September 26, 2019 / 7:02 PM / 2 months ago

Impossible or Beyond: U.S. restaurants find partners to go vegan

(Reuters) - The world’s largest burger chain McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) said on Thursday it would test a plant-based meat product with Beyond Meat (BYND.O) patties in Canada, joining several other chains looking to serve vegan customers.

Plant-based fast food has been the latest craze as diners become more conscious of how their food is sourced and its impact on the environment, giving a big boost to Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, two of the biggest players to launch faux meats.

Both companies have been striking deals with restaurants and retailers to cash in on the popularity of meatless burgers. Here is a list of partnerships in North America:

BEYOND MEAT: The company has captured a wide audience for its imitation meat patties and sausages made of protein from peas, brown rice, sunflower seeds and mung beans that have a non-genetically modified organism verification.

McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N)

The burger chain will test its P.L.T or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger, a play on the traditional bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, in southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Price: C$6.49+ ($4.89+)

KFC

Yum Brands Inc’s (YUM.N) fried-chicken chain ran a successful trial in a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, last month where it served six or 12-piece combo plant-based nugget meals and boneless wings. It is yet to announce whether it would roll out its vegan product nationally.

Price: nugget meals - $6.49+; boneless wings - $6+

Del Taco Restaurants Inc (TACO.O)

The taco chain makes burrito and tacos with Beyond Meat’s crumbles, with additions ranging from cheese, avocado, tomatoes available at more than 580 restaurants in the United States.

Price: Taco - $2.69+, Buritto - $4.49+

Tim Hortons

Restaurant Brand International’s (QSR.TO) breakfast chain serves breakfast wraps, muffins and burgers using the Beyond Meat sausage and burger patties in Canada’s Ontario and British Columbia provinces.

Price: C$4.96+ ($3.74+)

Carl’s Jr

The fast-food chain launched its “Beyond Famous Star” burger in Canada in August, building on the success of the burger in the United States where it was launched in the beginning of the year.

Price: $6.29+

IMPOSSIBLE FOODS: The company’s burgers contain a genetically modified yeast that creates the key ingredient, heme, and makes the patties appear bloody and juicy and taste like meat. Other ingredients include wheat, soy and potato proteins.

Burger King

Restaurant Brands’ burger chain serves the “Impossible Whopper” in the United States. The company began testing the burger in 59 stores in and around St. Louis, Missouri, earlier this year, before rolling it out nationally.

Price: $6.49+

White Castle

The Impossible slider, a plant-based meat version of its popular burger, is sold in most U.S. restaurants. Its popularity during the start of the trend led to a sharp shortage of vegan patties.

Price: $1.99+

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc (RRGB.O)

The vegan cheeseburger from the burger chain comes with steak fries and has been in the market since April. The chain is said to have received several queries on the availability of the burger when news of shortage broke.

Price: $13.79

($1 = 1.3263 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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