McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook explained the reason behind the fast-food chain’s lack of vegan options during a call with shareholders this week. Easterbrook revealed that the company is currently discussing plant-based options and examining the potential roadblocks it might encounter in updating its menu. “Is there an additional complexity?” Easterbrook asked rhetorically about the addition of plant-based options. “And if there is, is that complexity worth it?” This year, McDonald’s fast-food competitors have resolved any “complexities” associated with adding vegan-friendly options, including Carl’s Jr. which launched the Beyond Famous Star in January and Burger King’s announcement this week of its expansion of the Impossible Whopper to more than 7,000 locations nationwide. When it comes to the payoff of resolving those complexities, a vegan option at McDonald’s would be welcomed by at least 200,000 United States consumers—as supported by a petition for such options.

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