Beyond Meat strikes deal with McDonald’s, Yum

Will Kreznick

Plant-based meat alternative company Beyond Meat on Thursday announced two new multiyear partnerships with McDonald’s and Yum Brands fast-food chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.  The meat alternative company unveiled the agreements in separate press releases. The global partnership with McDonald’s is set to last three years, with Beyond […]

Plant-based meat alternative company Beyond Meat on Thursday announced two new multiyear partnerships with McDonald’s and Yum Brands fast-food chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. 

The meat alternative company unveiled the agreements in separate press releases. The global partnership with McDonald’s is set to last three years, with Beyond Meat becoming the fast-food restaurant’s “preferred supplier for the patty in the McPlant®, a new plant-based burger being tested in select McDonald’s markets globally.” 

Additionally, Beyond Meat said that it will work with McDonald’s to develop other plant-based menu items, including alternatives for chicken, pork and egg. 

In another press release, Beyond Meat said its agreement with Yum Brands will help create “craveable and innovative plant-based protein menu items that can only be found at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell over the next several years.”

Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, said in statements Thursday that the McDonald’s partnership is “an exciting milestone for Beyond Meat,” adding that the company “will combine the power of Beyond Meat’s rapid and relentless approach to innovation with the strength of McDonald’s global brand to introduce craveable, new plant-based menu items that consumers will love.”

Brown said that Beyond Meat was “honored to enter into a global strategic partnership with Yum! Brands, one of the world’s largest restaurant companies.”

“We look forward to expanding our work with the teams at Yum’s iconic KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands to together bring truly delicious plant-based product innovation to consumers,” he added. 

McDonald’s executive vice president and chief supply chain officer Francesca DeBiase said its partnership with Beyond Meat is “all about giving customers more choices when they visit McDonald’s.” 

Chris Turner, CFO for Yum Brands, said that it had recently run consumer tests with Beyond Meat and, given the positive feedback, was “excited about the long-term potential plant-based protein menu items have to attract more customers to our brands, especially younger consumers.” 

The agreements are the latest in a series of major partnerships with Beyond Meat, whose products have become increasingly popular among vegetarian and vegan consumers and those looking for more environmentally-friendly food products. 

PepsiCo late last month announced a partnership with Beyond Meat to create new plant-based snacks and drinks. Shares of Beyond Meat rose by about 31 percent after its partnership with PepsiCo was announced.

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