The meat-free burger that you've never tried

John Millen |

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Voice 1: BG Chicken is one of the most popular fast-food restaurants in town. The first store opened in 2002, and the fast-food chain now has seventeen outlets serving hungry customers in Hong Kong.

Voice 2: The most popular item is the Juicy Chicken Burger. When the first BG restaurant opened in 2002, this was the only item on the menu. Today, there are six choices to choose from. That said, the chicken burger is still the local’s all-time favourite, with every six out of ten orders in any BG Chicken fast-food restaurant for a chicken burger.

Voice 1: And the recipe for the chicken burger has remained the same in the past seventeen years.

Voice 2: But change is in the air. Yesterday, we visited the largest BG restaurant in Kowloon Bay where the flagship branch is trialing a meat free chicken burger over the next four months.

Voice 1: The new burger is called the Chickfree Burger. As you might guess from its name, the chicken in this new burger is meat-free. According to BG restaurant, it is made from a chickpea substitute that tastes just like chicken!

Voice 2: The outlet’s manager says that sales of the new plant-based burger have been brisk. It was midday when we visited, and he had already sold 90 Chickfree Burgers.                    

Voice 1: And we asked a few people who had tried the new burger what they thought of it.

Voice 2: 15-year-old Paul from Matthew College said he could tell after that one bite that it isn’t meat, and was craving for real meat after finishing an entire Chickfree Burger.  

Voice 1: 19-year-old Laura, who is a vegetarian, was happy to see this new item on the menu.  She has already tried the burger twice and thinks it is absolutely delicious.  The Ma On Shan University student visits BG Chicken often with her friends, but her choices were limited to salad and fries previously. She is very pleased that now there is a burger item on the menu for people who don’t eat meat.

Voice 2: Donald, who works in an office nearby thinks the Chickfree Burger tastes fine. The 28-year-old accountant hopes to have a healthier lifestyle and cut down on the amount of meat he eats each week. Donald said the Chickfree Burger is surprisingly palatable even though it’s not a real actual chicken burger, and that he will pop by the BG Chicken more often at lunch time if they make it a permanent menu item.

Voice 1: We interviewed a number of people who had the same thoughts as Donald. This is partly due to a growing trend toward vegetarianism among young people in recent years.

Voice 2: Many are opting for a vegetarian diet because of environment concerns, and some others, like Donald, are doing so for health reasons. But just because a product is meat-free, it doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest choice. The Chickfree Burger contains 450 calories, while a standard chicken burger has 475 calories. So, while you can opt for a veggie burger occasionally, it may not be the healthy alternative you’re seeking.