McDonald’s To Move Into Plant-Based Burger Segment On An Experimental Basis

McDonald’s has ultimately decided to enter into the plant-based burger segment.

By the end of the current month, PLT, or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger will be set up for 12 weeks in 28 restaurants in south-western Ontario, United States, by the company, McDonald’s has said. The burger chain would be using plant based meat burgers from Beyond Meat.

This is a small market test considering the size of McDonald’s and is being implemented for only six months. This follows the entry of rival Burger King in the segment through a pilot project for sale of the plant-based Impossible Foods burger at its outlets. Impossible Foods is in turn a rival of Beyond Meat – another plant based burger maker. Burger King is now selling the plant based meat burger through the US because of strong response and demand from customers.

Analysts were sure that sooner or later, the largest burger chain of the world McDonald’s, would enter the alternative meat sector – the only question was when. The news of McDonald’s choosing Beyond Meat saw the shares of the plant based burger making company shoot up by 11 per cent.

For the companies that trying to perfect the no-meat burger, the current year has been a breakthrough one because the plant based burgers has now started being accepted by the mainstream burger chains.

Earlier in May this year, Beyond Meat listed in public at the Nasdaq with shares trading for $45. The stock prices rose astronomically till July, rising by more than 230 per cent. On the other hand, its rival Impossible Foods, still remains privately held and has raised over $750 million.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are now appearing on fast food menus across the United States.

Plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings have started to be sold experimentally by KFC last month at an Atlanta restaurant and have been using the products from Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat products are also being sold by other fast food chains such as Carl’s Jr and Del Taco. A Beyond Meat breakfast sausage has also been tested by Tim Hortons in Canada.

It was making meatless “sausage” crumbles for the Little Caesars pizza chain in some states, Impossible Foods announced in May.

Demand for addition of a plant-based burger to the menu of Fans of Wendy’s is being made and a petition has been started for this purpose. As of Thursday, the petition managed to gather more than 26,000 signatures. Plant-based burgers are “a trend that will be here to stay”, said the CEO of the company Todd Penegor earlier this month.

McDonald’s is pushing forward, albeit in a very limited introduction.

“Why just a small test? We’re in learning mode, so testing is a major part of how we develop our menu,” wrote Ann Wahlgren, McDonald’s vice-president of global menu strategy. “It’s how we look – before we leap.”

(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)

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