Six months after striking a deal with Beyond Meat, McDonald’s McPlant burger is finally making its way to store locations across the United States. The only bad news: The plant-based burger will only be available at eight locations across the country. For now, at least.
Beginning on November 3, the McPlant will be available in the following cities:
- Manhattan Beach, California
- El Segundo, California
- Lake Charles, Louisiana
- Jennings, Louisiana
- Cedar Falls, Iowa
- Carrollton, Texas
- Irving, Texas
The McPlant’s arrival has been a long time coming, with rumors swirling on vegan blogs for years. McDonald’s tested similar burgers in other markets like Canada as far back as early 2019, so its arrival in the U.S. feels like a long-prophecized vision that’s finally materialized. Now the big question is whether or not it’ll be successful enough to join the ranks of other McDonald’s classics at all locations.
Meet the McPlant — We’ll have to wait for customers to try the McPlant for honest opinions on whether or not its taste was worth the wait. For now, we have a least a small peek into what to expect with the new burger.
The patty itself will be different than the Beyond Meat patties available at supermarkets; McDonald’s worked with Beyond Meat to create a special mix for the McPlant. It’s entirely plant-based with the main ingredients including peas, rice, and potatoes. The accouterments are typical of what you’d expect from a McDonald’s burger: tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and a slice of American cheese, served on a sesame seed bun.
Notably, the default burger will not be entirely plant-based. The mayonnaise and cheese are the same variety used in other McDonald’s products, and the burger will be cooked on the same griddles as the restaurant’s beef burgers. This is the same route Burger King has taken.
The plant-based tides have shifted — Fast food’s outlook on how consumers will react to vegan food options has evolved gradually in the last three years or so. Burger King’s introduction of the Impossible Whopper two years ago really jump-started fast food interest in plant-based menu options. Other companies have been racing to catch up ever since.
McDonald’s took the slow route to get to the McPlant, tentatively adding it to menus in Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands, taking time to conduct extensive market research. The global plant-based meat market brought in a record $5.6 billion last year, and analysts expect it to nearly triple in the next five years.
With more than 13,000 locations in the U.S., McDonald’s decision to push forward with the McPlant carries weight for that market. If the McPlant does end up on more McDonald’s menus across the country, it’ll be both an enormous draw for the fast-food chain and a great endorsement for the larger plant-based meat market.