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McDonald’s McPlant burger selling better than expected, analyst says

The McPlant, McDonald’s meatless burger that was concocted jointly with Beyond Meat, is selling better than expected, according to a senior analyst. Each of the eight select McDonald’s locations that first began offering the McPlant to customers in November sold around 70 of the meatless sandwiches every day in December, according to Piper Sandler analyst Michael Lavery. Lavery’s earlier projections had McDonald’s selling a third of that figure, according to CNBC. That’s impressive, according to Lavery, given that the average McDonald’s restaurant sells 110 of its signature Big Macs each day. Last week, the fast food giant announced that it would be expanding its pilot roll-out of the McPlant to 600 new locations throughout Texas and California. Lavery predicted that consumer demand for the McPlant would translate to an additional $75 million to $100 million in revenue for Beyond Meat. “While we believe test stores likely received a lift from exclusivity (drawing some sales from nearby stores that did not offer it), and that sustainable, repeat sales will settle in at a much lower rate; initial McPlant sales could prove to be closer to 8% to 10% of burger sales, or $170 million to $215 million (annualized),” he wrote. Shares of McDonald’s rose by more than 1% in morning trading on Wall Street on Wednesday. Beyond Meat’s stock price rose by nearly 3%. McDonald’s has already rolled out the McPlant in several European markets, including Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, and the United Kingdom. The meat-free patty is made from ingredients including peas, rice and potatoes, and it will be served on a sesame seed bun with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and American cheese, the company said. McDonald’s has been slower to jump on the white-hot plant-based meat trend than its peers. Burger King introduced its meatless burger, the Impossible Whopper, in August 2019. Wendy’s and Taco Bell have also introduced meatless options on their menus. Beyond Meat, the Los Angeles-based maker of plant-based meat alternatives, continues to partner with legacy companies in the food and beverage space. It has collaborated with Kentucky Fried Chicken to introduce Beyond Nuggets and more initiatives are anticipated with chains like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

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