McDonald’s and the word “meatless” cognitively go together, but probably more in the “Are we sure this is meat?” way than the “vegan option” way. But earlier this fall, McDonald’s tested out changing that narrative with a trial soy-based burger called the “McVegan.” We did not see it coming, and especially this soon, but the McVegan is becoming a permanent menu item. Starting December 28th in Finland and Sweden, the McVegan will join its Big Mac and McNuggets buddies as a part of the main menu.
The extensive testing period for the McVegan included trying out more than 100 different recipes to perfect the soy burger’s flavor and by doing so, hopefully making the range of burgers more appealing to millennial consumers. While Staffan Ekstam, Head of Food Strategy at McDonald’s in Sweden, said, “the test in Finland blew all the expectations out of the water,” it is still too early to know if the Nordic-developed burger will extend to restaurants in the rest of Europe and the United States.
One thing that may be adding to the success of the McVegan is that it is considerably less expensive than the vegan burger at Finnish rival chain Max. If restaurants in neighboring countries experience the same success that Finland and Sweden did without the presence of a Max, Mickey D’s might be getting a new rep as the best ‘guilty pleasure’ restaurant for vegans. So look out, veggie lovers. If those of us that are meat eaters are going to go down for consuming too much unhealthy, fast food, we might as well take you down with us.