This week, fast-food giant McDonald’s made its McPlant plant-based burger part of the permanent menu at all its locations in the Netherlands. The move follows a successful test launch of the McPlant in the country last year.
“We are delighted with McPlant’s permanent place on the menu,” said Stijn Mentrop, marketing director for McDonald’s in the Netherlands, in a statement. “During the temporary introduction last year, we received many positive comments from our guests about the taste of the McPlant.”
McDonald’s only plant-based burger option features a vegan Beyond Meat patty with tomato, lettuce, onion, pickle, mustard and ketchup, plus dairy-based cheddar cheese and egg-based mayonnaise, but it can be adapted for vegans by asking to omit these animal products.
According to McDonald’s, the McPlant is for vegetarians and flexitarians who want to avoid or reduce their meat intake.
“We think it’s important to follow the preferences of our customers, who increasingly expect more variety,” Mentrop said. “We’ve been offering tasty alternatives to chicken with our vegetarian products for some time, and now we’re doing the same with beef.”
Where to find the McPlant?
Since its debut in 2020, the McPlant has expanded into international markets including Sweden, Denmark, Austria, UK and Ireland. Earlier this year it launched across Australia and recently came to Portugal nationwide.
While most countries that offer the McPlant serve it with dairy cheese and egg-based mayonnaise, the UK has taken a different approach and offers the completely vegan meatless item with the addition of cheese. vegan. The chain also prepares the burger on dedicated equipment and has had the vegan menu item certified by the UK’s Vegan Society.
It seems that McDonald’s aims to stay informed about consumer demand for plant-based options, country by country. However, the growing interest in meatless fast food looks promising, especially compared to other fast food chains that are ahead of the game in terms of plant-based offerings.
Burger King, for example, has evolved its menu far beyond a simple plant-based burger in recent years, offering all-vegan locations in some countries as well as meatless options for every menu item in others. other countries.
Despite being slow in the game, Gráinne Allen, Food and Innovation Manager for McDonald’s UK and Ireland, recently said Independent of agriculture that the chain is “thrilled” with how the Beyond Meat-made menu item has been received since its debut in Ireland and the UK earlier this year.
“In January we launched our McPlant in all of our stores in Ireland,” Allen said. “We are thrilled with how the burger has been received by non-meat eaters and meat eaters alike.”
“Our customers love the range of options we offer, and we closely monitor food tastes and trends, including demand for meatless alternatives, and continue to evolve our menu to provide our customers with the choices they want. they wish,” he said.
McDonald’s is testing McPlant in the United States
In the United States, McDonald’s began testing McPlant late last year at eight sites in California, Texas and Louisiana. In March, the chain expanded the test to about 600 additional locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
However, despite optimistic forecasts from Wall Street analysts based on McPlant’s success in early test markets, McDonald’s recently ended the US trial without any formal plans to expand the meatless offering nationwide.
Restaurant industry publication Online catering business speculates on why the McPlant Trail may not have been as successful in the United States, noting that a number of trial sites were in small towns, where herbal products don’t tend to be as popular as they are in urban towns.
“The decision to withdraw the product adds to mixed messages from the fast food industry regarding its interest in plant-based menu items,” the publication notes.
Where is McDonald’s headed with its meatless offerings?
Despite the mixed messages, Beyond Meat is still working with McDonald’s on the McPlant platform, which, in addition to the burger, may drive other plant-based offerings to markets around the world.
In 2021, Beyond Meat became McDonald’s preferred supplier of plant-based burgers after the two parties signed a three-year agreement to develop the McPlant platform exclusively for McDonald’s.
“We are proud to enter into this strategic global agreement with McDonald’s, an exciting step for Beyond Meat, and we look forward to serving McDonald’s as they offer expanded menu choices globally,” Brown previously said in a statement. press release sent to VegNews. “We will combine the power of Beyond Meat’s fast and relentless approach to innovation with the strength of the global McDonald’s brand to introduce new plant-based menu items that consumers will love.”