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

(Reuters) - The world's largest burger chain McDonald's Corp MCD.N said this month that it would expand its test of a plant-based meat product with Beyond Meat BYND.O patties in Canada, and other chains also are looking to serve vegan customers.

FILE PHOTO: The McDonald's logo is seen outside the fast-food chain McDonald's in New York, U.S., October 22, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Plant-based fast food has grown more popular as diners become more conscious of how their food is sourced and its impact on the environment. The craze has given 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 tested its P.L.T. - or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger, a play on the traditional BLT, or bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich - in southwestern Ontario, Canada last year. It is now expanding the test to more locations in the area.

Price: C$6.49+ ($4.89+)


Yum Brands Inc's YUM.N fried-chicken chain ran a successful trial in August in a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, where it served six or 12-piece combo plant-based nugget meals and boneless wings. It has yet to announce whether it will 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+

Carl’s Jr

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

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 tested it in and around St. Louis, Missouri, before rolling it out nationally in August. It has since added an Impossible patty to its kids and value menus.

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; Additional reporting by Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur and David Gregorio