Meatless or plant-based burgers are becoming popular among fast-food restaurants and retailers in North America, Israel and Germany. Burger King, for an example, introduced its grilled meatless burger in the United States in August 2019. McDonald’s Restaurants in Germany and Israel are marketing its veggie burger by Awesome Burger. CNBC reported last month the restaurant chain began testing P.L.T. plant-based patties on September 30th in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. OSI Group, one of the largest international meat processors signed a contract with Impossible Foods to co-manufacture its meatless burgers. McDonalds and OSI Group has history dating back to 1955 when the company became the restaurant’s first supplier.
The Canadian testing of the McDonald’s P.L.T. burger will end December 23, which is 12 weeks after the start date. The results of the test will determine the impact of demand and operations in serving Beyond Burger, a plant-base patty made with pea protein. Sources are assuming the restaurant chain in Canada is using the brand because of its ties to McDonald’s Corporation. The former CEO of the restaurant chain, Don Thompson invested into the brand and continues to sit on its Board of Directors. Analysts are questioning whether the P.L.T. meatless burger will make the permanent item list at Canadian McDonalds restaurants. An analyst with Morningstar believes the test means nothing without testing in the United States which is coming in 2020.
With differences in opinions, it is up to the consumers’ demand for the plant-based burgers in North America. In Canada, 28 restaurants are participating in the promotional & testing of the Beyond Burger brand. OSI Group started processing the Impossible burgers in August of this year at multiple plants in the US. Papa John’s, Subway, Starbucks, and Burger King rely on the meat processor as a supplier for its meats and food items. The long-term relationship between McDonald’s and OSI extends over 60 years. Burger King introduced its Impossible meatless burgers shortly after OSI announced its co-manufacturing contract with Impossible Foods. The question most food industry analysts are asking is when will McDonald’s restaurants in the US launch its plant-based burgers.