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McDonald's unveils its own meatless patty — the "McPlant"

McDonald's trying out plant-based burgers
McDonald's trying out plant-based burgers 00:33

McDonald's is bringing a plant-based version of its beef patties – dubbed the McPlant – to U.S. locations starting next year, company officials said Monday.

The fast-food chain began testing a plant-based patty in Ontario, Canada, last year. After seeing "an encouraging response," McDonald's now plans to test the new sandwich in select U.S. cities, although it did not say when the item would be available. 

"In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken-substitutes and breakfast sandwiches," Ian Borden, McDonald's international president, said in a call with investors on Monday. 

McDonald's didn't disclose which cities would see the McPlant first, but said it would be a beef burger alternative. Company officials said the McPlant has the same taste as a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder. 

"In fact, we think our culinary team nailed it," McDonald's said in a blog post introducing the product. "There are other plant-based burgers out there, but the McPlant delivers our iconic taste in a sink-your-teeth-in kind of sandwich." 

Meatless meat a sizzling hot market 01:16

McDonald's, which has more than 39,000 restaurants worldwide and 13,800 in the U.S., also announced a new chicken sandwich coming next year that will be served on a potato roll. The menu offering will compete with popular chicken sandwiches from the likes of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Chick-fil-A. 

Latest chapter in meatless saga

A growing number of fast-food chains are hopping on the meatless food bandwagon.  Burger King started selling its Impossible Whopper in 2018, while  KFC, Tim Horton's and Dunkin' have also put plant-based products on their menus. 

Plant-based options are growing in popularity as evidenced by startup's Beyond Meat IPO in 2019. McDonald's partnered with Beyond Meat for its trial, but the relationship expired in April at the end of the trial, with no word from either company on future plans. 

News of the McPlant patty caused Beyond Meat shares to fall nearly 10% in early morning trading, although the stock regained most of that ground by close of trading. "Beyond Meat and McDonalds co-created the plant-based patty which will be available as part of their McPlant platform," a Beyond Meat spokesperson told Yahoo Finance

McDonald's on Monday also reported $5.4 billion in revenue, a 2% dip compared to the same period last year. Net income was $1.8 billion, up 10% year-over-year. More customers using the drive-thru and delivery options helped boost profits, McDonald's said.

The coronavirus pandemic forced thousands of McDonald's restaurants to temporarily close their indoor dining options. Since then, roughly 2,000 dining rooms have reopened, company officials said Monday. 

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