Nov. 9 (UPI) -- McDonald's will introduce plant-based burgers as part of a new line of faux meat products starting in test markets next year, the company said Monday.
On an investor call, Ian Borden, the company's international president, said the new "McPlant" products would eventually include chicken and breakfast sausage.
Borden said the company would not be partnering with other faux-meat vendors like Burger King has done with its Impossible Whoppers made under partnership with Impossible Burgers.
McPlant products will be "crafted exclusively for McDonald's by McDonald's," Borden said.
McDonald's partnered with Beyond Meat last fall to release a plant-based pilot patty for its "P.L.T.," a plant, lettuce and tomato sandwich, in selected Canadian markets, but then pulled it from the market.
"There are other plant-based burgers out there, but the McPlant delivers our iconic taste in a sink-your-teeth-in (and wipe-your-mouth) kind of sandwich," the company said on a blog post. "It's made with a juicy, plant-based patty and served on a warm, sesame seed bun with all the classic toppings."
Fast-food and casual dining restaurants have expanded into plant-based meat substitutes to appeal to more ecologically conscious and younger diners, said a trend report from international food consultants Baum + Whiteman last year.
"As with plant-based meat substitutes, the idea is to wean the world off animals whose environmental costs appear unsustainable," the report said.
In 2019, KFC announced a partnership with Beyond Meat to serve a plant-based vegetarian chicken substitute.
Other restaurants offering meat substitutes include TGI Fridays, Subway, Carl's Junior, Yard House, BurgerFi, Del Taco, Hardees, Dunkin' Donuts, White Castle, Red Robin, Qdoba, Fatburger, HardRock Café, Cheesecake Factory, Applebee's and Little Caesars Pizza, according to a 2020 trends report by Johns Hopkins University's Center for a Livable Future.