McDonald’s is finally preparing to launch two of the most talked-about products in fast-food: a meatless burger of its own making, dubbed McPlant, and a new fried chicken sandwich that stands to be more competitive than its existing McChicken.
Details about McPlant, which McDonald’s executives said was developed internally, were limited during the company’s “Accelerating the Arches” investor presentation on Monday.
Just the spark of news that McDonald’s opted to go out on its own with a plant-based product was enough to spook investors in Beyond Meat. After all, that plant-based product maker teamed up with McDonald’s Canada last year on a limited test, raising hopes that once McDonald’s was ready to go further with plant-based products it would opt to do so with Beyond Meat. Later in the day, Beyond Meat clarified its connection to the project, stating that "Beyond Meat and McDonalds co-created the plant-based patty which will be available as part of the McPlant platform.” Still, that doesn't make it clear which suppliers, if any, might be working with McDonald's on other meatless products.
Beyond Meat’s rival Impossible Foods already works with McDonald’s biggest burger rival, Burger King. So the prevailing theory was that McDonald’s would look to another patty purveyor rather than work with the one that supplies the patties for the Impossible Whopper.