During its annual shareholder meeting today, McDonald’s revealed no plans to launch vegan options. Silvia Lagnado, Global Chief Marketing Officer and director of the McDonald’s menu in the United States, was asked only two questions during the meeting, with Change.org’s Managing Director of Campaign Michael Jones inquiring about whether vegan options were on the way. “We obviously have to assess whether consumer demand [would be at a] level we believe would be sustained and make the right decision based on how the model works and the important complex considerations of our restaurant,” Lagnado said. Five years ago, vegan author Kathy Freston launched a petition on Change.org to urge McDonald’s to add vegan options. After Burger King debuted the plant-based Impossible Whopper—which it is now expanding to more than 7,200 US locations and across Europe—Freston’s petition picked up traction. “McDonald’s is really missing an opportunity to appeal to a growing consumer base,” Jones said. “In regards to their ‘need to assess consumer demands’ and being ‘a customer-obsessed business,’ over 215,000 people support Kathy’s campaign and they’ve made it clear that a meatless option is needed if McDonald’s is going to keep pace with its competition. Burger King’s successful Impossible Whopper pilot and White Castle’s Impossible Sliders are proof that the demand is there.” The only other question posed to Lagnado during the shareholder meeting was about McDonald’s plans to improve its chicken welfare standards which was prompted by a campaign launched this week by animal-rights organization Mercy For Animals and backed by 25 celebrities, including Moby, Emily Deschanel, James Cromwell, and Kimberly Elise.
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