*** Update: Since the news of the launch broke yesterday, it has been determined that Lotteria is still using the original buns (which contain animal products) and that there may be a trace amount of beef in the burger because of manufacturing on production lines with meat products. While this is not ideal for strict vegans, it is still a step in the right direction so we still support it wholeheartedly. Hopefully, Lotteria will get the message and add a 100% vegan burger option in the near future. After all, most bread was originally made vegan and companies like The Plant Eat and Ottogi have launched vegan mayo in Korea. Veg Box is already distributing Violife vegan cheese too, so all the elements are there!
A quick search on the veggie restaurant app Happy Cow reveals quite a number of places where you can chow down on a delicious vegan burger. YummYomil, with its extensive burger menu, is one example. But it seemed like mainstream fast food chains weren’t really taking the vegan market seriously in Korea. It turns out that the Korean fast food chain, Lotteria, has been developing a plant-based burger since 2017 and today is the day customers finally get to taste the fruit of their labor.
Their plant-based meat burger “Ria Miracle” is now being tested in three locations around Seoul. You can try them out at Sookmyung Women’s University, Sincheon and Konkuk University until June 24th. Visitors can choose from two types of plant-based burgers, the Ria Miracle Original (3,700 won/ set 5700 won), and the Ria Miracle Onion (4,300 won/ set 6300 won). At present, animal products are present in the sauce and the bun so only the patty is plant-based (at that is made on assembly lines with meat). It isn’t a perfectly vegan burger but it is a perfectly good START!
The demand for plant-based meat alternatives around the world is rising as consumers have begun to make the connection between the animal agriculture industry, climate change, human health crises, and animal welfare. If rolled out to all Lotteria branches, eating more sustainably on the run is sure to become much more convenient. All eyes are on Lotteria to see whether they can win over consumers’ hearts with this tasty meatless hamburger.