Fad or Future

Clawing onto the scene: Burger & Lobster launches lobster nuggets

A posh reinvention of familiar foods could offer a winning formula. 

28 August 2019
chainsfast foodplant-basedpoultryrestaurantsseafood

Late-night feasting on fast food just got fancy thanks to Burger & Lobster.

This week it launched spicy lobster nuggets into its six London sites to help satisfy “posh-nosh nugget cravings.”

Available after 8pm, the nuggets are made with chunks of fresh Atlantic lobster – sustainably sourced from the coasts of Nova Scotia – and paired with either a fresh lemon dip or a truffle mayo.

However, the deep-fried treats won’t be listed on the menu. Wanting to keep an air of exclusivity around the morsels, Burger & Lobster describes them as a “menu hack,” with only people in the know able to order them with the fairly straightforward code of ‘spicy lobster nuggets.’

They can also be ordered on Deliveroo via Burger & Lobster and sister restaurant Smack.

Consumers can expect to pay for their indulgence: the six nuggets are available for £15.95 – five times the price of the spicy chicken nuggets that McDonald’s launched at the beginning of August – but the brand justifies the cost by saying the quality of its offering is vastly superior to the “much-derided” Maccy D’s version that failed to pack a punch.

It’s not the only restaurant to reimagine this wildly popular fast food either. When Burger & Beyond opened its first bricks-and-mortar site in November last year, the menu included deep-fried lamb nuggets with a burnt onion dip.

Over in Australia, they have even taken the format of the chicken nugget and combined it with the doughnut. As Food Spark reported last June, the donug is a deep-fried fusion lovechild made of free-range minced chicken with a top-secret spice mix, which is then rolled into the shape of a doughnut and covered with a cornflake and panko crumb.

New nuggets

Over in the fast-food space, major brands have also been playing with nuggets, but with a more plant-based focused.

In the US, KFC brought out its Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets for a one-day trial, presented in a green container as opposed to KFC’s signature red boxes. It has been working with Beyond Meat to create the plant-based nuggets, which are made with wheat protein.

McDonald’s also launched a vegan nugget trial in Norway back in March, with the chicken alternatives made with a mix of potato, chickpeas, onions, carrot and corn wrapped in breadcrumb coating.

While vegan junk food has been booming on the street market scene too, retail is also investing in a slice of the action. Squeaky Bean launched into supermarkets earlier this year with a range that included nuggets made with soya and wheat protein.

What does Sparkie think of this nugget of innovation?

 

Sparkie says:

The Burger & Lobster move seems like a sign of the times. The amount of social media dedicated to chicken nuggets is huge, so trying to do something new within that same genre is a good idea. I am honestly more surprised people haven’t done this kind of thing with other meats/fish previously. It will get purchase as a gimmick for sure, but if it turns out to be good, it’ll likely be a positive for the restaurant.

It seems like a lot of things are already getting a posh makeover in the retail setting – at least, it seems very on trend. The logical thing would be to attempt to upgrade something that is well known. For example, instead of spaghetti Bolognese, you could have a slow-cooked steak ragu – it’s very similar concepts, but different execution results in the perception of a higher-quality product.

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