McDonald's Launches Vegan Burger

The McDonald's menu is about to get a little more vegan-friendly. As a growing number of fast-food chains continue to introduce plant-based products, the Golden Arches is set to launch its first-ever plant-based burger this month. The McPlant, an all-new vegetarian and vegan-friendly ordering option, was developed in partnership with vegan brand Beyond Meat and is slated for a Sept. 29 release.

According to the chain, and as reported by Insider, the McPlant boasts a plant-based patty that is served on a vegan sesame bun with a vegan sauce, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. The burger also features a pea protein-based vegan cheese that "tastes just like McDonald's iconic cheese slices." Curbing concerns that the burger can't be completely vegan due to cooking methods, McDonald's has also confirmed the McPlant will be cooked on a separate grill with dedicated utensils used to cook it. 

The McPlant was first announced back in November 2020, just a year after McDonald's tested a meatless burger, named the P.L.T., at several restaurants in Ontario, Canada last year. Those patties were also produced by Beyond Meat. At the time the McPlant was confirmed to be in the works, McDonald's International President Ian Borden stated that the McPlant was created "by McDonald's and for McDonald's." Borden also noted that the McPlant line may also include meatless chicken substitutes in the future.

"We're so pleased to be finally launching McPlant in the UK and Ireland. As with every McDonald's offering, we take our time to ensure it meets the highest standards and is something that all our customers will enjoy," Michelle Graham-Clare, chief marketing officer at McDonald's UK and Ireland, said ahead of the burger's release. "We are always looking for different ways to innovate and meet our customers' needs, and with McPlant, we have a delicious plant-based burger that will appeal to everyone. Whether you're vegan or just fancy a plant-based patty, we're confident you will enjoy the McPlant."

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However, the McPlant won't be readily available to everyone just yet. Currently, the vegan-friendly burger option is only running as a test item in 10 select McDonald's locations in Coventry, England, where it will debut on menus on Wednesday, Sept. 29. It will then expand to more than 250 locations on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Pending results from the test run, it is expected that the McPlant will roll out across the U.K. sometime next year. It is not known when the burger could make its way across the pond for a U.S. debut.