Jack In The Box Adds A Twist To The Chicken Sandwich Wars By Testing A Plant-Based Option


Alicia Kelso, Senior Contributor, Forbes

Oct 15, 2020


Jack in the Box today introduced its first-ever plant-based menu item, called the “Unchicken Sandwich.”


The sandwich will be tested in the Reno, Nevada, and Monterey, California, markets from Oct. 15 until Dec. 12, or while supplies last. It features a split-top bun, mayo, lettuce and tomato and is available in classic or spicy flavors, a la carte or as a combo option. The Unchicken Sandwich Combos will be priced at $6.99 each, which is aligned with the pricing of other sandwiches on the chain’s menu.


Jack in the Box’s substitute chicken filet is sourced from Raised & Rooted, an alternative protein product line launched by Tyson Foods TSN +0.1% last year, and is made from pea protein isolate and Jack’s traditional crispy breading.


According to Jen Kennedy, SVP, chief product and innovation officer, Raised & Rooted has been the chain’s partner for quite some time.


“Their team was deep into plant-based research when we decided to partner,” she said. 


This announcement revisits a strong narrative from the quick-service space that has been largely absent since COVID-19 grinded the gears of menu innovation to a halt–that is, plant-based meat is having quite a moment.


Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, for example, generated a double-digit jump in traffic upon its initial launch, while White Castle locations that initially tested the Impossible Slider experienced a 250% jump in sales. Del Taco’s Beyond Meat taco quickly became one of the best-selling new products in the chain’s history.


Notably, Jack in the Box’s test marks just the second time a major chain has experimented with a chicken alternative...


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