McDonald's Lags Behind in Plant-Based Burger Arena
CHICAGO, IL - When it comes to grabbing a plant-based burg, not one consumer in North America is looking for the Golden Arches. The meat-alternative inclined—vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians—aren’t finding it’s a good time for the great taste of McDonald’s, and we’re definitely not loving it. While major fast food chains like Carl’s Jr., Shake Shack, and Burger King have debuted plant-based burgers featuring Beyond Meat®, the Impossible Burger, and even their own in-house recipes, Mickey D’s is trailing far behind in the North American market. But why?
I mean sure, carnivores will probably always account for the majority of eaters, but that’s not to say they’re not dabbling in the fine art of produce-forward eating. And we all know the plant-based market is expanding, and rapidly at that—so again, why hasn’t McDonald’s gotten in on that action?
The fast food chain even knows it's M.I.A. in a major sector and, arguably, seems okay with that!? Eater reports that at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit back in December, Lucy Brady, McDonald’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, revealed that “plant-based protein is something we’re keeping our eye on.”
To be clear, McDonald’s has more than “kept an eye” on plant-based protein in countries like Sweden, Norway, and more. Late last year, over 30,000 consumers signed a petition, rallying for McDonald’s to add the Impossible Burger to its menu—but to no avail. While international meatless eaters get to enjoy the McVegan and vegan McNuggets, us North Americans are still stuck perusing menus brimming with meat-forward options.
One reason McDonald’s could be holding back is that it’s trying to surpass the genius of items like the cantaloupe burger; its innovations team could be trialing durian, broccoli, and avocados in unforeseen ways. Eater, however, is firmly in the camp that McDonald’s could simply be negotiating a partnership with Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat, and it’s taking some time to get off the ground.
Whatever the reason, many in the industry believe McDonald’s will soon be debuting something, and you can bet your fresh produce that AndNowUKnow won’t be far behind with a breaking story hot off the press.