McDonald's testing meat-free 'McPlant' products

McDonald's testing meat-free 'McPlant' products
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McDonald's will soon begin testing plant-based burgers based on the company's own recipe in some stores, it announced Monday.

Reuters and CNBC reported that company executives announced a slew of initiatives including a customer loyalty program and a line of plant-based menu items called "McPlant," a successor to the company's test of burgers produced by meat substitute company Beyond Meat in Canada last year.

Shares of Beyond Meat, which tested a line of "P.L.T." burgers with the chain last year, plunged on the news indicating that McDonald's would not extend the partnership, according to CNBC.

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“McDonald’s has a proud legacy of fun, delicious and craveable food — and now, we’re extending that to a test of a juicy, plant-based burger,” Ann Wahlgren, McDonald’s vice president of global menu strategy, said at the time. “We’ve been working on our recipe and now we’re ready to hear feedback from our customers.”

Other changes announced by the fast food chain Monday included planned construction of more drive-thru and carry-out only locations, as well as a new fried chicken sandwich to compete with rivals Chick-Fil-A and Popeyes, which released its own highly popular sandwich last year.

McDonald's shares rose slightly on the news, according to CNBC.

Reuters reports that the chain's U.S. sales remain down over last year, likely in part due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has led many Americans to avoid eating at restaurants.