Fast-food chain McDonald’s is launching its first vegan burger in the UK after three years of research and development.
The McPlant burger features a plant-based patty developed in collaboration with vegan food company Beyond Meat. The new burger also includes a pea protein-based vegan cheese that “tastes just like McDonald’s iconic cheese slices.”
Trialling in 10 McDonald’s restaurants in Coventry from 29 September, the new burger will be served on a vegan sesame bun and served with lettuce, onion, pickles, tomato, mustard, ketchup and a newly developed vegan sauce.
The McPlant burger will cost £3.49 and after the initial trial it will roll out across a further 250 restaurants from 13 October. McDonald’s say it plans to include the vegan burger on menus nationwide in 2022.
The new burger is certified by the Vegetarian Society and contains 429 calories. According to McDonald’s, the McPlant burger is cooked separately from other non-vegan menu items and uses dedicated utensils.
Michelle Graham-Clare, chief marketing officer at McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: “We’re so pleased to be finally launching McPlant in the UK and Ireland. As with every McDonald’s offering, we take our time to ensure it meets the highest standards and is something that all our customers will enjoy.
“We are always looking for different ways to innovate and meet our customers’ needs, and with McPlant, we have a delicious plant-based burger that will appeal to everyone. Whether you’re vegan or just fancy a plant-based patty, we’re confident you will enjoy the McPlant.”
McDonald’s say that the new burger will “deliver the same great taste and experience you would expect from a McDonald’s burger, whilst enabling customers to choose a plant-based menu option.”
McDonald’s joins a growing number of restaurants that have introduced vegan versions of their most popular burgers – including Burger King’s Vegan Royale, and Leon’s Love Burger.
The demand for vegan products soared last year, as many people chose to reduce their intake of meat and dairy products over lockdown. A study conducted by The Vegan Society, reveals that 43% chose to reduce their meat consumption out of concern for health, environmental or animal rights reasons.