Two Vegetarian Products I’m Not Likely to Try

1) KFC Canada is launching a new “Classic Vegetarian Sandwich” made of soy chicken. This is the result of negotiations with PETA, which has had KFC in its sights for some time. This move reminds me a little of Burger King’s launch of a veggie burger a few years ago. I must confess I never tried it (my wife did and gave it lukewarm reviews), and I’m not likely to try KFC’s offering either if they bring it to the States.

I’ve tried to determine why I’m so reluctant to support these new offerings from the fast food chains, and I came up with a few reasons. First, it may reflect the strength of my brand perceptions of these chains as a place for meat-eaters, not me. Thus, a single offering for me can’t overcome the deeply contrary brand perceptions. Second, at least with KFC, the smell of fried chicken is so powerfully set in my memory that I really can’t contemplate going into a KFC and enjoying my vegetarian meal amidst the odor. Finally, I am suspicious of restaurants that don’t “get” vegetarians that they won’t do a good job keeping meaty products out of the vegetarian food (recall McDonald’s fiasco with the beef-fat drenched french fries after they had said their fries were vegetarian).

So thanks KFC Canada for the effort. I hope it’s a great success in getting crossover business from die-hard chicken eaters. Sorry I can’t be more supportive.

2) A product on the market: Vegetarian Scottish Haggis. You can buy a (very expensive) can at Amazon. If you don’t recall, haggis is…well, it’s too gross for me to write, so check out the definition here. I find it impossible to believe that any haggis-eater would ever become vegetarian and thus want to replicate the experience. (This reminds me a little of the Hufu product). At the same time, I can’t imagine any vegetarian getting a craving for haggis. Even if it got rave reviews from my closest vegetarian friends, I can’t imagine giving it a try. So who in the world would buy this?