Photo: Nestle.

When we write about fast food joints adding a plant-based burger option to its menu, it’s usually an Impossible or Beyond Meat plant-based patty. So it caught our eye when LiveKindly reported today that McDonald’s in Germany is making Nestlé’s Incredible Burger patty the center of its new Big Vegan TS.

The Incredible Burger, which in no way sounds like a knock-off of the Impossible burger, is Nestle’s take on a plant-based burger that looks and acts like traditional meat. On the surface, McDonald’s auf Deutsch’s move may seem like a snub of Impossible and Beyond, but it actually make sense and is something my co-worker, Catherine Lamb kinda saw coming back in December, when she wrote:

Impossible and Beyond may have a hold on the U.S. market, but they haven’t expanded much outside of the U.S. (yet). Nestlé would be smart to concentrate on the European market, where, despite several competitors like Moving Mountains and Naturli’ Foods, there’s still plenty of room for it to carve out its own space in the plant-based meat market. Given Nestlé’s size, it already has scale, manufacturing, and sales channels it can leverage to expand quickly.

So it’s understandable that the German McDonald’s would opt for the burger from neighboring Swiss company Nestlé. The question becomes: will Nestlé be able to replicate this type of McDonald’s deal quickly and establish a stronghold in Europe before Beyond and Impossible can make a meaningful leap across the Atlantic?

The McDonald’s news comes ahead of the impending Beyond Meat IPO, which could put added pressure on the company. Investors like to see growth, and getting boxed out of Europe before it’s even begun could be bad news. The bright side, however, is that Beyond announced today that it is going to be available in Belgium, and should Beyond’s IPO go well, it will have the warchest to fuel growth more aggressively into new markets.

The Big Vegan will be available in Germany starting April 29th. If you’re a German Spoon reader, let us know how it is!

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