McDonald's is debuting its first plant-based burger - the PLT (short for 'plant lettuce and tomato'.) But can it possibly compete with the mighty Impossible Burger? Here's everything you need to know!
The Beyond Burger is the latest innovation in plant based meat products - and it's making some seriously big claims. Unlike the chewy and flavourless tofu burgers of the past, it promises to deliver a taste and texture that's virtually indistinguishable from the real thing; the medium-rare patty even "bleeds" when you cut into it.
First, the bad news: the PLT is currently only available in McDonald's Canada. But don't shed your pure vegan tears just yet - given the trend of big fast-food companies offering meat alternatives on their menus, we have a feeling plant burgers on Macca's Aussie menu might not be too far away.
The PLT will be available for 12 weeks in 28 selected restaurants in so it's an admittedly small test area. If McDonald's deems it successful, it'll likely expand to US markets before eventually reaching Australia.
For the first time in living memory, McDonald's has changed the cooking formula to its classic burgers. If Ronald's PR minions are to be believed, the new burgers are hotter, juicier and tastier than their predecessors. We recently tucked into a Cheeseburger, Quarter Pounder and Big Mac. Here is our verdict.
"Why just a small test? We're in learning mode, so testing is a major part of how we develop our menu,” Ann Wahlgren, McDonald’s vice-president of global menu strategy, said in a press statement. "It's how we look – before we leap."
It's worth noting that McDonald's Australia considers itself an innovator - many of the franchise's most famous initiatives, like the McCafe, touchscreen menu, 'New Taste' burgers and mobile ordering app were pioneered here. It therefore stands to reason that we'll be one of the first countries to trial a version of these new burgers.
The PLT was created with the help of Beyond Meat, a US producer of plant-based meat substitutes, who announced in August 2019 it's working with KFC too to create chicken substitutes. Excitingly, the company has already made inroads into Australia, which would make a similar partnership pretty easy.
Lifehacker has reached out to McDonald's Australia to confirm whether the PLT or a similar alternative is coming to Australia. Fingers crossed!