- McDonald’s will test the Meatless McPlant Burger created under its partnership with Beyond Meat at eight US restaurants next month.
- Other restaurant chains have been quick to introduce plant-based meat products into their menus, but McDonald’s has taken a more cautious approach.
- The fast-food giant has started selling McPlant burgers in some international markets, including Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
McDonald’s will test the Meatless McPlant Burger created under its partnership with Beyond Meat at eight US restaurants next month.
The trial is the latest step in McDonald’s cautious march to add plant-based meats to its menu. The company has taken its time to learn more about the longevity of meat substitutes and consumer demand, even as other fast-food chains rush to add trendy items to their menus. For example, rival Burger King, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International, added the Impossible Whopper to its menu more than two years ago.
Since November 3, McDonald’s customers in Irving, Texas; Carrollton, Texas; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Jennings, Louisiana; Lake Charles, Louisiana; El Segundo, California; and Manhattan Beach, Calif., McPlant for a limited time. According to McDonald’s, the ingredients of the meat-free patty include peas, rice, potatoes and beets, and the McPlant burger will include a slice of American cheese.
The company said the limited testing will help the chain understand the impact of introducing the plant-based burger on its operations. New menu items add more complexity to the kitchen, and a nationwide labor crisis has exacerbated the issue.
McDonald’s global footprint represents a huge opportunity for Beyond Meat as the preferred supplier of its plant-based patties. The two companies announced a three-year partnership in February.
The fast-food giant has started selling McPlant burgers in some international markets, including Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Before the official announcement of the McPlant line, McDonald’s tested a meatless burger using the Beyond patty at several dozen Canadian restaurants in September 2019. As of the following April, the series had finished the pilot and has since stated that it has no plans to bring it back. Return your PLT Burger.
An increasing number of consumers eat meat substitutes from Beyond or Impossible Foods, citing the health or environmental benefits of opting out of traditional meats. For restaurants, adding plant-based meats to menus can attract new consumers and help companies reach their sustainability goals. One downside to plant-based meats, however, is the high cost for both restaurants and consumers.
McDonald’s shares are up 13% this year, giving it a market value of $187.06 billion. Beyond’s stock is down 16% over the same period, bringing its market cap to $6.64 billion.