Food

Here's what Chick-fil-A customers think of the chain's Cauliflower Sandwich

More than two-thirds of the chain’s diners who tried the vegetarian sandwich said they would buy it again.
Chick-fil-A cauliflower
More than two-thirds of customers who've tried Chick-fil-A's Cauliflower Sandwich would get it again. / Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A’s Cauliflower Sandwich is an apparent success, at least among those who’ve tried it.

That, at least, is the conclusion from a survey by the data firm Numerator, which said this week that 68% of customers who’ve tried the product thought it was somewhat or much better than expected. Another 20% said that it met their expectations.

That same number said they would purchase the sandwich again.

Chick-fil-A announced in February that it would test the sandwich in three markets: Charleston, S.C., the Triad region of North Carolina and Denver. It is among fast food’s most unique plant-based menu item because it is made with a fillet of whole cauliflower that is marinated, breaded and pressure cooked, rather than made with one of the growing number of fake meat products on the market.

Plant-based items have had mixed results on fast-food menus, with chains like Burger King and White Castle having some success with their products while brands like Dunkin’ have walked back their efforts and McDonald’s McPlant test getting almost nowhere after some tests last year.

Chick-fil-A’s entry into the plant-based sandwich market may be the most-watched fast-food menu item at the moment, given the uniqueness of the product, the chain’s enormous size and the reaction from customers who said the company went “woke” by testing the item in the first place.

The Chick-fil-A survey doesn’t mean the sandwich is winning over those doubters, nor does it guarantee it will be a success. For the most part, the people surveyed were intent on trying the product. Eighty-one percent of customers surveyed went to one of the chain’s restaurants specifically to try it, with the remaining having decided to buy it while ordering.

But the survey could suggest that the product is luring some new customers to the brand, which is a key reason for a new product introduction.

According to the survey, customers said they bought the sandwich because they were vegetarian, they felt it was healthier or they saw an advertisement and wanted to try it. People generally found out about it from friends and family, a news story or social media.

And while most people said the product beat their expectations, a few were less enthusiastic. Sixteen percent said the texture was somewhat or much worse than expected.

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