Hooters dishing up a new fake meat competitor

Chain is working with U.K.-based Quorn to offer Unreal Wings in more than 300 restaurants

Hooters is "winging" in 2020 with a new fake meat competitor as the meatless menu trend continues to change the food industry.

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The sports bar chain -- widely known for its wings which are served up by scantily clad waitresses — jumped on the trend with their Unreal Wings, which are available in more than 300 restaurants across the United States.

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But unlike McDonald's and Burger King, which turned to California plant-based burger and sausage makers Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, the chain is working with U.K.-based Quorn.

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Quorn was established in 1985 and offers both frozen and refrigerated meat-alternative products to appeal to the rapidly growing meatless movement powered by consumers turning to healthier, more sustainable food.

"The rise of meatless options especially at quick service and fast casual restaurants has largely centered on burgers, and we're excited to partner with Hooters to roll out the first meatless poultry item on a national scale in the US," said Kevin Brennan, CEO of Quorn Foods.

Hooters -- Unreal Wings 

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Annual U.S. sales of plant-based meats — from soy-based sliders to ground lentil sausages — jumped 42 percent from March 2016 through March 2019 to a total of $888 million, according to Nielsen. Traditional meat sales rose 1 percent to $85 billion in that same time frame.

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The Unreal Wings are fried and tossed in the chain's classic sauces and dry rubs, according to the company. Along with being vegetarian, the wings are also non-GMO, soy-free and sustainably produced, the company added.

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They are available in 318 Hooters restaurants nationwide.

"We're excited to build upon our heritage of offering the broadest variety of wings under one roof by being the first to bring great tasting meatless wings to our guests," said Carl Sweat, chief marketing officer of Hooters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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