McDonald’s expected to expand McPlant tests in 2022

Consumers should expect a broader rollout of the McDonald’s McPlant in 2022 following a successful trial of the plant-based burger in eight select U.S. cities.

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Mc Plant Burger

Consumers should expect a broader rollout of the McDonald’s McPlant in 2022 following a successful trial of the plant-based burger in eight select U.S. cities, BTIG analyst Peter Saleh predicted.

“Our conversations indicated the McPlant test performed exceptionally well in its handful of locations, with very limited operational challenges,” Saleh wrote in a note published earlier this month.

“We believe the McPlant product with Beyond Meat is performing well at the handful of restaurants offering it, warranting a more expansive market test in early 2022.”

In some locations, restaurants sold approximately 70 McPlant burgers per day during the limited time offer, well above initial predictions of 25 per day. 

Tests of the burger began November 3 and ran through early December in Irving and Carrollton, Texas, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jennings and Lake Charles, Louisiana and El Segundo and Manhattan Beach, California. 

Saleh expects that the tests will be expanded to an additional 700 restaurants beginning in February 2022.

“We believe the market test of McPlant will launch as a six-to-eight week limited-time offer in several markets, garnering advertising support from both McDonald’s (and its franchisees) as well as Beyond Meat,” said Saleh.

A national rollout of the McPlant is unlikely to happen until 2023, he wrote.

McDonald’s: The McPlant will be ready

McDonald’s seems pleased so far about the reception to the McPlant burger. The plant-based offering has already been successfully trialed in Austria, the Netherlands, the U.K. and Ireland.

“As always, we’ll do what McDonald’s does best: Listen to our customers,” CEO Chirs Kempczinski said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call in October. “When people are ready for the McPlant, we will be ready for them.”

The McPlant Burger is made from plant-based ingredients like peas, rice and potatoes. The plant-based patty is served on a sesame seed bun with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and a slice of American cheese. The burger is cooked on the same grill as the chain’s beef burgers, which could be an issue for those following a vegan diet.

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