Starting next week, the fast-food chain will roll out the "PLT" in select restaurants in Canada.

By Arielle Tschinkel
September 27, 2019
Credit: Getty Images/ermingut

With more and more fast-food chains stepping up their plant-based offerings by way of veggie burgers and meat alternatives, it was only a matter of time before McDonald's got on board.

At long last, the home of the Big Mac is testing out a new plant-based burger: the PLT (which stands for plant, lettuce, and tomato, BTW).

Starting September 30, Canadian McD's lovers who live in or near southwestern Ontario can try out the PLT burger, which is made from a Beyond Meat plant-based patty and has all the fixings of a standard McDonald's burger. (Related: My Search for the Best Veggie Burger and Meat Alternatives Money Can Buy)

For anyone in the United States and other parts of the world, you're not getting this menu option just yet. But it seems the 12-week test in Ontario is serving as a jumping-off point to learn what customers like and don't like, possibly ahead of a wider global rollout.

"McDonald's has a proud legacy of fun, delicious and craveable food—and now, we're extending that to a test of a juicy, plant-based burger," Ann Wahlgren, McDonald's vice president of global menu strategy, said in a statement announcing the news. "We've been working on our recipe and now we're ready to hear feedback from our customers." (Related: The Healthiest Things You Can Order from the McDonald's Menu)

The PLT will be served on a sesame seed bun and topped with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayo-style sauce, ketchup, mustard, and a slice of processed cheddar cheese—so no, it's not vegan. The plant-based patty will also be cooked on the same grill as other animal-based products, like burgers and eggs, meaning it's not technically considered vegetarian either.

Considering McDonald's is frequently expanding its offerings and following nutrition trends, the PLT seems like a natural addition to its menu. The plant-based Beyond Meat patty—made with pea protein, rice protein, potato starch, and more ingredients from Beyond Meat's signature blendcontains no artificial colors, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives, yet it still offers that juicy, delicious taste you can't help but crave from time to time.

Several other fast-food chains have been getting into the veg-friendly game lately, too. Burger King now offers the Impossible Whopper in all U.S. locations after a successful test run in the spring, joining the ranks of White Castle's Impossible Burger sliders, both A&W and Carl Jr.'s Beyond Burger, Umami Burger's four Impossible Burger options, and Red Robin, which lets guests sub the Impossible Burger for any of its existing burger offerings. (Related: 10 Vegan Fast Food Menu Items from Your Favorite Chains)

Other fast-food chains trying out plant-based menu items include KFC's vegan fried chicken (which sold out just hours into its first test run), Qdoba's Impossible ground meat options for tacos, burritos, and bowls, Little Caesar's Impossible Supreme pizza pieDel Taco's Beyond Meat options for any of its existing ground beef items, Tim Hortons' Beyond Meat sausages, and Subway's Beyond Meatball Marinara sub.

Here's hoping that visitors to the Golden Arches outside Ontario will be able to try the PLT burger sometime in 2020.


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