McDonald's announced Monday the launch of a new vegan burger called the "McPlant" that it will test in various global markets in 2021.
"McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald's, by McDonald's," said the company's international president, Ian Borden. "In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken substitutes, and breakfast sandwiches."
McDonald's is one of the last fast food giants to launch a vegan burger, although they did test a plant-based burger in Canada last year. Competitor Burger King started selling its "Impossible" Whopper in 2019.
Shares of Beyond Meat – one of the current main suppliers of plant-based protein – dropped 6% at the news.
McDonald's also announced that it was releasing a crispy chicken sandwich in 2021 to compete with other companies such as Chick-fil-A and Popeyes. The sandwich will come with pickles and butter and be served on a toasted potato roll.
"We believe it's going to jump-start our chicken journey, build our chicken credentials, and get people to start looking at us differently," said McDonald's USA President Joe Erlinger on Monday. "We're excited about the moves we're making to meet – and exceed – customer expectations for great-tasting chicken. That is how we will start to build our chicken credibility."