Wendy’s seems to be following in McDonald’s footsteps and launching a plant-based burger in Canada. In September McDonald’s began testing a meat-free burger in select Canadian locations. Earlier today, vegan advocacy sites LiveKindly and VegNews reported that social media picked up an outdoor Wendy’s advertisement in Toronto showing a burger called “The Plentiful” along with the words: “Where’s the beef? Not here.”
The fast-food chain hasn’t publicly announced the new burger yet, nor is it listed on its website. According to LiveKindly, The Plentiful is made from pea protein and is served with non-vegan cheese and mayonnaise.
And… that’s about all we know for sure. It’s unclear how much The Plentiful will cost, how many Wendy’s locations will offer it, or how long it will be available. Perhaps most importantly, we don’t know which brand of plant-based burger is on The Plentiful or whether it’s made from a patty developed internally by Wendy’s. Since we know the burger is pea protein-based, that rules out Impossible, which is made from soy and potato protein — but not Beyond.
If indeed The Plentiful is made with a Beyond Burger, Wendy’s would really be taking a page from McDonald’s book. The latter began testing a plant-based burger made with a Beyond patty called the P.L.T. (Plants, Lettuce, Tomato) in select locations in Canada this September. If this is the case, both Wendy’s and McDonald’s chose to omit the Beyond brand name from their new menu items — a move that I think is a missed opportunity to draw in new consumers familiar with the Beyond media buzz.
Regardless, it’s not a huge surprise that Wendy’s is hopping on the plant-based meat trend. During this year’s second-quarter review call Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor acknowledged the popularity of meat alternatives and said it was something that the fast-food chain would “look into.” Right after that Wendy’s fans gathered around 30,000 signatures on a petition calling the restaurant to add a plant-based burger to its menu.
Canada seems to be prime territory for fast food restaurants to test out new plant-based products. In addition to McDonald’s, 7-Eleven began selling a Beyond Meat pizza in the Great White North. Canadian chains Tim Horton’s and A&W were some of the first major fast-food chains to add Beyond Meat to their menus — though Tim Horton’s has since stopped serving the meat alternative in all but two regions.
We’ve reached out to Wendy’s and will update the post when we hear back. Until then, if you’re a Spoon reader in Toronto, give The Plentiful a try and tell us what you think!