McDonald's says plant-based trial in two key US cities failed

McDonald’s says plant-based trial in two key US cities failed

A McDonald’s test of its plant-based burger in San Francisco and Dallas “was not successful in either market,” said Joe Erlinger, the network’s U.S. chief executive, on Wednesday.

American consumers are not looking for “McPlant or other plant-based proteins from McDonald’s,” Erlinger said at the Wall Street Journal’s World Food Forum in Chicago. Following the comments, McDonald’s said Erlinger was referring to an earlier test in the markets that ended in 2022. The company has said that plant-based foods have fared better in European markets.

Shares of Beyond Meat, which has partnered with McDonald’s to produce the McPlant hamburger, fell 2.5% in New York trading on Wednesday, reducing a previous fall. McDonald’s stock was little changed.

Instead of plant-based options, McDonald’s is investing in its chicken offerings as consumers gravitate toward that protein. The company sells more chicken than beef these days, he added.

“Part of this is due to affordability,” said. “Chicken is less expensive to produce and therefore for a consumer looking for more affordable foods, chicken is a great option right now.”