McDonald’s expanding test of McPlant burger in US stores

NEW YORK — McDonald’s is expanding sales of its meatless McPlant burger to hundreds of locations.

The company said the McPlant — which it co-developed with plant-based protein company Beyond Meat — will be sold at 600 stores in the San Francisco and Dallas areas starting Feb. 14.

It’s a major expansion for the McPlant, which was introduced last November at eight stores in Texas, Iowa, Louisiana and California. That test run helped the company determine how a plant-based option would alter its kitchen operations. McDonald’s said the larger product offering will help it understand customer demand.

The Chicago company offered no details about what it learned from its first round of sales, or whether it has since tweaked the recipe. The McPlant is made from peas, rice and potatoes, among other ingredients.

McDonald’s has been slower to market with a plant-based burger than rivals. Burger King introduced the plant-based Impossible Whopper — made by Beyond Meat rival Impossible Foods — in 2019, while Starbucks brought out a breakfast sandwich made with Impossible sausage in 2020.

Earlier this month, KFC announced it was expanding its Beyond Meat plant-based chicken tenders nationwide. Chipotle also recently introduced a plant-based chorizo that it developed in-house.

McDonald’s first tested a Beyond Meat burger called the P.L.T. in Canada in 2019, but later pulled it off the menu. Last year, it started testing the McPlant in several European markets, including Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Beyond Meat shares rose nearly 5% Thursday morning before moderating later in the day. McDonald’s shares were flat.

By Dee-Ann Durbin, Associated Press

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