McDonald’s Will Launch The McPlant, Its First Stateside Plant-Based Burger, In 2021

Ronald McDonald has just thrown whatever hat he wears atop his firey red hair into the plant-based fast-food ring. After some tests abroad, the McPlant will be the chain’s first plant-based burger to arrive stateside. It’s important to note that this patty isn’t made by Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat, the two most visible plant-based brands in the fast-food market. (Impossible locked down Burger King with the Impossible Whopper so Beyond Meat scoring McDonald’s would’ve been a big win for the brand.)

So who is making the McPlant? In an interview with CNBC, McDonald’s declined to identify a supplier, but the chain’s International President Ian Borden has implied that the McPlant is a platform rather than a product — indicating that chicken substitutes may also follow next year’s plant-based burger. McDonald’s will test their new meat-free burger in several markets worldwide beginning next year.

The McPlant burger won’t technically be McDonald’s first plant-based burger, as the brand has experimented with a plant-based meat patty made by Nestle in Germany. According to USA Today, they tested out the P.L.T. (which is a great name for a plant-based burger) in several dozen restaurants in Ontario, Canada. It would seem the P.L.T. didn’t test well, though — McDonald’s has no plans to bring it stateside.

The announcement of the McPlant resulted in a drop in shares for Beyond Meat, so it’s overall been a tough day for Beyond. Expect the McPlant — and our full review — to in early 2021.