McDonald’s has joined the meat-free trend by trialling a plant-based burger.
The retailer is testing the P.L.T. – plant, lettuce and tomato – burger in 28 restaurants in Ontario, Canada, for three months.
McDonald’s patties will be supplied by Beyond Meat, the plant-based protein company.
Ann Wahlgren, McDonald’s VP of global menu strategy, said: “During this test, we’re excited to hear what customers love about the P.L.T. to help our global markets better understand what’s best for their customers.
“This test allows us to learn more about the real-world implications of serving the P.L.T., including customer demand and impact on restaurant operations.”
The move comes months after rival Burger King rolled out its meat-free ‘Impossible Whopper’ across the US, following positive feedback from customers.
Burger King’s offering uses patties supplied by Beyond Meat’s rival, Impossible Foods.
The launch doubled the number of restaurants Impossible supplied, from 7,000 to over 14,000. In April 2019, the company was forced to apologise to customers following a shortage of meatless patties.
Impossible said it was facing “short-term ramp-up challenges resulting from demand greatly outstripping supply”.
KFC has also joined the plant-based trend. In August 2019, it trialled “Beyond Fried Chicken” nuggets and boneless wings in a store in the US city of Atlanta. According to reports, the restaurant sold out in 5hrs.
In the UK, KFC trialled its Imposter Fillet, a vegan fillet created by meat-alternative producer Quorn.
The demand for plant-based meat alternatives has been growing, with Beyond Meat products available to buy in UK supermarkets.
The burgers were expected to be widely available in August 2018, but the launch was pushed back to November 2018 after “higher-than-expected” demand for the product in the US caused a supply shortage.
Earlier this month, a report linked McDonald’s and Burger King’s beef supplier to deforestation in the Amazon.
Marfrig, the world’s largest supplier of burgers, bought cattle from a ranch which had used deforested land for grazing cows in a region where the Amazon is experiencing forest fires.
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