By Chef Vincent Tropepe
Whether it’s Dunkin’ Donut with the meatless breakfast sausage or Burger King with the Impossible Whopper or any other large fast food brand, plant based offers, I knew it was only a matter of time that McDonald’s jumped on the plant based band wagon.
The company announced that it will be launching the McPlant after successful tests of the plant based burger made with Beyond Meat in their Canadian locations last year. Some global markets, will begin to test the new burger come the new year. In an investor meeting, Ivan Borden, McDonald’s International President made it clear that the plant based burger is “exclusively made for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s.” Beyond Meat has said in a public statement that “Beyond Meat and McDonald’s co- created the plant based patty which will be apart of their McPlant platform.”, but McDonald’s has not yet confirmed if they will be working together for the products launch.
The move to launch the McPlant is of no surprise to me. In May 2019, McDonald’s launched the BIG VEGAN TS in Germany, and later that year tested a PLT (pictured below), a lettuce and tomato sandwich with a plant based patty made by Beyond Meat in Canada.
McDonald’s moves in business have always been deliberate, calculated and on trend. They continue to be innovative, but need to take the necessary time and steps to ensure a stable supply chain especially when launching a product of this nature. Clearly, McDonald’s is making a sizable investment, it makes the most sense to also ensure that there is a long term demand for the product in this still evolving food category.
By launching the McPlant , Mc Donald’s is reaffirming the growing demand of plant based products. As far as I’m concerned, every major food brand at the very least has to have “the talk” about a plant based food category. There are some brands, who know their culinary identity and will not entertain the thought of anything plant based, such as Arby’s for example.
There is no information currently about the McPlant as to how it’s nutritionally sound it would be. In my investigative article, published here on October 8th, titled, “The Truth About the Impossible Whopper” the article clearly and undisputed demonstrates that the Impossible Whopper should still be seen as an occasional indulgence and not to be consumed with the idea that it’s healthier.
McDonald’s has some challenges to face and many questions to answer about the McPlant. I will not prematurely throw them out in this article, but rest assured that when the McPlant is released another follow up article will be published.