Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

                

Once upon a time, America knew what it was.

Fast and meaty were just two of our essential adjectives.

We're living in different times now. 

Attitudes and tastes have changed.

Suddenly, even the greatest of meat purveyors -- fast-food chains, for example -- are having to rethink who they are.

It was one thing when vegan burgers came along.

Even McDonald's had one. Over in Europe, that is.

Yes, the likes of White Castle suddenly got themselves a vegan burger, but it's not as if Burger King had one.

You wouldn't think, though, that Chick-fil-A would succumb to such trend-pandering, would you?

After all, Chick-fil-A has become America's third-biggest chain by sticking to precisely what it knows -- the chicken sandwich -- and keeping a small menu.

Yet here is the Atlanta-based chain admitting blithely to Business Insider: 

A vegetarian option or a vegan option is something we're looking at, we're thinking about, and have some [research and development].

Wait, they've already started?

And, dare one ask, is this going to be a plant-based chicken? Here is Chick-fil-A's cryptic response: 

We think it is certainly beyond just no meat on salads or no meat in a wrap. It might be some kind of alternative protein on a sandwich.

Some kind of alternative protein?

Might this protein taste like some kind of alternative chicken?

The world is already full of fascinating ideas for alternative chickens.

I wonder, however, how this might go down in some of Chick-fil-A's strongholds.

What if, for the first time ever, the chain sees protests from its own loyal customers, rather than from activists of some kind?

I confess to having been something of a vegan skeptic myself.

Until, that is, a witty man at a farmer's market talked me into one of his vegan burgers, made out of mushrooms and, who knows, lentils or something.

It was absurdly edible. 

For Chick-fil-A, though, it might be a couple of years before it finally introduces its Alternative Protein Sandwich.

By then, I suspect, vegan fast food may even be approaching the norm.

And then Chick-fil-A will seem like it's done nothing outrageous at all.

Just as the chain likes it.

Published on: May 15, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.