McDonald's has been taking its time when it comes to adding plant-based foods to its menu. Outside of a couple of international tests and launches, the burger chain hasn't added anything vegan onto its dining options. We now know the reason why: the burger giant was working on making its own forms of plant-based meat.
This new platform of items, called the McPlant, will start with a plant-based burger test that will happen in select markets globally in 2021. The plan is to bring this, along with meat-free chicken and breakfast offerings, to McDonald's locations over the next few years.
According to USA Today, the announcement was made by McDonald's International President Ian Borden during the chain's most recent investor update call.
"McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s," Borden said. "In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken-substitutes and breakfast sandwiches."
Making your own plant-based substitutes is no easy feat, which explains why McDonald's has been taking so long. According to CNBC, McDonald's was working with Beyond Meat behind the scenes for a while to make their McPlant lineup happen, but are choosing to not tack the company's name onto their plant-based offerings.
How their take on a plant-based burger will stack up to what's already out there, however, remains to be seen.
After McDonald's big news, the remaining national fast food establishments to have not tested or announced a plant-based or meat-free substitute include Arby's, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, and Sonic, amongst others.