It is safe to say that the demand for meat-free meals in fast-food is on an exponential rise. Whether it is Greggs’ vegan sausage roll or Nando’s plant-based chicken burger, firms have noticed the emerging market that is vegan and vegetarian cuisine.
The latest food giant to join the fray is the biggest of them all: McDonald’s. The global phenomenon sells 75 hamburgers every day, resulting in $21 bn annual revenue.
While these are undeniably impressive figures, the damage this is doing to the environment is equally as staggering.
Each cow will produce between 200 and 500 litres of gas a day, with livestock accounting for 14% of all global greenhouse gas emissions – some frightening figures without even scratching the surface of the negative externalities created by the industry.
Pairing the unrivalled reach of McDonald’s as a brand with the detrimental impacts of cattle farming shows why the introduction of the ‘McPlant’ in 2021 could be instrumental in battling climate change.
Not only would the introduction of the McPlant help to reduce the sales of flagship products such as the Big Mac, but it also proves the trend that meat alternatives are on the rise.
It appears the increased demand in plant-based products has forced global companies to develop their own, or sell others’, meat-free products.
Ian Borden, international operations lead at McDonald’s, said: “We are excited about the opportunity because we believe we have a proven, delicious-tasting product.”
Evidently, what started out as the vegan sausage roll at Greggs not tasting that bad has ended in the globe’s second largest fast-food chain introducing its own variation on the theme.
While there is currently some confusion surrounding the provider of the McPlant, Beyond Meat insists it remains involved in the project.