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McDonald's unveils its own meatless burger McPlant, a year after Beyond Meat test

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·3 min read

Big Mac or McPlant, that will soon be the two options consumers in line at McDonald’s (MCD) will have for their latest high-calorie fast-food dinner.

The Golden Arches said Monday it has developed a plant-based patty it will dub the McPlant. A McDonald’s spokesperson tells Yahoo Finance the McPlant will be put into test in 2021 on a market-by-market basis.

“As we have worked to better understand customer demand, some markets around the world have tested plant-based products. Informed by those learnings, we have created a delicious burger that will be the first menu option in a plant-based platform we are calling McPlant. McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s,” said McDonald’s International President Ian Borden in a statement.

Borden continued, “In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken-substitutes and breakfast sandwiches. And, we expect some markets will test the burger next year. We are excited about the opportunity because we believe we have a proven, delicious-tasting product. When customers are ready for it, we are ready for them.”

News of the McPlant sent Beyond Meat (BYND) shares plunging nearly 10% in early morning trading Monday. Shares reversed losses in the afternoon as Beyond Meat came out in defense of its position. “Beyond Meat and McDonalds co-created the plant-based patty which will be available as part of their McPlant platform,” a Beyond Meat spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

Beyond Meat shares have long reflected the expectation of a nationwide rollout with McDonald’s. Getting into McDonald’s has been a long-term goal of Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown, per Yahoo Finance’s interviews with him this past year. So it’s easy to understand the market’s initial reaction to McDonald’s deciding to go it alone on the plant burger front.

McDonalds new P.L.T. plant based burger is photographed outside of one of the companys test locations in London, Ontario on September 30, 2019. - The company is testing the new burger in 28 stores in Southern Ontario for the next 12 weeks. (Photo by Geoff Robins / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images)
McDonalds new P.L.T. plant based burger is photographed outside of one of the companys test locations in London, Ontario on September 30, 2019. - The company is testing the new burger in 28 stores in Southern Ontario for the next 12 weeks. (Photo by Geoff Robins / AFP) (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s unclear what exactly is in McDonald’s plant-based patty from an ingredient standpoint. A source says McDonald’s hasn’t announced the suppliers it plans to use for the McPlant.

In September 2019, McDonald’s debuted Beyond’s P.L.T. burger in southwestern Ontario. That test ended in April with McDonald’s saying it would continue to evaluate its options on the plant-based burger front.

A McDonald’s spokesperson didn’t return Yahoo Finance’s request for comment on whether any Beyond Meat tests were still happening anywhere around the world.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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