McDonald's announced on Thursday that it had partnered with Beyond Meat to serve a plant-based burger at 28 locations in Canada.

  • McDonald's could roll out a veggie burger in the US as soon as mid-2020, according to UBS analysts' predictions.
  • The fast-food giant announced on Thursday it is partnering with Beyond Meat to test a plant-based burger in Canada.
  • McDonald's will use the test to see whether customers actually order a veggie burger, as well as check whether adding a P.L.T. creates issues with operations and the supply chain, according to UBS.
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As McDonald's tests a plant-based burger with Beyond Meat in Canada, analysts are on the lookout for more veggie burgers.

"We expect further conversation and testing around plant-based meat (no update on other day parts / proteins currently), and anticipate a US roll out as soon as mid-2020," UBS wrote in a report on McDonald's on Thursday.

McDonald's announced on Thursday that it had partnered with Beyond Meat to serve a plant-based burger at 28 locations in Canada. The burger, called the P.L.T. or "Plant. Lettuce. Tomato.," will appear on menus in Southern Ontario for 12 weeks, starting on September 30.

McDonald's did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the UBS report.

UBS notes that the P.L.T. is designed to taste "like a regular McDonald's burger." The firm says that McDonald's is testing the burger in Canada because it "has a good representation of North American and European customers w/ flexitarian preferences, where MCD believes there is more demand for the offering than among vegans/vegetarians."

McDonald's will use the test to see whether customers actually order a veggie burger, as well as check whether adding a P.L.T. creates issues with operations and the supply chain, according to UBS. Even if the test is successful, McDonald's might test the product - or other plant-based products, such as chicken - in more markets before determining whether it wants to roll out a plant-based product in the US.

In a call with investors in April, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said that the chain was internally discussing vegan and plant-based menu items.

However, before adding a new plant-based menu item, Easterbrook said, McDonald's needs to establish: "Is there an additional complexity? And if there is, is that complexity worth it?"

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