Picture this: bae grabbed some Mickey D’s on the way home from work. You’re famished and take the first bite, only to realise that you’re not having a Big Mac, but a McPlant instead.
No, we did not make that up…
McDonald’s has quietly introduced its meat-free burger called McPlant at selected stores in two Scandinavian countries. Apparently, it is spicy and really yummy. If there’s a big enough demand, we might get it in South Africa too.
What does it taste like?
Well, it’s made from pea and rice protein, for starters. It is served on a bun along with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup.
Plant-based burgers aren’t exactly a new thing in Mzansi, though. Many restaurants are offering their own vegan or vegetarian burger variations for some time. Also, in tune with the greater health crazy, many meat lovers are exploring alternatives.
The McPlant is made in partnership with Beyond Meat, the people responsible for the Beyond plant-based burgers that had tongues wagging in Mzansi sometime last year. Heck, #TeamFoodForMzansi even tried it out with hilarious results.
According to Bloomberg, restaurants are racing to add trendy plant-based items to attract consumers. Many are going plant-based because they are concerned about the environment, animal welfare and nutrition.
We can’t vouch for the “racing” bit, but we can confirm that it’s on many menus. From the Spur to Hudson’s Burger Joint and Jackson’s, we’ve got options now.
“Plant-based products are an ongoing consumer trend,” says McDonald’s in a media release, highlighting the growing investor interest in plant-based products.
“It’s not a matter of if McDonald’s will get into plant-based, it’s a matter of when.”
Mickey D’s international president Ian Borden says, “We have created a delicious burger that will be the first menu option in a plant-based platform we are calling McPlant.
McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s. In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken-substitutes and breakfast sandwiches.”
Here’s the thing, though...
Research shows that sales of plant-based items often taper off after the bump in demand from people trying them for the first time.
And while it is true that people are looking for more plant-based options for health, environmental, and lifestyle considerations, it is not yet sure whether there is a big enough market for McPlant in Mzansi.
McDonald’s confirms that the McPlant will eventually be tested worldwide, but hasn’t specified when, and whether, South Africa will have a turn.