A recipe that took over three years to engineer, the McPlant will become available in parts of the UK later this month.
Modelled after their famous Quarter Pounder Deluxe and containing no more than 420 calories (we see what you did there McDonald's), a handful of locations in Coventry will be the first to test drive the entirely plant-based burger. The McPlant, which will be retailing for £3.49, has been produced in collaboration with alternative meat brand Beyond Meat and Irish dairy supplier Kerry Foods who came up with a unique vegan cheese recipe.
The cheese slices are made up of pea protein that are actually somewhat comparable to what real cheese tastes like. This is why it took McDonald's so long to come up with the perfect vegan burger recipe. As it turns out, the cheese slices were the final and longest ingredient to perfect. Food and innovation direction Grainne Allen explained:
The cheese was the most complex and challenging element. It took us months. It became the real focus. We tried hundreds of different options but none worked. In the end we worked with Kerry Foods to create our own.
'We wanted to create the perfect build'
The burger will contain—in addition to the bespoke patty and cheese—a plant-based sandwich sauce, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. A spokeswoman for the fast food giant said:
We wanted to create the perfect build, with the same flavours, textures, tenderness and succulence of a traditional meat-based burger. It took us longer [than other brands] because we needed to get the consistency right. Customers expect a certain taste when they visit McDonald’s.
The build is really important – even how we stack ingredients together has an effect on the experience. Covid also delayed things, because we have to assign dedicated space in kitchens to ensure the burger is vegan-approved.
The McPlant will become available everywhere in the UK from January 2022.