Americans Showing Little Appetite for McDonalds’ Vegan Menu

Trials of the fast food company’s McPlant menu reportedly failed in key San Francisco and Dallas markets.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, file
The price of a McDonald's Big Mac has risen some 10 percent since President Biden took office. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, file

Customers are showing little appetite for McDonalds’ plant-based meat alternatives, according to the president of the fast-food company’s American branch, Joe Erlinger. 

Mr. Erlinger, speaking at a Chicago food forum, said the company’s trial run of the plant-based burger failed in both San Francisco and Dallas markets. 

American consumers, he said, just aren’t reaching for the “McPlant or other plant-based proteins from McDonald’s.” 

The stock price of McDonalds’ vegan meat partner, Beyond Meat, has slumped since the announcement.  

The news comes as plant-based meat alternatives struggle to reclaim the high level of demand seen during the peak of the Covid pandemic. 

Global retail sales of plant-based meat and seafood more than doubled to $6 billion between 2018 and 2022 according to market research firm Euromonitor

Recently, however, the growth has plateaued, placing pressure on many big-name brands like Beyond Meat, and forcing others to exit the market altogether. 

As inflation plagues households across America, many have opted to ditch the more expensive vegan alternatives for their animal-product counterparts. 

One Dallas reviewer offered his take on McDonald’s plant based burger during the rollout back in 2022, noting that he “loved the taste” but not the bill that came with it. 

The price of the McPlant burger, he writes, came out to $5.49 — more costly than a Big Mac, at $4.69, a Quarter Pounder, at $4.89, and a Crispy Chicken Sandwich at just $3.99. 

“If they want me to buy it again — over the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, or Crispy Chicken Sandwich — then they’ll need to change the price,” he wrote

For now, Mr. Erlinger seems inclined to refocus the McDonalds menu to the usual favorites. 

“If people really want salads from McDonald’s, we will gladly relaunch salads. But what our experience has proven is that’s not what the consumer’s looking for,” he added. 

The fast food company stopped offering salads back in 2020.

The New York Sun

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