While it's no Space Race, or even Formula One, the race to launch the first Irish-made vegan sausage roll in Ireland has as much buzz behind it as the fastest, most impressive Ferrari. 

And the first one is fresh out of the gate - or the oven. 

Applegreen has become the first location in Ireland to launch an Irish-made ready-to-eat vegan sausage roll, with 78 of the chain's shops selling the beloved snack to customers. 

According to Applegreen, the plant-based recipe is a blend of soyabean, chickpeas, herbs and spices, all encased in a flaky puff pastry.

While vegetarian sausage rolls have been around for years, be it in supermarkets or in cafes like Love Supreme in Stoneybatter, a vegan sausage roll seems to herald in a new era of casual dining in Ireland.

Speaking on the launch, Aaron Duggan, Head of Food, Applegreen said: "With the introduction of our new vegan sausage roll we recognise that many of our customers will benefit from a wider choice of food while they are on the go and we developed a vegan product range as a result of this."

"We are very much aware of current consumer trends and the rise of our customers introducing more vegan and vegetarian food options into their weekly diets. Our hope is that the new vegan sausage roll will appeal to all our customers due to its delicious taste and texture."

That said, we're still considerably behind the pack: Greggs, the beloved UK bakery chain, whetted appetites for the vegan sausage roll when they launched their own version earlier this year, favouring a Quorn filling and no less than 96 layers of puff pastry. Meanwhile, Tesco launched their own, tipped to be bigger than Greggs. 

While many online commentators dismissed any consternation over the introduction of a meat-free meat classic, vegan sausage rolls have created a significant amount of noise recently.

When Greggs introducted their version in January, calling it "The most hotly debated sausage roll since, well... the sausage roll", a social media maelstrom ensued, with activists eventually storming a Greggs shop in Brighton, calling for "animal liberation, not sausage rolls".