Beloved fast food chain McDonald’s has teamed up with plant-based fake meat company, Beyond Meat, to create a plant-based burger to test at 28 of its stores in southwestern Ontario, Canada, starting on September 30. After the success of the uncannily delicious Impossible Whopper — a plant-based Whopper now available in Burger King stores — it was only a matter of time before the golden arches came up with an answer. The Plant, Lettuce & Tomato (P.L.T.) has arrived.
The Business Insider reported that Burger King’s meat-free endeavor appears to be paying off handsomely for the chain, and has even increased the number of beef-based Whoppers being sold, presumably because the meat eaters can now go to the restaurant with their vegetarian friends. Burger King has enjoyed a 6 percent increased in profit since the vegan-friendly option hit its menus.
McDonald’s will be testing the P.L.T for 12 weeks with a view to gather customer feedback. In the press release, McDonald’s describes its latest offering as “perfectly dressed.”
“The McDonald’s P.L.T. is a delicious, juicy, perfectly dressed plant-based burger on a warm, soft, sesame seed bun with the iconic McDonald’s taste customers have come to love from McDonald’s. Featuring a plant-based patty with no artificial colors, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives, it’s a great-tasting ‘open wide and sink your teeth into it’ sandwich.”
Ann Wahlgren, McDonald’s VP of Global Menu Strategy, expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming trial in a press release, about the P.L.T.
“During this test, we’re excited to hear what customers love about the P.L.T. to help our global markets better understand what’s best for their customers,” she said.
Meet the P.L.T., a delicious, juicy plant-based burger, that will be available for a limited time as a test at selected restaurants in Southwestern Ontario. pic.twitter.com/0oozPRXGcT— McDonald's Canada (@McDonaldsCanada) September 26, 2019
But the world of faux meat in fast food chains is one that is still brave and new. Last month CNBC reported that vegans are still weary of the Impossible Whopper after some controversy arose around cooking process. While there’s no meat inside these products, they are cooked on the same broilers as Burger King’s chicken and beef menu offerings. While it’s unlikely that the majority of people munching on the plant-based burgers care that it shared a hot surface with a dead cow, many vegans took to Twitter to point this fact out and save their fellow vegans the post-meal guilt, per the CNBC story.
Restaurants such as Burger King and McDonald’s are predicated upon their ability to serve as many people as possible as fast as possible, hence the term “fast food.” So, naturally, complicating their very streamlined restaurant operations is something that could negatively impact the bottom line, meaning that hints of beef are likely to find their way onto the plant-based patties
During the 12-week period, McDonald’s will gather information on customer demand as well as the impact it has on their restaurant operations. Perhaps if there was some way McDonald’s could figure out how to cook their plant-based meat product separately from the real meat, it would be a clear edge over their arch competitors in the battle to win over the wallets of vegans and vegetarians.
While the press release states that the patties are being made specifically for McDonald’s, no details on the development process for the patties were shared. Beyond Meat is also working on a meat-free chicken alternative to launch with KFC, per The Inquisitr.