McDonald’s announced today it will conduct a 12-week test in Canada of its new plant-based burger made with Beyond Meat.
Dubbed the “P.L.T” — Plant, Lettuce, Tomato — the meatless burger will debut in 28 restaurants in Southwestern Ontario on September 30, according to a press release.
It seems McDonald’s is also taking pains to recreate the chain’s signature taste. The chain didn’t specify how exactly it has done that with the Beyond patty, just that the P.L.T. has been “crafted exclusively by McDonald’s” to “deliver the iconic taste” of the brand. The sandwich will be available for $6.49 CAD (a little under $5 USD).
The P.L.T. also looks to be an entirely new menu offering. In other words, McDonald’s isn’t trying to create a plant-based version of its most famous item, the Big Mac, the way Burger King has done with the Impossible Whopper.
What McDonald’s is clearly trying to do is thoroughly test the market for plant-based meat before committing to any widespread release of a plant-based product. In May, the chain said it was monitoring plant-based meat options but had no plans to share at that time. However, the chain now has a plant-based burger from Nestle on menus in both Germany and Israel.
The release of the P.L.T. in Canada brings McDonald’s plant-based strategy a little closer to home, and gives us a hint of what might show up on menus in the U.S. before the end of the year. While nothing is officially confirmed for the States yet, the new P.L.T. in Canada suggests McDonald’s will soon join Carl’s Jr., A&W, Del Taco, and other QSRs on Team Beyond in the race for plant-based burger dominance.