McDonald’s Pilot Program to Test Meatless Option

McDonald’s is getting in the meatless burger game. The fast food giant started a pilot program to introduce the PLT (plant-based meat, lettuce and tomato) to limited locations around the United States and Canada. This comes on the heels of Burger King, which offers the Impossible Whopper throughout locations in the country. That faux meat is co-manufactured by the OSI Group.

The McDonalds PLT, which uses the Miracle Burger, is said to have fewer calories than its competitor burger and uses beet juice to provide a more realistic, bloody, burger. The OSI Group does not use this substance with it Impossible Burger. According to an article on the site of the Today Show, the McDonalds version has an ingredient list including the following: pea protein, rice protein, mung bean protein, canola oil, coconut oil, protein starch and a number of spices.

The McDonald’s effort is not the company’s first foray into the fake meat industry. They produced similar products in locations throughout Europe, including the Veggie Deluxe in the United Kingdom. According to the Today article, McDonald’s won’t confirm whether they will go nationwide with its PLT but articles in other publications, including Crain’s Chicago Business, say this pilot program is a predictor of sorts.

Burger King is the fast food pioneer in this new meatless burger era. They work with the OSI Group, which is based outside of Chicago. It also provides meat for McDonald’s on a large scale in addition to producing the Impossible Burger for Burger King. Impossible Foods, the company that introduced the meatless burger, did not have the capacity to satisfy demand for its product and partnered with the OSI Group. Burger King offered the Impossible Whopper nationwide starting in August. This was after a pilot program in the St. Louis area back in the spring that generated positive results. The fast food giant recently signed an agreement with the OSI Group to continue offering the meatless substitute.

The stock price of the maker of the Miracle Burger jumped significantly after McDonald’s announced it would use its product.

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