McDonald’s takes a nibble of the plant-based burger

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(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

(AP) – McDonald’s is finally taking a nibble of the plant-based burger.

In a very limited test in Canada, McDonald’s said Thursday that it’s introducing the PLT, or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger. It will be available for 12 weeks in 28 restaurants in Southwestern Ontario by the end of the month.

The limited test is rolling out about six months after rival Burger King began testing the plant-based Impossible burger, which no surprise, is a rival to Beyond Meat. It’s now selling those burgers nationwide.

Meat alternatives are being introduced across the fast food sector, with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods battling to get their plant-based products into as many restaurants as possible.

KFC last month began testing plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings at an Atlanta restaurant in partnership with Beyond Meat. Carl’s Jr. and Del Taco also selling Beyond Meat products. Tim Hortons has tested a Beyond Meat breakfast sausage in Canada.

Impossible Foods announced in May that it was making meatless “sausage” crumbles for the Little Caesars pizza chain in some states.

Ann Wahlgren, McDonald’s vice president of global menu strategy, said in a blog post that the chain’s been keeping a close eye on the growing demand for meat alternatives and spoke to the size of the test beginning at the end of the month.

“Why just a small test? We’re in learning mode, so testing is a major part of how we develop our menu,” Wahlgren wrote. “It’s how we look- before we leap.”

Before the opening bell Thursday, shares of Beyond Meat Inc. soared 17%.

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