Update 4:06PM: Following the publication of this story, Beyond Meat told CNBC that it was part of the creation of the McPlant. It’s unclear why Beyond would wait for its stock price to crater before saying something and it’s unclear why McDonald’s would so forcefully claim ownership over the burger. We’ve reached out to Beyond for more details on their involvement and whether the company will collect royalties on the paddies. We’ll update this post when we receive a reply. The original post is below.
For plant-based meat companies like Beyond and Impossible, deals with fast-food restaurants are the smoothest path to viability. McDonald’s has been the biggest potential prize in that competition. But on Monday, it put an end to speculation on which company will be lucky enough to produce the future meat for its Happy Meals—meet the McPlant.
On a call with reporters this morning, McDonald’s International President Ian Borden said that the new McPlant fake meat burger would begin rolling out to some locations in 2021 and expand its availability based on demand.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have spearheaded a new kind of veggie burger that uses a range of plant-based ingredients and a secretive formulation process to achieve a similar texture to a burger that “bleeds.” Both company’s products have managed to get much more traction in recent years than any run of the mill patty made of chickpeas. In late 2019, Beyond won the chance to test its product at some McDonald’s locations in Canada. It seems the test went so well that McDonald’s decided to cut out the middle man.
“Based on what we learned and an encouraging response, we’re excited to give you a sneak preview of the McPlant—a delicious plant-based burger crafted for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s,” the company wrote in its announcement. “It’s made with a juicy, plant-based patty and served on a warm, sesame seed bun with all the classic toppings.”
According to Bloomberg, Borden said that plant-based chicken and breakfast meat options are also in the cards.
No one has reported on what the McPlant tastes like, but if it’s anything like McDonald’s other products, it’ll be chemically-formulated to make your brain stand at attention and salute.