Photo: Panda Express / Courtesy
Panda Express also joins the growing trend in restaurants to offer plant-based alternatives to their most iconic dishes and to expand the meat-free menu. After a successful test last summer, Panda Express launches Beyond The Original Orange Chicken in 70 restaurants across the United States.
At its initial launch in July at restaurants in New York and Southern California, there was positive customer response to Beyond The Original Orange Chicken. Panda Express sold 1,300 pounds of the new product in one day and the Southern California test locations sold the plant-based Orange Chicken in less than two weeks.
Beyond The Original Orange Chicken is the alternative to the dish that has been the star of their menu since 1987. Inspired by the flavors of the Hunan Province, the Orange Chicken created by Chef Andy Kao is prepared with crispy chicken bites seasoned in a sweet and tangy orange sauce.
The Chinese-American food chain has enlisted Beyond Meat for the creation of the plant-based Orange Chicken. The development of the plant-based orange chicken required more than a year of work. According to Panda Express, Beyond the Original Orange Chicken will provide the same texture and traditional flavors that characterize the restaurant.
Beyond The Original Orange Chicken is now available at 70 select locations in California, New York, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Washington, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. In California it will be available in 24 locations, including Los Feliz & Perlita, Wilshire & Unión PX and Santa Monica Blvd & Vine Steet locations in the city of Los Angeles.
Panda Express points out that the availability of the plant-based Orange Chicken is for a limited time, although it does not give more details about the validity that its innovative product will have on the menu.
Beyond The Original Orange Chicken isn’t the only current alternative to plant-based dishes on the Panda Express menu. Also included are Eggplant Tofu, Super Greens, Chow Mein, Vegetable Spring Rolls, and Steamed White and Brown Rice.
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