McDonald’s launches McPlant Nuggets, a plant-based version of Chicken McNuggets

Starting February 22, McDonald’s and Beyond Meat are expanding their line of McPlant plant-based products – adding a plant-based version of McPlant Nuggets in Germany.

Plant Chicken McNuggets

McPlant Nuggets are made with peas, corn, wheat and tempura breadcrumbs. The international fast food chain has also added McPlant plant-based burgers to the menu at its German outlets. McDonald’s and Beyond Meat have been working together since 2019, when they signed a three-year deal that made Beyond Meat the preferred patty supplier for McDonald’s McPlant burgers. Since then, the plant-based burger has been permanently added to McDonald’s menus in the UK, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands and now Germany.

Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken has been available to restaurants since it refined the recipe in mid-2021. But the new McPlant Nuggets are an exclusive recipe from McDonald’s in Germany.

Chicken McNuggets

Plant-Based Fast Food Demand

Many fast food chains including Burger King, KFC and Subway have introduced plant-based options to their menus in recent years to cater to health-conscious consumers looking to reduce their meat intake. Recently, McDonald’s rival Chick-fil-A added a cauliflower plant-based sandwich option.

Chicken McNuggets Burgers

Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Plant-Based Sandwich

While McDonald’s and Beyond Meat have been expanding the availability of their McPlant products in Europe, it’s unclear when the McPlant line will reappear in the U.S. and beyond. McDonald’s and Beyond wrap up U.S. testing of McPlant’s plant-based burger in 2022, and haven’t announced any other plans.

The market for plant-based meat alternatives is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. According to a recent MarketsandMarkets report, the global plant-based meat market is expected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2020 to $8.3 billion by 2025. The report cites rising consumer demand for plant-based products, along with improved taste and texture of plant-based products, as key factors driving the market.

Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat has been at the forefront of this trend, developing meat alternatives made from plant-based ingredients. Beyond Meat will be selling plant-based chicken in stores across the U.S. starting in 2021. The company is also working with restaurant chains such as KFC and Panda Express to develop plant-based meat products.