Beyond and McDonald’s had previously revealed that they were working together on the appropriately named “McPlant” sandwich back in November. The McPlant debuted in 2019 in Canada and is currently being tested in select markets around the world. The two companies will extend their collaboration beyond plant-based burgers, as the McPlant is actually a “platform” for a variety of different products. Beyond will work with Mickey D’s to create plant-based options for chicken, pork and egg.
Likewise, Beyond’s deal with Yum Brands builds on an existing collaboration between the two companies. KFC introduced the plant-based Beyond Fried Chicken in Atlanta in 2019, and has since expanded that pilot to other U.S. cities. Last year, Pizza Hut launched the Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and Great Beyond Pizza nationwide.
Beyond has been on a bit of roll with high-profile partnerships this year. Last month Beyond partnered with PepsiCo to form the PLANeT Partnership joint venture that will develop plant-based snacks.
All of these deals are obviously huge news for Beyond Meat, specifically, as it looks to grow its plant-based empire. It also alters the competitive landscape with its plant-based burger rival, Impossible Foods. Throughout 2020, Beyond and Impossible made back-and-forth news announcements around expanding retail, launching direct to consumer channels, and restaurant partnerships. For its part, Impossible, which launched its burgers at restaurants, has deals with Burger King, White Castle and Starbucks here in the U.S.
But Beyond’s expanded partnerships with giants like McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut is perhaps even bigger news for plant-based meat in general. Though sales of plant-based meat are on the rise and steadily gaining traction, being on the menus of these huge, global QSR chains will help give the entire sector a massive boost both in terms of sales and recogntion.