McDonald’s announced this week that it would be debuting it’s own plant-based burger, the McPlant sometime next year. The McPlant is just the start for McDonald’s jump into plant-based fare. According to Ian Borden, international president of McDonald’s, “In the future, [the] McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken substitutes and breakfast sandwiches.” (Per USA Today.)
When Can You Try It ?
That’s still up in the air. The vegan burger will hit some stores next year. However, the initial release will serve as a test-run for the McPlant. McDonald’s actually did test out a plant-based burger last year, but only in select stores in Canada.
Beyond Meat, a 100% plant-based company helped create the McDonald’s plant-based burger that had a test run in Canada last year. However, Borden said that the McPlant that will have test-runs in stores next year is exclusive to McDonald’s and won’t be available anywhere else.
Accelerating the Arches
The McPlant is part of an overall growth strategy for Mcdonald’s called, “Accelerating the Arches.” The new growth plan includes a new crispy chicken sandwich, which is also set to debut in 2021.
Several other major chain restaurants have already added a vegan burger to their menu, with the most notable being Burger King’s Impossible Whopper. McDonald’s did not clarify if the new McPlant will be completely vegan in that it would be cooked separately from meat-based foods to avoid cross contamination. According to Mcdonald’s official website their hamburger bun is technically vegan, but toasted in a shared toaster with other buns that do contain butter and/or eggs.
What would really set the McPlant apart from the existing vegan burger option on the chain restaurant market would be the ability to have it cooked separately, as well as the option to add vegan cheese/mayo. If the company really wants to go plant-based they should commit to a fully vegan burger, not just one that sounds vegan on paper but is actually vegetarian. The difference: a vegan option is completely dairy and egg free, while a vegetarian option is meat free, but can contain dairy or eggs. It does appear that McDonald’s famous fries are vegan as well and fried in oil, although it is worth checking to see if they are made in a shared fryer with other non-vegan ingredients.