Fast food chains going Green? (Top 3)

By Garima Sachdeva
From Hindu College, New Delhi
Posted Sep 15th 2012 1:00AM

Chennai Super Kings or Mumbai Indians?
Manchester United or Chelsea?
Girls are better or Boys?
My college better or yours?

The most profound amongst all the "This vs That" discussions is the one about our day-to-day basic need.

Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian.

On one hand, George Bernard Shaw said, "Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends" and on the other, Homer Simpson, the lead character of one of world's most renowned television shows, The Simpsons, said, "I would be a Vegetarian if bacon grew on trees".

In a group of friends, we all have experienced a divide between the veg and non-veg. There are also many different food joints for the two groups. But what happens when the leading non-veg fast food joints come up with new and fresh recipes for the Veggie lovers?

KFC, the largest chain of fried chicken, came to India in 1995, in Bangalore. It got entangled in controversies then, took an eight year break, came back again in 2003. By 2006, it held it's grasp and now, in 2012, we all can say that nothing says chicken better than KFC. McDonalds, on the other hand, has been here forever. The same menu, the same offerings, the same happy meal, it was safe to say that the people wanted more, especially the vegetarians. Sick and tired of Pizza McPuff and McAloo Tikki and McVeggie Burgers, the mob shifted its affections towards the more innovative veg-menu of KFC.

The Veg vs Non-Veg offerings at KFC.

Non-Veg, Veg
Chicken Snacker, Veg Snacker
3pcs/7 pcs Hot Wings, Veg Strips
Chicken Zinger, Veg Zinger
Chicken Zing Kong Box, Veg Zing Kong Box
Chicken Rice Meal, Veggie Rice Meal
Every non vegetarian delicacy has a vegetarian counterpart. Apart from a la carte menu, many other meals and platters have also been included in the menu, especially for the vegetarians. Full menu can be found at kfc.co.in. The KFC officials apparently want to cash in on the vast population of vegetarians in India. And by changing their menu and making it more veg-friendly, it can be easily said that they have definitely hit the bull's eye with this change of their's. Thumbs up to the menu.

Marketing and Popularizing the Vegetarian Food.

3 boys are sitting inside the KFC outlet, eating their chicken burgers and their gaze follow 3 girls eating Aloo Tikki, outside from the street vendor. The look of melancholy. The 'KFC guy' appears and questions about the problem. "Vegetarian-ism", they say. The ad then shows the ingredients of the new Veg Zinger Burger. The ad concludes with the 3 girls, despite being vegetarians, enjoying the fast food chain's menu. 'It's finger lickin' good', KFC's punch line, flashes on the screen and everyone goes home happy.

Enough said. This 21 second advertisement was more than adequate to pull all the vegetarians to try out their new veg-menu.

KFC's arch rival McDonalds wishes to open 'purely vegetarian' outlets, sometime sooner. Part of their Veg-Strategy also includes opening veg outlets at holy places of worship like Vaishno Devi in J&K and Golden Temple in Amritsar. Now that is a battle already won. Thumbs up to the advertising too.

The mob and their verdict.

"For vegetarians, it's hard to find a nice vegetarian restaurant with South Indian cuisine being our only respite. So it is definitely nice to have equal amount of veg food under a fast food chain's menu. Kudos KFC", says Viplove, a Hindu College student.

"Earlier, going to a fast food joint meant staring at the non vegetarians gauge on their food, due to the disgusting options for the veg lovers. Now the situation has become much better, for the outlets serve good veg products which are very effective on the taste buds", says Shruti, another Delhi University student.

"I am a non-vegetarian, and my classes are free on Tuesday, so going out on a Tuesday means no chicken. I then sorely rely on the new KFC veg-menu", says Akrti, a Delhi University student.

What have other fast food joints been upto?

McDonalds has always incorporated a veg snack with a non veg one. For every Chicken Burger, there is a Veg Burger, for every Chicken Wrap, there is a Paneer Wrap. Their menu has always equi-friendly to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Subway, too, has introduced many vegetarian subs in its 'Sub of the Day' offer where 3 out of 7 days have vegetarian offerings.
Dominos have come up with very attractive vegetarian pizzas along with many different coupons and offers for the same. Their side menu too is very vegetarian friendly with Garlic Breads as their main Veg-weapon.

Call it great marketing or a desperate attempt for a change by the fast food chains; the vegetarians sure are loving every bit of it. From making most of what they have on the menu to having an outlet especially for them, the vegetarians can now have respite everytime they enter the above mentioned fast food joints along with their carnivorous friends. Can this be the vegetarian fast food revolution? Who knows, but for now, they can just enjoy the fun.
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