McDonald’s announced Thursday it will test its meatless McPlant burger — created in partnership with Beyond Meat — at a handful of restaurants across the US next month.
Starting Nov. 3, McDonald’s will roll the alternative-meat patty out in Irving, Texas; Carrollton, Texas; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Jennings, Louisiana; Lake Charles, Louisiana; El Segundo, California; and Manhattan Beach, California.
It will be the first time the burger giant sells a plant-based meat imitator in the US.
The limited test will help the Chicago-based burger giant “understand how offering a burger with a plant-based patty impacts the kitchens in our restaurants,” it said.
The meat-free patty is made from ingredients including peas, rice and potatoes, and it will be served on a sesame seed bun with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and American cheese, the company said.
McDonald’s has been slower to jump on the white-hot plant-based meat trend than its peers.
White Castle, for example, was one of the first nationwide chains to jump onboard with the 2018 rollout of its Impossible Slider, which was created with Beyond Meat rival Impossible Foods.
Burger King has also leaned into the movement, with its Impossible Whopper. The Restaurant Brands International-owned chain is also now testing meatless chicken nuggets.
If the trial is successful and McDonald’s rolls out the McPlant burger more broadly, it could be a boon to Beyond Meat and help it dominate the plant-based meat industry.
Shares of Beyond Meat were last seen trading more than 1 percent higher at $106.36 per share. The stock is down almost 14 percent since Jan. 1.
McDonald’s has tested some plant-based products internationally, but never in the US. It rolled out — and then killed — a plant-based burger in Canada in 2019.
Last year, the company unveiled the McPlant brand. Then, earlier this year, it announced a multiyear partnership with Beyond Meat to support that effort.
Notably, former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson was an early investor in Beyond Meat and sits on its board.
The McPlant has been tested in a few countries, including Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria and the UK, where it recently expanded its testing of the product.
It’s not clear how long the US test will last. The company said, “you’ll have to stay tuned for future McPlant availability updates coming out of our test…”