McDonald’s will serve vegan burgers

The fast food giant has recently announced that in 2021 there will be important changes in the menus. Along with the Big Mac, McChicken, Chicken McNuggets and the other iconic products of the yellow and red brand, there will be a line of completely plant-based foods. The line name will be “McPlant” and it will include plant-based burgers, sandwiches and chicken substitutes, and they will all be absolutely meat-free.

The restaurant chain that made its fortune by selling meat derivatives and French fries has finally decided to open its doors to vegetarians and vegans as well, in order to meet the growing demand for cruelty-free products. It is no longer news that the meat substitute market, currently worth $4.6 billion, keeps growing. In fact, it is estimated that by 2024 it will reach 6 billion dollars. 

Its main competitors have already adapted to this important change in the food market for a while. Burger King had launched Rebel Whopper, made with plant-based burger, tomato, salad, onion, pickles and mayo (because of the latter ingredient therefore suitable for vegetarians but not vegan-friendly). Then other chains such as KFC, Del Taco and White Castle also enriched their menus with options designed for those who have decided to reduce or cut out meat from their diet. Eventually, though perhaps a little late, McDonald’s joined the fray.

What is still unclear is who will make the veggie burgers. At first it seemed that Beyond Meat, the Californian company that makes plant-based products that imitate meat in appearance and flavor, would be doing it. Apparently, it is exactly with the latter that McDonald’s had started a pilot project in Canada, where some restaurants of the chain included veggie burgers in their list. The veggie burgers’ name was PLT, an acronym for Plant-Lettuce-Tomato. A company spokesperson also confirmed the collaboration, announcing: “Beyond Meat and McDonalds co-created the plant-based patty which will be available as part of their McPlant platform”. During Ian Borden’s announcement, however, the president of the fast food chain said that “McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s” casting a shadow over the story.

At the moment 70% of the franchise’s sales are linked to its historical products but this has not mitigated Ian Borden’s enthusiasm, who declared: “We are excited about the opportunity because we believe we have a proven, delicious-tasting product”.

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