There’s a new burger offering at McDonald’s—this time, it’s plant-based. The McPlant burger targets the growing number of diners who avoid meat or are reducing their intake. This plant-based line is a late bloomer compared to rival fast food chain Burger King, which launched a vegetarian version of its signature Whopper burger in 2019. 

With heightened awareness of health concerns among consumers, the impact of livestock farming on the environment and animal rights, the restaurant industry is shifting its strategies to reach a wider market and offer more inclusive service.

McDonald’s partnered with Beyond Meat, a company that produces plant-based meat, to test out the new vegetarian burger in Canada. Many food tech businesses have similarly introduced meat alternatives over the past few years, which is why McDonald’s is also eyeing substitutes for its chicken products, adding that the market for chicken is growing faster than that of beef.

The fast food chain will retain its regular menu with flagship offerings like Big Mac, McNuggets and french fries as these account for 70 percent of its sales in mainstream markets. The company says that during  uncertain times, familiarity drives growth and profitability. The steady rise of e-commerce also contributed to significant progress in sales that led the group to plan on creating a new online platform and loyalty program. Improved drive-in outlets and exclusive lines for customers who pre-ordered their meal online will also be established.

McDonald’s saw a global turnover fall by two percent in the third quarter of 2020, a far better number compared to the 30 percent drop during the second quarter. Despite that, the company still managed to generate a net profit increase of 10 percent at $1.76 billion.

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