Last year at this time, we wrote about the emergence of meatless meat. Well, with the growth of the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend has continued. In fact, there are even plans for McDonald’s to add meatless burgers in 2021.
What’s New for 2021: McDonald’s to Add Meatless Burgers
The State of Meatless Meat in 2020
To begin, let’s see where things stand right now. According to CB Insights:
During the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the meat industry was slammed by warnings of meat shortages. Due to shuttered plants, resulting price increases, and growing numbers of sick workers. All conditions that would potentially present new opportunities for plant-based companies.
Traditional meat distribution channels were and remain upended, as restaurants, schools, and other facilities closed. Declining output and rising prices left consumers with fewer options, and plant-based meat alternatives began to see a lift.
Also, the growth of meatless meat is indicated by the number of fast-food outlets offering such products. For example, look at this list from UPROXX:
- Burger King
- Carl’s Jr.
- Cheesecake Factory
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Shake Shack
- White Castle
McDonald’s to Add Meatless Burgers
Last week, McDonald’s announced that it would add McPlant to its menu in 2021. Heather Haddon, writing for the Wall Street Journal, observes that:
The burger company said that it would test a slate of new plant-based products in some markets next year. McDonald’s ran a pilot program earlier this year in Canada to sell patties made by Beyond Meat, a leader in the market to sell new plant-based products that closely mimic meat.
Beyond Meat said it developed a patty for the McPlant line together with McDonald’s. McDonald’s, which said the McPlant line could include imitation burgers, chicken and breakfast foods, declined to discuss what companies would supply the new items or what ingredients they would include.
McDonald’s Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski said local demand would determine where and when to introduce “McPlant” items. “It’s not a matter of if McDonald’s gets into plant-based, it’s when,” he said during an investor event.