McDonald’s will sell meat-free ‘McPlant’ burgers next year as it beefs up vegan options

McDonald’s will debut a line of meat-free burgers called “McPlant” in 2021, including a patty that Beyond Meat has said it helped co-create.

McDonald’s said its McPlant line could offer products including burgers, chicken substitutes and breakfast sandwiches, which it expects to test in some markets in 2021.

“Plant-based products are an ongoing consumer trend,” McDonald’s chief executive Chris Kempczinski said on a call with analysts.

“It’s not a matter of if McDonald’s will get into plant-based, it’s a matter of when.”

The move comes after problems earlier this year in the UK left no vegan options on the McDonald’s main menu, after issues with Veggie Dippers saw them and the Vegetable Deluxe withdrawn.

McDonald’s international president Ian Borden said: “As we have worked to better understand customer demand, some markets around the world have tested plant-based products.

“Informed by those learnings, we have created a delicious burger that will be the first menu option in a plant-based platform we are calling McPlant. McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s.”

He added: “In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken-substitutes and breakfast sandwiches.

“And, we expect some markets will test the burger next year. We are excited about the opportunity because we believe we have a proven, delicious-tasting product. When customers are ready for it, we are ready for them.”

Beyond Meat is the front runner for a contract ot make the meat-free patties after it conducted tests of a so-called “P.L.T.” burger at nearly 100 McDonald’s locations in Ontario, Canada, earlier this year.

“Beyond Meat and McDonald’s co-created the plant-based patty which will be available as part of their McPlant platform,” a Beyond Meat spokesperson said in an email.

McDonald’s, which reported market-beating profit and revenue for the third quarter earlier in the day, declined to say which suppliers it would use in crafting its own line of veggie products.

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