Whether or not you’re familiar with burger chain Fuddruckers, once you hear the name, it's bound to stick in your mind. With nearly 100 locations across 25 states, Fuddruckers is working to place itself at the forefront of a growing vegan-friendly fast food industry. The burger joint is striving to better cater to plant-based consumers everywhere with its new dairy-free cheese offerings.

Fuddruckers just announced that it is partnering with Washington-based plant-based brand GOOD PLANeT Foods. The fast-food chain will begin offering vegan alternatives for American, Smoked Provolone, and Pepper Jack cheeses at select locations in Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Texas. The limited-time offer will aim to gauge customer response to the vegan cheese options. Customers will be able to order the plant-based cheese on burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

Fuddruckers distinguishes itself by making its menu extremely customizable to better help customers avoid food allergens or order within dietary preferences. The vegan cheese will be available as part of the company’s signature grilled cheese sandwich menu. Recently, the company also started offering vegan-friendly buns.

“Fuddruckers has existing and potential customers who swear by plant-based fare,” CEO  Nicholas Perkins said in a statement. “Working with a first-rate supplier like GOOD PLANeT Foods enables Fuddruckers to cater to cheese lovers who are seeking healthier options, watching their dairy intake, or who simply can’t tolerate dairy.”

Last year, Perkins acquired the Fuddruckers franchise from its previous parent company Luby’s for approximately $18.5 million through his Black Titan Franchise Systems LLC. Perkins' purchase made Fuddruckers the first Black-owned fast-food chain in the United States.

Before Perkins’ acquisition, Fuddruckers’ menu featured a meat and dairy-centric selection that barely allowed plant-based diners to visit the national chain. Within the last year, the company has reframed its approach toward expansion and growth, reaching out to plant-based and lactose-intolerant consumers. Alongside the partnership with GOOD PLANeT Foods, Fuddruckers revealed that it plans to introduce Beyond Meat and Meatless Farm products to its menus.

“We’re excited to partner with Fuddruckers to help bring the joy of cheese to customers who are flexitarian, vegan, plant-based, or are just looking for options that are better for you, as well as PLANeT Friendly,” co-CEO of GOOD PLANeT Foods Bart Adlam said in a statement. “Customers will get to experience the taste, creaminess, and melt of our delicious plant-based cheese in a new setting, giving them an opportunity to enjoy their favorite menu items with a dairy-free twist.”

While customers await plant-based items on the national menu, Fuddruckers currently offers a veggie burger that can be customized to customer preferences. With locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, customers all over the US await the fully vegan makeover to come.

Plant-Based Fast Food Is Taking Over the Market

Fuddruckers is the latest national fast-food chain to join the plant-based movement. Alongside major companies including McDonald’s and Burger King, the burger chain is changing as people begin to consider plant-based alternatives to traditional meat and dairy. The vegan fast food market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2028 thanks to partnerships between vegan companies and fast-food giants.

In 2021, plant-based food options helped save the lives of 630,000 animals by providing non-vegan customers with appealing and affordable vegan alternatives. The report released by World Animal Protection highlighted that fast food is helping introduce non-vegan Americans to plant-based food at surprisingly high rates.

The 6 Best Fast Food Chains With Plant-Based Options on the Menu

Fast-food restaurants have finally got the memo that their customer base isn’t just coming through for a burger, fried chicken, or a beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and are coming up with creative, delicious ways to get more greens on the menu. Here are the 6 best fast-food chains with plant-based options on the menu.

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