McDonald's, Vegan Burgers And Game Of Thrones

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

May 22, 2019 – Industry Intelligence Inc.

LOS ANGELES , May 22, 2019 () – I came up with a “Game of Thrones” analogy when it comes to fast food and vegan burgers and sandwiches. I’m pretty proud of it.

Imagine that McDonald’s is like Daenerys Targaryen. She has the strongest armies, three dragons and—on paper at least—can claim the Iron Throne and rule the seven kingdoms at any time. But she waits for the right time to strike and people start to wonder: When will that be? Will it actually ever happen?

McDonald’s is also the biggest and the baddest, at least in the world of fast food. And right now, the biggest U.S. trend in fast food is vegan/plant-based menu items. Consider the following headlines from Industry Intelligence since the start of 2019:

Burger King announces plans to roll out the vegan Impossible Burger patty across the US as an option on its Whopper sandwich by the end of 2019; the company started testing the Impossible Whopper at 59 St. Louis locations at the beginning of April 

Taco Bell announces launch of two new meatless menu items: the Vegetarian Crunchwrap Supreme and the Vegetarian Quesarito; both items will be part of company's first vegetarian menu, which rolls out on April 4 at nearly 200 Dallas restaurants

Chipotle announces launch of its 'Plant-Powered' Lifestyle Bowl options, which include a new preconfigured organic plant-based protein 'Vegan' bowl as well as a 'Vegetarian' bowl that includes guacamole 

Beyond Meat partners with Carl's Jr. to launch The Beyond Famous Star, which marries the 100% plant-based Beyond Burger patty with the restaurant's Famous Star burger; item is now available at participating Carl's Jr. restaurants for US$6.29 

Little Caesars to test the Impossible Supreme Pizza, featuring meatless sausage crumbles from Impossible Foods, at 58 locations across Florida, New Mexico, and Washington state

What’s missing? McDonald’s.

The question is: Why?

What is McDonald’s waiting for? Based on its sheer number of locations alone, any vegan burger or sandwich the Golden Arches introduces will be successful, likely more successful than any other recently-launched product from a rival chain. So what’s the holdup? When will it be? Will it ever actually happen?

Now: If Game of Thrones teaches us anything, it’s that it will happen. Just like Daenerys took the Iron Throne (briefly) in brutal fashion, so too will McDonald’s rule the vegan-based fast-food world.

We’re all just waiting for the time McDonald’s decides to strike.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. We invite you to come take a look at our service. Call us today at 310-553-0008 and we’ll schedule you for a 15-minute demo.

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