Today, vegan brand Beyond Meat announced that it has entered into a three-year global strategic partnership with fast-food chain McDonald’s. Through the partnership, Beyond Meat will help McDonald’s develop new plant-based menu options through its newly announced McPlant platform. “Our new McPlant platform is all about giving customers more choices when they visit McDonald’s,” Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, said. “We’re excited to work with Beyond Meat to drive innovation in this space, and entering into this strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers.”

McDonald’s goes all-in on plant-based

In 2019, McDonald’s first began testing the P.L.T. (Plant, Lettuce, and Tomato) burger made in partnership with Beyond Meat at select locations in Ontario, Canada. Shortly after the test concluded, McDonald’s announced it was launching the “McPlant” platform, which will be used to develop future plant-based items for its menus worldwide, starting with the McPlant burger. This month, McDonald’s launched the McPlant burger at test locations in Sweden (Linköping and Helsingborg) until March 15 and in select Denmark locations until April 12, with the aim of rolling out the meatless burger to McDonald’s locations in other markets. While McDonald’s initially hesitated to confirm that Beyond Meat was behind its McPlant patty, the new partnership cements Beyond Meat as the chain’s preferred plant-based supplier. 

Under the agreement, Beyond Meat and McDonald’s will also explore co-developing options such as plant-based chicken, pork, and egg for the McPlant platform. “We are proud to enter into this strategic global agreement with McDonald’s, an exciting milestone for Beyond Meat, and look forward to serving McDonald’s as they bring expanded choice to menus globally,” Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown said. “We will combine the power of Beyond Meat’s rapid and relentless approach to innovation with the strength of McDonald’s global brand to introduce craveable, new plant-based menu items that consumers will love.”

KFC, Pizza Hut, and Pepsi go Beyond

Brown announced the McDonald’s partnership during Beyond Meat’s earnings call today where he also revealed that the vegan brand penned a similar partnership with Yum! Brands. Under this agreement, Beyond Meat will also work with Yum!-owned chains KFC and Pizza Hut to develop future plant-based options. Last month, Beyond Meat also created a joint corporation, The PLANeT Partnership, with food and beverage giant PepsiCo. Through the venture, Beyond Meat and Pepsi will develop, produce, and market plant-based snacks and beverages.

“These deals are enormous,” Brown said during the call. “They are the biggest deals you could possibly put together in food in our sector.”

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