Test Run of New McDonald's Burger Had Shocking Results
Whether you're a strict vegetarian or are just looking to cut down on your meat consumption, McDonald's will soon have something new for you to sink your teeth into.
In November, the chain began a test run of its plant-based burger, the McPlant, at eight select restaurants across the country—and the patty's performance has positively surprised market analysts.
Throughout the past month, participating locations sold about 70 McPlants per day. In comparison, the average McDonald's restaurant typically sells about 110 Big Macs each day, according to CNBC.
Market analyst Michael Lavery wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday that the test locations were selling about three times more McPlants than he initially expected. That's a pretty huge win for those advocating for more plant-based options at fast-food restaurants.
Although the sample size for the McPlant is currently small, Lavery said that consumers' early overall interest and willingness to try the burger was greater than expected.
"While we believe test stores likely received a lift from exclusivity (drawing some sales from nearby stores that did not offer it), and that sustainable, repeat sales will settle in at a much lower rate; initial McPlant sales could prove to be closer to 8% to 10% of burger sales, or $170 million to $215 million (annualized)," he wrote.
The burger, which was crafted in conjunction with Beyond Meat, has 510 calories and contains 22 grams of protein. The meat-free patty is made from ingredients like peas, rice, and potatoes and served on a sesame seed bun with all the traditional burger toppings.
Unlike its main competitor, McDonald's has been slower to fully hop into the plant-based meat trend. Burger King introduced the meatless Impossible Whopper more than two years ago.
Vegetarian and vegan options continue to be areas of growth for the fast-food industry. Earlier this month, Chipotle debuted its plant-based chorizo nationwide, and Taco Bell continues to offer an array of meat alternatives like black beans and potatoes on its menu.
For now, the McPlant is available for a limited time at restaurants in Irving and Carrollton, Texas; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Jennings and Lake Charles, Louisiana; and El Segundo and Manhattan Beach, California. Starting February 14, McDonald's will roll out the McPlant at roughly 600 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco Bay areas.
For more fast-food news, check out 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.