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McDonald's Could Be Planning a Major Expansion Of This Menu Item In 2022

The new burger is expected to hit 700 locations as early as February.

It first debuted in Europe early in the year. Then it landed in the United States in November. But McDonald's latest burger is still far from widely available on the chain's home turf. The McPlant, the first plant-based creation from the fast-food giant, is currently limited to eight American locations as part of a testing phase to gauge customer response and kitchen adaptability. This, however, will change in the early part of next year, according to experts, who predict the burger is about to undergo a major expansion.

RELATED: 4 New Menu Items You Can Try at McDonald's Right Now

mcdonalds mcplant
Courtesy of McDonald's

Sure, we figured McDonald's was going to add the McPlant to more locations eventually, pending its permanent addition to the menu. But the timeline for this largely depended on the item's success at those first eight locations in Irving and Carrollton, Texas, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jennings and Lake Charles, La., and El Segundo and Manhattan Beach in California. And according to Wall Street analyst Peter Saleh, McDonald's is expected to roll out the McPlant as a limited-time offer at some 700 restaurants in February and March. That's because the chain's test locations have been selling as many as 70 plant-based burgers a day—a number that warrants taking the next steps in the item's highly anticipated launch.

The expanded McPlant test is also expected to be accompanied by local and regional advertising—which is when you'll start hearing more about it.

Still, Saleh predicts the nationwide rollout could take until 2023. On the other hand, market analyst Michael Lavery proposed a much more optimistic timeline for when all McDonald's restaurants could finally begin carrying the burger, saying it could happen late in the first quarter of 2022—much earlier than expected.

So far, McDonald's has refused to provide further details on their plans for the McPlant.

For those who don't remember, the chain announced its first-ever plant-based burger late last year and revealed it had signed a three-year global agreement with Beyond Meat. The food company is partnering with the chain on the protein for a whole plant-based line, which could, down the line, include chicken and breakfast sandwiches, too.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Deputy News Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura