Beyond Meat announced Thursday that it had finalized major distribution agreements with both McDonald's and Yum! Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill and more fast-food brands.
The El Segundo-based company announced they would be expanding their previously limited partnerships with said companies, and expand their meatless menus under the distribution deals.
Speaking of the McDonald's partnership, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown expressed that he looks forward to serving the international company "as they bring expanded choice to menus globally."
"We will combine the power of Beyond Meat’s rapid and relentless approach to innovation with the strength of McDonald’s global brand to introduce craveable, new plant-based menu items that consumers will love," Brown pledged.
Presently, Beyond Meat and McDonald's plan to roll out their 'McPlant' - "a delicious burger that will be the first menu option in a plant-based platform," according to McDonald's International President Ian Borden.
The company previously tested a 'PLT' or 'plant, lettuce and tomato' burger in select locations.
"Our new McPlant platform is all about giving customers more choices when they visit McDonald’s," said McDonald’s Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer Francesca DeBiase in the Thursday release. "We’re excited to work with Beyond Meat to drive innovation in this space, and entering into this strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers."
We look forward to expanding our work with the teams at @yumbrands iconic @KFC, @pizzahut and @tacobell brands to together bring truly delicious plant-based product innovation to consumers. pic.twitter.com/Sfqs3nUp54— Beyond Meat (@BeyondMeat) February 26, 2021
"We expect this Beyond Meat partnership to strengthen our brands’ capability to offer delicious, plant-based menu items that are driven by consumer demand for more diverse protein options and our brands’ strategies in local markets," Yum! Brands CFO Chris Turner said in the release.
The news release highlighted that KFC "was the first US quick-service restaurant to introduce plant-based chicken" when it debuted buckets of 'Beyond Fried Chicken' in major southern US cities like Atlanta, Georgia, and Nashville, Tennessee, in 2019.
Similarly, Pizza Hut debuted the 'Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza' and the 'Great Beyond Pizza' nationwide last year.
Truth is, our NEW Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza is made of plant-based Italian sausage. We dared @KevinHart4real to taste it and tell us what he thinks. One dare led to another…👀 😋. Get it for a limited time! #beyondambassador @BeyondMeat pic.twitter.com/CNWaVEa9oy— PizzaHut (@pizzahut) November 10, 2020
Beyond Meat appears to be following in the footsteps of competitor Impossible Foods, which notably collaborated with Burger King to release the 'Impossible Whopper.'
a big deal just became a bigger deal. the Impossible Whopper is available nationwide starting 8/8. pic.twitter.com/TpFQenSLFQ— Burger King (@BurgerKing) August 1, 2019
The meatless burger debuted nationwide in August 2019 - following a limited rollout that began on April Fool's Day - but was quickly rejected by vegans due to the inclusion of mayonnaise, which includes eggs, and the fact that it was cooked on the same broiler as Burger King's chicken and beef products.