McDonald's to trial plant-based 'P.L.T.' burger

McDonald's Canada is trialling a new plant-based burger [Photo: McDonald's Canada]

McDonald’s in Canada is trialling a new plant-based burger, dubbed a ‘P.L.T.’

The P.L.T. (Plant Lettuce Tomato) burger uses a Beyond Meat burger, served on a sesame seed bun with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayo-style sauce, ketchup, mustard and a slice of processed cheddar cheese.

But, before vegans and vegetarians get too excited, technically it isn’t suitable for either because of the way it’s cooked.

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While Beyond Meat burgers are vegan, the additional toppings on the PLT mean they aren’t vegan as cheese contains dairy and mayonnaise contains eggs.

The fast food chain says the new burger can be customised, but there’s another issue in that the burgers are cooked on the same grill as other meat-based products so technically they can’t be classed as vegetarian.

Despite the lack of separate cooking facilities, the new burger did get excite many Twitter users.

“The plant based revolution is upon us,” tweeted one fan.

But others weren’t quite so enthralled with the addition to the fast-food chain’s menu.

“There is no way I’m eating a patty with leaves,” tweeted one dubious McDonalds follower.

The burger is currently being trialled in 28 restaurants in the Southwestern Ontario region.

Commenting on the trial Michaela Charette, Head of Consumer Insights, McDonald’s Canada said: “As a customer-obsessed company, we are committed to continuously testing new menu items to offer a variety of options

“The P.L.T. complements our existing line-up of craveable burgers and sandwiches, and enables us to assess Canadian’s growing demand for plant-based protein options as well as restaurant experience. During this test we’ll continue to listen to our guests to understand their tastes.”

Not coming to the UK anytime soon

While there is still no news of a plant-based burger coming to McDonalds UK, earlier this year more than 160,000 people signed a petition encouraging the fast food chain to launch a vegan burger.

It was originally launched to petition McDonald’s to add a meat-free burger to the menu.

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But thousands then got involved saying that it should in fact be a vegan burger as many of the vegetarian options currently available worldwide include dairy.

The petition was started as a response to Burger King launching its meat-free Impossible Burger at select restaurants in Missouri, USA and in the UK KFC trialled the vegan Imposter burger this summer.

The growing demand for vegan food has never been more evident in the UK.

McDonalds joins the growing number of fast food retailers creating meat-free alternatives for their customers.

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This includes Greggs’ vegan sausage roll and the McDonald’s vegetarian Happy Meal and vegan McNuggets.

Fast food chains including Subway and Pizza Hut have also launched vegetarian and vegan alternatives.

The increase in plant-based options is also tapping into a wider, global interest in veganism. In the UK alone, 7% of the national population identify as vegan.