I went vegetarian a few years ago, but one meaty food I still miss is fried chicken. The good news is that starting tomorrow, I’ll have a plant-based option to feed that craving — if I’m willing to take a flight to the UK, that is.
In honor of Plant Power Day — which is apparently a thing and falls on March 7 — British vegan food company Alpro will unveil a Plant Based Bucket (PBB), which is essentially a meatless take on the ubiquitous UK staple of fried chicken and french fries (or as the Brits say, “chips”). The meal will include nuggets made of mushrooms and Alpro’s almond milk, as well as sweet potato fries and a creamy vegan garlic dip (h/t Metro).
But the culinary experience doesn’t stop with what’s inside the packaging. The actual bucket is edible, too, made of a combination of nuts, spices, and seeds. Watch the video below to see how the feast is made, plus some nice footage of a hungry diner digging first into the meal and then the bucket it came in.
Alpro is a CPG company that makes plant-based dairy and doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar stores. Therefore, the PBB will be available only through Deliveroo. Diners in London and Manchester can snag an edible bucket of their own for £5 ($6.59). The company hasn’t specified if the PBB will just be available for Plant Power Day or if it will become a longer-term offering.
They’re not alone when it comes to reinventing traditional meat products using plants. In both the UK and the U.S., a couple other companies are taking advantage of plant-based-mania and making vegan versions of fried chicken. Seattle Food Tech makes plant-based nuggets to sell in institutional dining halls, and the Cap’n himself is hopping on the fried chicken bandwagon: KFC is reportedly developing a vegan fried chicken option which will roll out on U.K. menus as early as this year.
The PBB also highlights another trend in the food world: eco-friendly packaging. A lot of fast-food packaging isn’t recyclable, which means it ends up getting tossed into a landfill. To address a growing outcry over the massive amounts of plastic in said landfills, QSR and major food corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks are scrambling to develop recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Even KFC has promised to convert to renewable plastic sources by 2025 (though sadly they haven’t made any promises about edible fried chicken buckets). By going beyond just recyclable and making their packaging edible, Alpro is getting itself some sustainability points — as well as a “wow” factor.
I’m not sure how good the bucket will actually taste, or if I’d want to eat something that had been hanging out in a random Deliveroo courier’s bag and seems to have the Alpro logo painted on its exterior. But nonetheless, edible/biodegradable packaging is certainly an interesting concept, especially when it comes to food and meal kit delivery. I wonder if the PBB will start a trend that turns into more bread bowls for soup or lettuce leaf-wrapped sandwiches.
Until then, it might be time to hop on a plane to London to try this PBB out for myself to see if it satisfies my fried chicken cravings. And my bucket cravings.