Vegan fast-food chain Plant Power Fast Food has dropped the price of its burgers by 38 percent and its cheeseburgers by 33.5 percent in an effort to put the chain near parity with animal-based burgers from fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s.
Plant Power’s classic burgers and classic cheeseburgers will now be sold for $4.95 and $5.95, respectively. These menu options were previously priced at $7.95 for the burger and $8.95 for the cheeseburger. Going head-to-head on price with animal-based burgers, the chain is now within $1 to $2 for similar sized animal-based meat burgers at major fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s.
In addition to burgers, Plant Power also offers a wide range of menu items such as vegan chicken wraps, fish filet sandwiches, chicken Caesar salad, French fries, and milkshakes. Based in San Diego, the vegan chain now has 11 locations and a food truck and it expects to grow to 15 restaurants by the beginning of 2023.
Plant Power believes its new, more affordable options will help make plant-based food more accessible to consumers who want to try plant-based food and still enjoy the taste and convenience of fast food. “One of the core criticisms of plant-based food is that it is expensive,” Plant Power Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Zach Vouga said in a statement. “Our goal is to remove that barrier and make plant-based fast food an easy choice.”
Plant Power Fast Food
Making vegan food affordable
One of the main drivers of Plant Power’s ability to lower its price point was a partnership with vegan brand Alpha Foods to create a new proprietary gluten-free pea-protein burger patty. The companies have been working two years to perfect the new vegan patty that is juicy and smoky just like its animal-based counterpart.
“By leveraging the growth of our business and deepening our strategic relationship with co-packer and R&D partner Alpha foods, we’ve been able to reduce the costs of our burger patty and pass that savings onto our guests,” Jeffrey Harris, Co-Founder and CEO of Plant Power Fast Food, told VegNews. “This really is a groundbreaking development that will allow us to broaden our appeal to an ever-increasing group of consumers.”
Offering plant-based versions of traditional fast-food favorites at prices at or near those of the major chains is a big breakthrough for the plant-based industry. According to expert organizations like the Good Food Institute (GFI), achieving price parity with animal meat is key to exponential growth in the plant-based industry. In a recent study conducted by GFI with consumer research firm Mindlab that investigated price as a driver of purchase intent, consumers ranked price as the second-most important factor (behind taste) in purchasing a plant-based product. For most consumers, closing the price gap would likely increase the purchase intent of plant-based products like Plant Power’s burgers.
Plant Power Fast Food
While there are many reasons why vegan meat is more expensive, that gap is narrowing as vegan and plant-based food manufacturers are meeting demand by scaling up production. “Reaching price parity comes down to scale,” Emma Ignaszewski, Corporate Engagement Project Manager at GFI, previously told VegNews. “Making the plant-based meat supply chain more efficient and more resilient to risks can result in lower costs for the manufacturer—and ultimately, more affordability for the consumer.”
Vegan meat underpricing animal meat
Alpha Foods has been aiming to encourage consumers to try vegan alternatives to traditional animal products by lowering the prices of its own products, too. Last year, on National Chicken Wing Day, the California-based brand decreased the price of its vegan Chik’n Nuggets as the price of traditional chicken wings was going up. At that time, according to industry publication MarketScale, the price of traditional chicken wings soared—increasing from an average of $1.50 per pound to between $3 and $4—due to a supply shortage across the country.
Alpha Foods worked to combat the “chickenflation” by countering the cost increase of chicken with a drop in the price of its own chicken nuggets with the goal of making vegan alternatives to chicken more appealing. For every cent that chicken wings went up, Alpha Chik’n Nuggets went down by the same amount.
“In the past few months, chicken prices have skyrocketed, leaving consumers looking for alternative options,” Kierstin De West, Alpha Foods Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement at the time. “By lowering the price of our plant-based chik’n products in-line with chickenflation, we’re encouraging people to try something new, without the pressure of changing their entire diet.”
For more about vegan fast food, read:
The Ultimate Guide to the Top 15 Vegan Fast-Food Chains in the US
Burger King’s Vegan Pop-Up Serves As a Roadmap for the Fast-Food Industry
What Veggie Grill’s Founder Thinks About the Future of Fast Food