What do you order from Arbys

New York -

Meat substitute manufacturers like Beyond Meat are booming, the hype about vegan burgers is huge. But now the tables are being turned: The fast food chain Arby's is launching a counterattack - with vegetables made from meat. The US company promises a completely new category of food: “Meat Vegetables”, or “Megetables” for short. Is the company really serious?

“It's not a PR stunt,” assured an Arby's spokesman on Monday when asked. So far, the chain, which was founded in Ohio in 1964 and has 3,300 branches, has tried its meat and vegetable creations in the test kitchen, but the whole thing is supposedly by no means just meant as a joke. "We plan to sell them in our restaurants," says the spokesman. "We are currently working on it."

Arby's goes against the trend

"If others can make meat out of vegetables, why shouldn't we be able to make vegetables out of meat?" Asks Arby's marketing director Jim Taylor on the company blog. A first product - a turkey breast carrot called "Marrot" - has already been presented. Meat substitutes ultimately only tried to make vegetables look like what Americans really wanted, says Taylor: "Delicious meat".

It remains to be seen whether Arby's really pulls off the action or just wants to take a short cut from the current hype. The “Megetables” of the chain with the slogan “We have the meat” would be to be trusted. But can she build on the success of the vegan whiz kid?

One thing is certain: other chains - from TGI Fridays to White Castle to Burger King - are scrambling for the vegan burgers from Beyond Meat and its rival Impossible Foods. (dpa)

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