AP

McDonald’s takes a nibble of the plant-based burger

Sep 27, 2019, 6:09 AM
FILE - In this July 18, 2018, file photo a customer gets his coffee at a McDonald's restaurant in P...
FILE - In this July 18, 2018, file photo a customer gets his coffee at a McDonald's restaurant in Pittsburgh. In a very limited test in Canada, McDonald's said Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, that it's introducing the PLT, or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger. It will be available for 12 weeks in 28 restaurants in Southwestern Ontario by the end of the month. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar, File)
(AP Photo/Gene Puskar, File)

McDonald’s said Thursday that will sell the PLT, or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger for 12 weeks in 28 restaurants in Southwestern Ontario by the end of the month. McDonald’s says it developed a special recipe using burgers from Beyond Meat, a California-based startup that makes “meat” from pea protein, canola oil, beet juice and other ingredients.

The small-market test is rolling out about six months after rival Burger King began testing the plant-based Impossible Foods burger, a rival to Beyond Meat. It’s now selling the Impossible Whopper nationwide because of strong demand from customers.

The entry of McDonald’s, the world’s largest burger chain, into the alternative meat arena has largely been seen as a question of when, and not if. Shares of Beyond Meat Inc. rose more than 11% to close at $154.34.

The burgers aren’t really aimed at vegans or vegetarians, but at meat eaters who perceive plant-based eating as healthier and more environmentally conscious. In a recent survey, the consulting firm AlixPartners found that 61% of U.S. meat eaters sometimes order vegan or vegetarian food at restaurants.

McDonald’s says the PLT will be grilled on the same grill used for meat and eggs. Burger King will cook it separately, but only by request.

PETA, the animal rights organization, says it’s happy to see more plant-based options on fast food menus, even if they’re cooked next to meat.

“To PETA, helping animals is not about personal purity, it’s about reducing suffering,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. “McDonald’s is doing that by serving them, and its customers are doing that by buying them.”

It’s been a breakthrough year for the companies that are trying to perfect the no-meat burger.

Beyond Meat became a publicly traded company in May when it listed its shares for $45 on the Nadaq. By July, those shares had risen more than 430%. Impossible Foods has raised more than $750 million, but remains private.

KFC last month began testing plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings at an Atlanta restaurant in partnership with Beyond Meat. Carl’s Jr. and Del Taco also selling Beyond Meat products. Tim Hortons has tested a Beyond Meat breakfast sausage in Canada.

Impossible Foods announced in May that it was making meatless “sausage” crumbles for the Little Caesars pizza chain in some states.

Fans of Wendy’s have begun a petition to get the chain to add a plant-based burger to the menu. It’s garnered more than 26,000 signatures as of Thursday and earlier this month, CEO Todd Penegor said plant-based burgers are a “trend that will be here to stay.”

McDonald’s is pushing forward, albeit in a very limited introduction.

“Why just a small test? We’re in learning mode, so testing is a major part of how we develop our menu,” wrote Ann Wahlgren, McDonald’s vice president of global menu strategy. “It’s how we look- before we leap.”

Today’s Top Stories

AP

A female bison and calf are seen near the Yellowstone River in Wyoming's Hayden Valley, on Wednesda...
Mark Jones

2nd visitor in 3 days gored by Yellowstone National Park bison

In less than a week, two visitors to Yellowstone National Park have been gored by bison. Park officials say to stay at least 25 yards away from a bison.
2 days ago
Travelers wait in for a TSA security check at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles,...
DAVID KOENIG ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pre-pandemic sized crowds descend on US airports for holiday

TSA is reporting crowds of pre-pandemic size are traveling this Independence Day.
2 days ago
Residents stand in front of building destroyed by missiles in Ukraine...
FRANCESCA EBEL Associated Press

Russian missiles kill at least 19 in Ukraine’s Odesa region

The Ukrainian president's office said three Kh-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers struck an apartment building and a campsite.
2 days ago
Ketanji Brown Jackson takes the oath for the Supreme Court....
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Jackson sworn in, becomes 1st Black woman on Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, will be sworn as the court's 116th justice Thursday, just as the man she is replacing, Justice Stephen Breyer, retires.
3 days ago
The Supreme Court is pictured. The court just limited the EPA...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

The Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation's main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
3 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid, ...
DARLENE SUPERVILLE and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

Biden says transatlantic alliance has adapted to new threats

Biden's comments came at a press conference in Madrid at the conclusion of the annual meeting of NATO leaders and after he attended a summit with the Group of Seven advanced democratic economies in the Bavarian Alps.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
McDonald’s takes a nibble of the plant-based burger