America’s burger juggernaut is finally jumping on the plant-based bandwagon.
McDonald’s announced Monday that it will introduce its own creation — the McPlant — in early 2021, more than a year and a half after competitors Burger King and Carl’s Jr. put meat-free burgers on their menus.
The company opted to create its own meat alternative rather than market one from Beyond Beef, with whom McDonald’s had partnered with on test products, according to Yahoo Finance.
“McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s,” Ian Borden, McDonald’s international president, said at a virtual meeting of investors. “In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken substitutes and breakfast sandwiches.”
In a press release, the company said it had test-marketed a meat alternative in select Canadian markets last year and saw an “encouraging response.”
“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. It’s made with a juicy, plant-based patty and served on a warm, sesame seed bun with all the classic toppings,” the release said.
Activists applauded the announcement.
“This development is extremely good news for the millions of people looking for healthier alternatives when they eat at McDonald’s, and a testament to the people power of those who’ve been asking McDonald’s executives for this change for years,” said vegan activist and author Kathy Freston, whose online “McVegan” petition at Change.org has been signed by more than 230,000 people, in a statement.
She added: “Now the hope is that this becomes bigger than just a few test markets, but a truly revolutionary change to McDonald’s menu all across the country and the globe.”
The year 2019 saw a number of fast-food companies add meat alternatives to their menus. Burger King introduced the Impossible Whopper from Impossible Foods and Carl’s Jr.’s added the Beyond Famous Star from Beyond Meat.