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McDonald's to introduce McPlant meat-free options next year

Beyond Meat fell 6 percent and was briefly halted for volatility.
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People wear protective face masks outside McDonald's in Times Square in New York City on on Sept. 30, 2020.Noam Galai / Getty Images
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McDonald’s will test a meat-free burger in several markets next year as part of its plant-based menu, which it has coined “McPlant.”

International President Ian Borden said McPlant was created “by McDonald’s and for McDonald’s.” Borden said that the McPlant line could also include chicken substitutes.

Shares of Beyond Meat, which made the meat-free patties for McDonald’s Canadian test, fell as much as 6 percent in morning trading on the news. The stock was briefly halted for volatility.

McDonald’s ended the Canadian test of its meatless burger in April and has since said that it has no plans to bring back its P.L.T. burger at this time.

Former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, who was an early investor in Beyond, sits on the plant-based meat maker’s board. Investors have speculated that the connection between the two companies could mean a long-term partnership and make Beyond a supplier for the largest U.S. restaurant chain by sales.

Other international McDonald’s markets have found more success with meatless burgers. Restaurants in Germany, for example, have added veggie burgers made by Nestlé to their menus.

Rival Burger King, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International, released a plant-based Whopper in the U.S., with a patty made by privately held Impossible Foods last year.

McDonald’s also released an investor update on Monday morning, predicting systemwide sales growth in the mid-single digits in 2021 and 2022 and sharing more about its strategy for boosting sales.