September 27, 2019

McDonald’s Testing Beyond Meat in Canada

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

McDonald’s on Thursday announced it is going to test a new plant-based burger in nearly 30 restaurants in Ontario, Canada beginning September 30. They are calling it a P.L.T., which stands for plant, lettuce and tomato. The “plant” part of the sandwich is a patty developed by Beyond Meat. 

According to Forbes, McDonald’s has paid attention to consumers’ growing interest in plant-based burgers. Meanwhile on Thursday, Beyond Meat shares jumped $17.43 Thursday to $155.75.

“Consumers continue to want and seek options when it comes to the food they enjoy, either in their home or in a restaurant,” says Barb O’Brien, president of Dairy Management Inc. “And in today’s marketplace, we recognize that our partners must evolve to meet changing consumer needs.” 

The “P.L.T.” is not vegan. The sandwich includes a slice of processed cheese, and McDonald’s notes that it is cooked on the same grills as meat products, eggs and other burgers.

The dairy checkoff spends a significant amount of money in research and product development with McDonald’s. In fact, 80% of the items on McDonald’s menu include dairy. While McDonald’s Canada is not a checkoff partner, American dairy farmers are concerned about this new product. DMI says it’s too soon to panic. 

“We have a strong, mutually beneficial partnership with McDonald’s, and we have not been advised of any intention to bring this item to the United States at this time,” O’Brien says. “We will continue to work with our partners to help them respond to their customers’ desire for expanded choice and variety while ensuring that dairy remains a relevant, great-tasting and high-priority item on their menus.”