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Beyond Meat partnering with McDonald’s, Yum! Brands

PeopleImages/iStock/Getty Images handshake over business deal
Collaborations with McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell seek to create new menu plant-based menu items.

Beyond Meat recently announced it has established agreements with two large restaurant entities. The company has entered a three-year global strategic agreement with McDonald’s Corporation and has also established a partnership with Yum! Brands, which is the parent company for restaurants including KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut.

As part of the agreement, Beyond Meat will be McDonald’s preferred supplier for the patty in the McPlant, a new plant-based burger being tested in select McDonald’s markets globally. Additionally, Beyond Meat and McDonald’s will explore co-developing other plant-based menu items – like plant-based options for chicken, pork, and egg – as part of McDonald’s broader McPlant platform.

The agreement will bring together McDonald’s iconic global brand with Beyond Meat's leading expertise in plant-based protein development to create and market innovative new plant-based menu offerings. This announcement further solidifies the relationship between McDonald’s and Beyond Meat, which began in 2019 with the Canadian test of a sandwich made with Beyond Meat’s plant-based patty.

“Our new McPlant platform is all about giving customers more choices when they visit McDonald’s,” said Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s executive vice president and chief supply chain officer. “We’re excited to work with Beyond Meat to drive innovation in this space and entering into this strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers.”

Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder & CEO, commented, “We are proud to enter into this strategic global agreement with McDonald’s, an exciting milestone for Beyond Meat, and look forward to serving McDonald's as they bring expanded choice to menus globally. We will combine the power of Beyond Meat’s rapid and relentless approach to innovation with the strength of McDonald’s global brand to introduce craveable, new plant-based menu items that consumers will love.”

The partnership with Yum! Brands will entail co-creating menu items that can only be found at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell over the next several years. Beyond Meat and Yum! Brands expect to leverage their industry-leading research and development capabilities to meet the evolving tastes of the consumers of today and tomorrow.

“We are honored to enter into a global strategic partnership with Yum! Brands, one of the world's largest restaurant companies. We look forward to expanding our work with the teams at Yum's iconic KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands to together bring truly delicious plant-based product innovation to consumers," said Brown.

Beyond Meat’s strategic partnership with Yum! Brands will be an expansion of the companies’ growing track record of collaborations to offer delicious and sustainable plant-based products. KFC was the first national U.S. quick-service restaurant to introduce plant-based chicken when it tested Beyond Fried Chicken at an Atlanta-area restaurant in 2019. Since the initial rollout, KFC has expanded testing of Beyond Fried Chicken in other U.S. cities. In 2020, Pizza Hut U.S. launched the Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and the Great Beyond Pizza nationwide, becoming the first national pizza chain to introduce a plant-based meat pizza coast-to-coast.

Through the collaboration, Yum! Brands said it will build on its tradition of food innovation and creating new consumer markets for industry-defining items and increase the number of plant-based options that appeal to flexitarians, those looking to incorporate plant-based meat or more diverse protein options into their diets.

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