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McDonald’s Introduces the ‘P.L.T.’, Its First Plant-Based Burger, in Canada

McDonald's new P.L.T.McDonald's

McDonald’s is officially getting in the plant-based burger game. The largest fast-food chain announced on Thursday, September 26, that it will begin testing a patty made without meat, and our neighbors to the north will be the first to give it a try.

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The new menu item is slated to be called the “Plant, Lettuce, Tomato” burger (P.L.T. for short) and will be made using Beyond Meat, a plant-based meat substitute. The P.L.T. is expected to first be tested at 28 McDonald’s locations in Southern Ontario, Canada, and will be available for 12 weeks starting Monday, September 30.

“Meet the P.L.T., a delicious, juicy plant-based burger, that will be available for a limited time as a test at selected restaurants in Southwestern Ontario,” a tweet from McDonald’s Canada declared on Thursday. The tweet also included a short video clip featuring the P.L.T., which looks almost identical to the chain’s beef burgers.

According to the video, the P.L.T. is “juicy, delicious and perfectly dressed.”

Not surprisingly, McDonald’s Canada’s tweet is quickly gaining traction on social media, as many users are eager to give the restaurant’s first major foray into plant-based food a try. “It’s about time!!!,” declared one. Added another: “Looking forward to trying it if it makes it to the east coast!”

Still, not everyone was pleased. Many users pointed out that the P.L.T. contains ingredients such as medium chain triglycerides, modified cellulose and canola oil. Others noted that the new offering isn’t exactly 100 percent vegan because it will be prepared on the same grill as other meat-based products.

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Though this marks the first time McDonald’s has tested a plant-based menu item in North America, the company already sells plant-based burgers in Germany and Israel in partnership with Nestle.

Furthermore, there was no indication when (or even if) the P.L.T. will make it to the United States. As McDonald’s vice president of global menu strategy, Ann Wahlgren, said in a statement: “This test allows us to learn more about real-world implications of serving the P.L.T., including customer demand and impact on restaurant operations.”

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Until now, McDonald’s has largely stayed away from the plant-based movement while many of its competitors have embraced it. White Castle debuted plant-based Impossible Burgers in January, and in April, Burger King announced the launch of its vegetarian Impossible Whopper.

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