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Customers who choose to have a “Make It Vegan” order will get a meal made from plant-based chicken. Cheese and the restaurant’s signature Creamy Cilantro Dressing will be removed from the order to adhere to the no-animal-byproduct lifestyle.
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El Pollo Loco, which is famous for its fire-grilled chicken, reformulated its plant-based chicken offering, which has been aptly named “Chickenless Pollo.” The chain made adjustments to its chicken-free recipe based on customer reviews.
“Our customers provided feedback through our social channels. We listened and quickly reformulated the recipe in a matter of a couple months,” El Pollo Loco President and CEO Bernard Acoca said in a statement. “Evolving our customer favorite Chickenless Pollo innovation takes us another step further in the plant-based space and continues our commitment to championing making healthier eating more accessible and affordable.”
The new Chickenless Pollo has been certified by the American Vegetarian Association due to the menu item’s removed egg enzymes. Instead, El Pollo Loco cooks its vegan alternative with non-GMO soy protein and adobo sauce.
Chickenless Pollo was initially released in early 2020. The menu innovation has come at a time when fast-food chains have embraced meatless alternatives after the success of plant-based protein manufacturers like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.
The U.S. plant-based meat market is expected to reach $4.15 billion by 2026, according to market research from Global Market Insights.