The year started brilliantly and 2021 looks set to get better – if you judge things by the meat free fast food metric, that is, rather than the global pandemic one. That’s because the world’s largest fast food chain, McDonald’s, has confirmed it is to launch a plant-based burger in the new year.
More inspiring in prospect than in name, the McPlant will be sizzling on franchise grills in selected countries across the globe next year, as the chain seeks to cash in on the growing popularity of meat free grub. It will be the first product in a “plant-based platform” that may eventually include fake chicken patties and breakfast sandwiches, according to Ian Borden, the president of McDonald’s International.
The burger has been developed with those purveyors of pea-protein patties Beyond Meat. The all-conquering Los Angeles start-up has also teamed up with Pizza Hut to create three new meat alternative toppings for UK customers: Beyond Pork Crumbles, Beyond Beef Crumbles and Beyond Italian Style Sausage.
McDonald’s gave Finland the honour of tasting its very first plant-based burger, when it trialled the soybean McVegan there three years ago, while Canada was asked to test-drive its most recent effort, the PLT. The speed with which fast food companies have been developing non-meat options has risen in tandem with the popularity – and financial opportunities – of more planet-friendly dining. Many have been inspired by the rupees to be made in catering to India’s vast vegetarian market.
While it’s great news for meat free fast-food fans that the McPlant is arriving on these shores, it sadly doesn’t mean McDonald’s is moving away from its carnivorous core offerings. The company has launched its hefty four-beefburger Double Big Mac just in time for the festive season. Just one of its many offerings to avoid if you’re dreaming of a green Christmas.