clear commercial sense.”
A spokesman for McDonald's said: "McDonald’s has today introduced the first ever vegetarian Happy Meal, along with a new Spicy Veggie Wrap on the main menu.
"The tortilla wraps do pass through the same toaster as our buns, which do contain milk.
"But the new wraps have been accredited by the Vegetarian Society and all the ingredients in the new Veggie Happy Meal Wrap and the Spicy Veggie Wrap are dairy free and vegan."
The fast food company said the two new additions are in response to "the growing customer trend for more meat-free meal choices".
The spokesman added: "The introduction of the first ever Veggie Happy Meal and the new Spicy Veggie Wrap provides greater choice, which is considered to be one of the most important factors to customers and their families, when it comes to thinking about where to eat."
Lynne Elliot, chief executive of the Vegetarian Society, said: "There’s a growing demand for veggie food everywhere and it’s fantastic to see McDonald’s meeting the needs of their customers.
"It is especially important for young veggies to be able to choose something to eat when they are out with their friends. With the new Spicy Veggie Wrap and Veggie Happy Meal carrying our trademark, diners can trust their meal is one hundred percent vegetarian.”
The two new vegetarian/vegan wraps include:
A new Happy Meal Veggie Wrap – 209kcal: made with a Red Pesto Goujon with Tomato Ketchup and Shredded Lettuce wrapped in a soft, toasted tortilla (RRP: £2.49)
A new Spicy Veggie Wrap – 364kcal: made with two Red Pesto Goujons, a generous dressing of Spicy Relish with Tomato, Lettuce and Red Onion all wrapped in a soft, toasted tortilla (RRP: £2.99)
These new menu items will join the current Vegetable Deluxe, which boasts a new, 'tastier' recipe. The new Spicy Veggie Wrap replaces the existing Spicy Vegetable Deluxe.
McDonald's French Fries in the UK are also vegan. Unlike fries in the US, which contain beef tallow, British fries are not coated in any fats or substances from an animal.
The fries are simply cooked in dedicated frying vats in a non-hydrogenated blend of sunflower and rapeseed oil, which is 100 percent suitable for vegans.