McDonald’s Meatless McPlant Burger is finally coming to America
On November 3, McDonald’s will launch its first meatless burger, the McPlant, in select locations across the United States. McPlant Burger features a plant-based patty made from peas, potatoes and rice, topped with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and a slice of American cheese. The mayonnaise and cheese are not vegan and the burger patty is cooked on a common surface with animal products.
“This particular test will help us understand how delivering a burger with a plant-based patty impacts our restaurant kitchens,” McDonald’s said in its US McPlant test announcement. “[The McPlant] has the iconic taste of a McDonald’s burger, because it is.
The McPlant will be available for a limited time at eight McDonald’s locations in Irving, TX; Carrollton, Texas; Cedar Falls, IA; Jennings, LA; Lake Charles, LA; Manhattan Beach, California; and El Segundo, Calif., the headquarters of Beyond Meat, which is responsible for McPlant’s herbal pancake.
McDonald’s goes meatless
In 2019, McDonald’s tested the Meatless PLT Burger (meaning “Plant, Lettuce & Tomato”) made with Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger at 28 locations in Ontario, Canada. The test resulted in a three-year development agreement between the vegan brand and the fast food giant to create the McPlant platform that will result in a global rollout of region-specific herbal items. While the partnership has so far resulted in the launch of the McPlant burger, other items – from plant-based chicken to breakfast options – are also in the works.
The McPlant burger made its debut earlier this year in several European countries, including Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria. This week, a fully vegan version of McPlant, featuring vegan mayonnaise and cheese and cooked on a separate grill, landed in 250 locations across the UK with a full nationwide rollout slated for next year. In the UK and Ireland, McDonald’s aims to become a category leader in the green space to help it become a net zero business in the region by 2040 and globally by 2050.
Beyond Meat reaches its McDonald’s goal
In 2016, when Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown initially launched the Beyond Burger, the entrepreneur already had his sights set on McDonald’s. “I set a goal for the company and for myself, and it’s very personal for me,” said Brown. Fortune This year. “By the time my kids turn 16 – they’re 11 and 12 now – they should be able to walk into a McDonald’s or a Burger King and be able to buy a Beyond Burger. Brown’s children have now reached that age and his goal of ordering a Beyond Burger at McDonald’s will become a reality on November 3.
“We are proud to enter into this global strategic agreement with McDonald’s, an exciting step for Beyond Meat, and we look forward to serving McDonald’s as they offer expanded choice on menus around the world,” Brown said in a statement to VegNews. “We will combine the power of Beyond Meat’s quick and relentless approach to innovation with the strength of the McDonald’s global brand to introduce new plant-based menu items that consumers will love. “
McDonald’s joins major fast food chain in plant-based shift
McDonald’s has been watching the plant-based trend closely for years now, and its former US CEO Steve Easterbrook explained that adding a plant-based option would be a slow process that weighs on the additional complexity of operations associated with it. ‘introduction of new menu items. As such, the McPlant’s limited US chain test will assess how the meatless burger affects its super-fast quick serve model. Regarding a nationwide rollout, McDonald’s said “you’ll need to stay tuned for future McPlant availability updates from our testing… We can’t share that secret sauce just yet.”
While McDonald’s is taking its time, competing fast food chains have already made strides in the herbal arena, including Burger King. In 2019, Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper at all of its 7,000 locations nationwide after a short test in St. Louis, MO. Now, Burger King has moved on to testing plant-based chicken with the launch this week of Impossible Chicken Nuggets Made from Plants at select locations in Des Moines, IA; Boston, MA; and Miami, Florida.
To learn more about plant-based products at McDonald’s, read:
How to eat vegan at McDonald’s before McPlant
McDonald’s Adds China’s First Vegan Meat Option
10 vegan tips for your favorite fast foods