- McDonald’s will launch the McPlant burger in eight US restaurants in November.
- The chain has tested the McPlant in several European markets.
- This is the first plant-based sandwich McDonald’s US has offered.
McDonald’s will finally bring its plant-based burgers to the US, the chain announced.
Beginning November 3, customers in Irving, Texas, Carrollton, Texas, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jennings, Louisiana, Lake Charles, Louisiana, El Segundo, California, and Manhattan Beach, California can order the McPlant burger.
The McPlant, developed with Beyond Meat, is made from pea and rice proteins and is served on a sesame seed bun with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and American cheese. It isn’t vegan, because of the cheese and mayo, and it will be cooked on the same grills as meat products, McDonald’s says.
McDonald’s has been working on the McPlant for a while before the US introduction. It rolled out in test runs in Denmark, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, and the UK. The McPlant line of plant-based meats including burgers, chicken substitutes, and other items, was introduced nearly a year ago in November 2020. McDonald’s President of International Business Ian Borden called it a “proven, delicious-tasting product.”
McDonald’s has tested other plant-based options around the world, to varying success. This summer, it ended a test of the McVeggie Burger in Australia. In September 2019, the chain announced a test run for a separate offering – the “PLT” burger, a plant, lettuce, and tomato sandwich – in some Canadian locations, with an expanded test in January 2020. Beyond Meat has also partnered with Dunkin’, TGI Fridays, and other chains.
McDonald’s discontinued the Canadian test with no plans to continue, leading to a 10% dip in Beyond stock price. Beyond has since announced multi-year deals with both McDonald’s and Taco Bell parent company Yum Brands.
The McPlant name indicates that McDonald’s sees a future in the product, as Kate Taylor reported for Insider. According to internal marketing guidelines, McDonald’s only adds the “Mc” prefix to words that “enhance the value and uniqueness of our brand.”
Other fast-food chains have had plant-based menu items for some time now. Burger King, Carl’s Jr, and Shake Shack have rolled out their own versions. Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper in 2019, eventually debuting in thousands of locations after a four-month test. Tests in St. Louis went “exceedingly well,” a Burger King representative told Insider at the time. The chain just announced a test of Impossible Nuggets in the US, following the success of the Impossible Whopper.
McDonald’s declined to share plans to expand the McPlant nationwide. “We can’t share that secret sauce just yet,” the chain said in a statement.
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