Beyond Meat strikes deals with McDonald’s, Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell)

Will Kreznick

The move follows successful collaborations with both companies (KFC has tested Beyond Fried Chicken in several US cities, while Pizza Hut launched the Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and the Great Beyond Pizza nationwide last year). Going forward, Beyond Meat will be the preferred supplier of the plant-based patty in McDonald’s […]

The move follows successful collaborations with both companies (KFC has tested Beyond Fried Chicken in several US cities, while Pizza Hut launched the Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and the Great Beyond Pizza nationwide last year).

Going forward, Beyond Meat will be the preferred supplier of the plant-based patty in McDonald’s new McPlant burger (currently being tested in Sweden and Denmark with more markets to follow later this year), and will work with the fast food giant on plant-based chicken, pork and egg menu items.

It will also co-develop ‘craveable and innovative plant-based protein menu items’ for Pizza Hut, KGC, and Taco Bell, said CEO Ethan Brown, who told analysts Thursday that, “It is my strong belief that partnerships of this nature, with partners of this caliber, are required to accelerate our flywheel of availability and scale driven cost reduction, a dominant theme in our bid for ubiquity among consumers here in the US and abroad.”

At this stage, Beyond Meat is not providing further details of the collaborations, which are “enormous​,” he said, adding: “Any activity is likely to skew towards the latter part of this year, so the potential impact in 2021 is likely to be fairly modest.” 

He didn’t go into specifics on the ‘PLANeT partnership​’ with PepsiCo, but said the partners would provide an “expanded portfolio of snack and beverage products designed to advance the health of consumers and the planet alike.”

“Entering into this strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers.”

Francesca DeBiase, EVP and chief supply chain officer, McDonald’s

“Given the consumer response during recent tests with Beyond Meat, we’re excited about the long-term potential plant-based protein menu items have to attract more customers to our brands, especially younger consumers.”

Chris Turner, CFO, Yum! Brands  

“McDonald’s and Yum Brands have doubled down on plant-based meat and have demonstrated the long-term potential they see in the category. This is the clearest sign yet that the future of meat will be plant-based.

When these restaurant chains move, the entire food industry takes notice.”

Bruce Friedrich, executive director, The Good Food Institute

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