New Year, new vegan menus. 2020 has kicked off with major retailers and restaurant chains attempting to excite the thousands signed up to take part in Veganuary with promises of pea protein "pepperphoni" and watermelon tuna.
The most anticipated launch, following last year's vegan sausage roll success, came from Greggs, which has launched a vegan steak bake in selected stores today.
Mirroring its classic steak bake the vegan option sees Quorn pieces, diced onion and gravy enclosed in 96 layers of puff pastry.
Roger Whiteside, chief executive at Greggs, said: "Our vegan sausage roll launch was a huge success and we've been working tirelessly to expand our vegan friendly offering and provide more delicious savoury food on-the-go options for people looking to reduce their meat intake.
"The launch of our vegan steak bake is another key milestone on our journey to become our customers' favourite for food-on-the-go. We look forward to hearing the feedback."
Apparently not content with pushing the boundaries of vegan innovation Wagamama has taken a plant-based mallet to convention.
The casual dining group has followed last year's vegan egg – containing coconut milk, cornflour, and miso – with a new offering of watermelon tuna.
Its new vegan Suika tuna dish is made with dehydrated watermelon, which is sliced, seared and served hot. The group has said the look and texture is incredibly similar to tuna sashimi, although the flavour remains reminiscent of watermelon.
It is dressed with a miso sesame sauce and sits on a bed of white rice which is dressed with soy seasoning and accompanied with pickled radish, kale and Tenderstem broccoli and an avocado, edamame and tofu guacamole.
Pizza Hut – which earlier revealed that chief executive Jens Hofma is among those taking part in Veganuary 2020 – has launched a new 'pepperphoni' pizza (full marks for punning).
The pepperphoni that tops the pizza is made from pea protein and is nestled among Violife vegan cheese.
The pizza has been launched as a limited edition dish for January, although if it proves popular it could occupy a permanent position on the menu.
Ciara Grace, senior menu innovation manager, said: "Following the success of our vegan jack ‘n' ch**se pizza last Veganuary, we wanted to create something new for 2020 to excite both vegan and non-vegan customers. We strive to offer our guests as much choice as possible and love coming up with new, delicious recipes for them to try. Pea protein is a first for Pizza Hut restaurants and we're excited for guests to give it a go."
KFC has launched a vegan burger across its sites, following a successful trial last year. The original recipe vegan burger sees a bespoke Quorn fillet coated in the group's famous blend of 11 herbs and spices served with vegan mayonnaise and crisp iceberg lettuce in a soft-glazed bun.
Ira Dubinsky, innovation director of KFC UK and Ireland, said: "The colonel was all about welcoming everyone to his table – now vegans, flexitarians and our fried chicken fans can all enjoy the taste of our original recipe together. We've worked hard to perfect the flavour and make a Vegan Burger the colonel would be proud of. It's the same flavour of KFC, just with zero chicken."