Plant-based meats have surged in popularity since A&W’s introduction of a plant-based burger to the Canadian market in July 2018. Growing concerns over climate change and food sustainability have also helped faux meat products enter the spotlight.
On December 2, 2019, A&W, the chain that introduced the Beyond Burger to Canadians, introduced a brand-new plant-based product: the Plant-Based Nugget, as a “short-term promotion” available only in Ontario and B.C. Partnering with Lightlife, Maple Leaf Foods’ plant-based subsidiary, A&W’s new menu offering is another highly anticipated faux-meat product.
We tried out the new Plant-Based Nuggets to see if they’re worth a trip to your closest A&W.
What do they taste like?
Simply put—they’re really, really good. Though we at Chatelaine have tried a lot of different plant-based meat products (including completely naked patties), A&W’s new product far exceeded our expectations.
Personally, I love the nuggets—chicken fingers, tenders, and nuggets are the last meat products that are truly holding me back from transitioning to a fully vegetarian diet. Knowing that there’s a good plant-based alternative out there is exciting.
One meat-eating staffer noted that the nuggets, though fairly realistic, taste better than the normal chicken nuggets at the fast-food joint. Another staffer noted that the nuggets lacked the signature beanlike faux-meat aftertaste, putting the nuggets above previous iterations of plant-based options available at A&W. The breading, one frequent A&W visitor noted, was also very similar to the normal chicken nuggets.
The nuggets also come with one of A&W’s dipping sauces: Barbecue, Sweet & Sour, Honey Mustard or Jalapeno Ranch.
What are they made of?
A&W’s new Plant-based Nuggets are made from peas, wheat flour and fava beans.
Are they vegan?
Yes! The nuggets are made entirely from plant-based ingredients. As well, vegans can pair the nuggets with one of two plant-based sauces: Barbeque or Sweet & Sour.
One thing to note, however, is that the Plant-Based Nuggets are cooked in the same fryer as the chicken items.
Where can I buy them?
If you’re eager to try one, they’re currently only available at A&Ws in British Columbia and Ontario for a limited time. (Unfortunately, if you live elsewhere in the country, you’re out of luck.)
How much do they cost?
$5.99 for 6 pieces and $8.99 for 10 pieces.