On Monday, September 30, the Beyond Meat burger goes on sale for a 12-week trial at McDonald’s in Toronto and surrounding communities in southwest Ontario.
The P.L.T.—(plant, lettuce, tomato)—is the latest plant-based burger to be trialed at a major fast-food chain in North America.
Plant-based meat has become a big hit at White Castle, A&W Canada, Carl’s Jr., Burger King, and many others, but until now, McDonald’s remained the white whale among North American quick-service restaurants. For reference, Mickey D’s has nearly twice as many outlets in the United States as Burger King—about 14,000.
McDonald’s has been experimenting with plant-based meat overseas for a few years. They have had a McVegan burger in Finland and Sweden for several years and veggie nuggets in Norway. Earlier this year, they introduced the Big Vegan TS, featuring the Incredible Burger by Nestle, at all 1,500 locations in Germany, as well at locations in Israel.
In fact, McDonald’s introduced a short-lived veggie patty (the McVeggie) in Southern California in 2003. However, this is their first foray into the world of plant-based meat (i.e., a burger made from plants that looks and tastes like conventional meat) in North America.
This time may well be different. Burger King introduced a veggie burger back in the day, but when they added the next-generation Impossible Whopper earlier this year, overall sales increased significantly at their test locations. The subsequent national rollout of the Impossible Whopper has been a great success for BK.
“The Impossible Whopper has proved that plant-based meat is here to stay and is poised for explosive growth. If McDonald’s Beyond Meat test in Canada is successful, and the plant-based burger is rolled out across its North American restaurants, that will be the final sign that plant-based meat is poised for global domination,” said GFI executive director Bruce Friedrich.
We are excited to see how McDonald’s Toronto trial goes. If you get a chance to try the P.L.T., give @GoodFoodInst a tag in your review! Hopefully, everyone in North America looking for plant-based goodness will soon be Lovin’ It!
Read our press statement here.