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Following a limited release, McDonald’s has confirmed that the McPlant Burger will now be available in all outlets in the U.K. and Ireland. Locations will include restaurants and smaller subsidiaries, including retail park and service station stores.
The McPlant has created enough interest, appreciation and demand for a full commercial rollout. The burger, made using Beyond Meat patties, will be a permanent menu item. It joins the Veggie Dippers, as the only other Vegetarian Society-approved vegan option on the U.K. menu.
For months, just 250 locations nationwide offered the McPlant burger. This made it difficult to source for some consumers. Those that have had access, however, have driven the decision to make all 1,300 McDonald’s U.K. restaurants more vegan-friendly. Initially, plans to rollout to around 700 locations were floated but that step has been skipped in favour of nationwide adoption.
“We’re so pleased that our McPlant is now officially ‘everywhere’ and available for more of our customers to taste and enjoy,” Michelle Graham-Clare, chief marketing officer at McDonald’s UK and Ireland told Plant Based News. “We saw a remarkable response to the trial period back in October. And, now McPlant is on the high-street, in retail parks and service stations all over the UK and Ireland.”
The burger itself was designed to taste exactly like traditional McDonald’s, just without beef. A vegan sesame bun, Beyond meat patty, and vegan cheese all came together. With the standard sauces and pickles, they recreated a taste that many vegans had forgotten.
The McDonald’s McPlant was initially launched in 10 Coventry restaurants in September 2021. Wider rollout came soon after, with 250 locations offering the burger. As of January 5, 2022, every McDonald’s will have the vegan option available. The company confirmed that the burgers are cooked separately from conventional meat burgers, using specialist utensils.
The permanent inclusion of vegan menu items is considered to be part of McDonald’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Having signed a three-year deal with Beyond Meat in 2021, vegan consumers anticipate future new releases.
Fast-food chains target vegan audience
Bringing plant-based options to their menus has been a priority for trend-conscious convenience chains. As a result, Burger King, KFC, and Subway have all made recent vegan-related announcements.
Burger King is taking on Veganuary with its new nuggets. Developed with The Vegetarian Butcher, they feature soy-based chicken-style chunks coated in crispy batter. The nuggets join the already popular Vegan Royale, also powered by The Vegetarian Butcher’s chicken alternative. The re-released Plant-Based Whopper rounds of the vegan menu.
KFC has just pledged to bring back its Quorn-filled chicken burger. A limited release, it proved popular enough to be reintroduced, permanently this time. Meanwhile, Subway has launched a meat-free chicken tikka sandwich and a vegan steak sandwich. The tikka option will be available until mid-February. The steak is being trialled in selected stores in the East of England.
High street coffee chains are not looking to be left behind. Caffè Nero has partnered with THIS once again, to launch two new snacks. The ‘chicken’ arrabbiata and sausage ciabattas are available now.
Starbucks has launched a range of limited edition vegan-friendly snacks, alongside new plant-based drinks. More newsworthy is the fact that the chain has ditched its, now infamous, surcharge for non-dairy milk.
Lead image courtesy of McDonald’s.