The meat-alternative supplier is also set to help create vegan and vegetarian-friendly options on some of the world’s other well-known fast-food menus, including KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
McDonald’s to debut ‘McPlant’ in 2021
Plant-based meat alternative suppliers Beyond Meat, Inc., recently announced the establishment of a three-year global strategic agreement with McDonald’s Corporation. As part of the agreement, finalised on 25 February, Beyond Meat® will be McDonald’s preferred supplier for the patty in the McPlant®, a new plant-based burger being tested in select McDonald’s markets globally. In addition, Beyond Meat and McDonald’s will explore co-developing other plant-based menu items – such as plant-based options for chicken, pork and egg – as part of McDonald’s broader McPlant platform.
What’s more, it was also revealed that the vegan brand has penned a similar partnership with Yum! Brands. Under this agreement, Beyond Meat will also work with Yum!-owned chains KFC and Pizza Hut to develop future plant-based options. Last month, Beyond Meat also created a joint corporation, The PLANeT Partnership, with food and beverage giant PepsiCo. Through the venture, Beyond Meat and Pepsi will develop, produce, and market plant-based snacks and beverages. These are by far the biggest market signals yet for plant-based meats.
McPlant platform is all about giving customers more choices when they visit McDonald’s
The agreement will bring together McDonald’s iconic global brand with Beyond Meat’s leading expertise in plant-based protein development to create and market innovative new plant-based menu offerings. This announcement further solidifies the relationship between McDonald’s and Beyond Meat, which began in 2019 with the Canadian test of a sandwich made with Beyond Meat’s plant-based patty.
“Our new McPlant platform is all about giving customers more choices when they visit McDonald’s,” said Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, in a news release. “We’re excited to work with Beyond Meat to drive innovation in this space, and entering into this strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers.”
“We are proud to enter into this strategic global agreement with McDonald’s, an exciting milestone for Beyond Meat, and look forward to serving McDonald’s as they bring expanded choice to menus globally,” said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder & CEO in the same news release. “We will combine the power of Beyond Meat’s rapid and relentless approach to innovation with the strength of McDonald’s global brand to introduce craveable, new plant-based menu items that consumers will love.”
Many of the big fast-food chains are jumping on board with meat-free options
The meat-alternative supplier is also set to help create vegan and vegetarian-friendly options on some of the world’s most well-known fast-food menus, including KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. As New Food reported in November, Pizza Hut restaurants in the US will now offer vegan toppings on some of its pizzas.
“Today’s announcement builds on our strong relationship with Beyond Meat and, given the consumer response during recent tests with Beyond Meat, we’re excited about the long-term potential plant-based protein menu items have to attract more customers to our brands, especially younger consumers,” said Chris Turner, Yum! Brands CFO.
“We expect this Beyond Meat partnership to strengthen our brands’ capability to offer delicious, plant-based menu items that are driven by consumer demand for more diverse protein options and our brands’ strategies in local markets.”
McDonald’s is one of the few national chains yet to sell plant-based burgers on a permanent basis
Beyond Meat was the front runner for a contract as it had conducted tests of a so-called “P.L.T.” burger at nearly 100 McDonald’s locations in Ontario, Canada, earlier this year.
“Plant-based products are an ongoing consumer trend. It’s not a matter of if McDonald’s will get into plant-based, it’s a matter of when,” McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said on a call with analysts, as per Reuters.
Analysts, rival fast food companies and plant-based protein producers have been closely watching McDonald’s plans as it is one of the few national chains yet to sell plant-based meat burgers on a permanent basis.
While other chains have started offering plant-based meat options, including Restaurant Brands International Inc’s Burger King, White Castle and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., a McDonald’s contract could be the biggest and would put the plant-based meat movement front and center in mainstream America.
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