McDonald’s is expected to launch its first plant-based burger, the McPlant, later this year, and it sounds like this is only the first of many new plant-based options for the chain. Beyond Meat, which is partnering with McDonald’s on the McPlant patty, has announced a three-year global deal with the fast-food giant. According to VegNews, the partnership will result in several innovative protein alternatives for the McDonald’s menu.
“We’re excited to work with Beyond Meat to drive innovation in this space, and entering into this strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers,” said Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer. (Related: McDonald’s Is Making These 8 Major Upgrades.)
In particular, McDonald’s will explore alternatives to chicken, pork, and eggs, and is hoping to give customers more choices in the plant-based arena.
When first introducing the McPlant last year, McDonald’s was reluctant to reveal who is helping them make the patties for the new burger, saying they are an original creation "by McDonald's and for McDonald's." However, a representative for Beyond Meat revealed soon after they co-created the patty with the chain.
At the time, Beyond’s CEO Ethan Brown hinted at a partnership between the two powerhouses that would extend well beyond the McPlant.
"I believe our relationship with McDonald's is very strong," he told Mad Money's Jim Cramer. "We're involved with McDonald's on a number of different fronts. We're doing things now to prepare for things in the future that involve McDonald's."
And McDonald's isn’t the only brand onboarding Beyond Meat for their new plant-based ventures. Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC, has penned a similar distribution agreement with Beyond, that will help them create plant protein-based pizza toppings, chicken alternatives, and possibly taco fillings, according to CNN.
For more on the latest fast-food trends, check out 6 Most Anticipated Fast-Food Menu Items Launching This Year, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.