McDonald's is planning to test a new plant-based line of food called McPlant, which will include a meat-free burger. In a statement, McDonald's International President Ian Borden stated that the McPlant was created "by McDonald’s and for McDonald’s." Borden also revealed that the McPlant line may also include meatless chicken substitutes.
According to CNBC, the fast-food chain previously tried out a meatless burger, named the P.L.T., at several restaurants in Ontario, Canada last year. Those patties were produced by Beyond Meat, but McDonald's has not revealed if the company will providing the plant-based meat substitutes for the new McPlant line. Notably, this will not be McDonald's first foray into the meatless burger game. Other markets, such as the company's Germany-based restaurants, have been providing veggie burger options. Those patties are produced by Nestle.
McDonald's is not the first fast-food chain to introduce plant-based burgers, as in 2019 Burger began testing them as well, using patties provided by the Impossible Foods company. The Impossible Whopper, as it was labeled, became a huge hit, and has since gone national. Chris Finazzo, president of Burger King North America, spoke to CNN Business about the new menu addition and stated that the company just wanted to "give somebody who wants to eat a burger every day, but doesn’t necessarily want to eat beef every day, permission to come into the restaurants more frequently." He added, "There’s a lot of interest in plant-based burgers."
In 2020, Burger King announced that it would take on another new burger option: Whopper patties made from plant-fed cows. The plan is to have the cows eating more lemongrass in their diet, so as to decrease the methane output caused by the animals. The burgers were first tested at five different locations, in Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregon.
Fernando Machado, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Restaurant Brands International, spoke with Fox Business about the "Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper," and just how it would work. "We are making all our findings public. This [is] an open-source approach to a real problem," Machado said. "If the whole industry, from farmers, meat suppliers, and other brands join us, we can increase scale and collectively help reduce methane emission that affect climate change."