Following similar moves by Burger King, KFC and other fast food retailers, McDonald’s told investors Monday that it is launching a meatless “McPlant” burger via expanded market testing.
Having tested a plant-based burger in Canada through a partnership with Beyond Meat, the McPlant will be tested in various global markets in 2021 and will be exclusive to McDonald’s. The new offering will include the retailer’s classic burger toppings, which typically include lettuce and tomato.
“Beyond Meat and McDonald’s co-created the plant-based patty which will be available as part of the McPlant platform,” a Beyond Meat spokesperson said after the news.
However, Beyond Meat’s shares had fallen 4 percent by the end of trading Monday as McDonald’s didn’t name Beyond Meat specifically as a McPlant supplier, instead merely stating the fast food retailer is developing the new offering with a supplier.
Further on the meatless front, McDonald’s said that it is also considering testing plant-based substitutes for its chicken products, along with its egg and bacon breakfast sandwiches.
"McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s," Ian Borden, McDonald's international president, said in Monday’s virtual investor meeting. "In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken substitutes and breakfast sandwiches."
The McPlant launch comes long after rival Burger King launched its meatless “Impossible Whopper” in April 2019 in the US, featuring Impossible Foods’ top-selling plant-based burger. Starbucks, Carl’s Jr. and Dunkin’ have likewise already launched plant-based meat products into their menus since.
"We think our culinary team nailed it. There are other plant-based burgers out there, but the McPlant delivers our iconic taste in a sink-your-teeth-in (and wipe-your-mouth) kind of sandwich," McDonald's said in a Monday blog post. "It’s made with a juicy, plant-based patty and served on a warm, sesame seed bun with all the classic toppings.
“Markets can adopt the McPlant when they’re ready and we expect some to test the burger next year.”