McDonald's launches its first vegan burger in the UK

Called the McPlant burger, it is being trialled ahead of a wider launch

McDonald's is launching its first vegan burger in the UK. Called the McPlant, it is the result of three years of development with Beyond Meat, with the patty made from pea and rice protein.

Fully vegan, the burger comprises a vegan sesame bun, vegan sauce, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, ketchup and mustard, as well as vegan cheese made from pea protein, which is promised to taste “just like McDonald’s iconic cheese slices”.

The McPlant was initially trialled in Sweden and Denmark earlier this year. It was added to menus in both nations in February, after a survey revealed a third of people in Sweden classify themselves as flexitarian.

For the UK launch, the new arrival will be trialled across 10 restaurants in the city of Coventry from September 29, after which it will be rolled out to an additional 250 restaurants from October 13. McDonald's plans to launch the burger nationwide in 2022. It will cost £3.49 (Dh17).

To ensure each burger is completely vegan, the fast food giant has said the McPlant will be cooked and prepared separately from non-vegan items, using dedicated utensils.

This is not the first fully vegan burger McDonald's has experimented with. In September 2020, it trialled the PLT, instead of the BLT, made using a Beyond Meat patty in Ontario, Canada.

However, McDonald's has been slow in bringing a vegan option to market. Burger King launched its vegan Impossible Whopper in 2019, while KFC unveiled its limited-release vegan Beyond Fried Chicken in February 2020. It sold out in less than five hours.

In statement , Michelle Graham-Clare, chief marketing officer at McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: "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.”

Updated: September 11th 2021, 8:16 AM