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Who doesn’t know that big golden yellow M sign, a place known for its burgers and fries with green-yellow sauce. It is a suitable place for millions of people worldwide to fill their stomachs and let the children loose in the colorful playground. Of course we’re talking about the world’s largest fast food chain named McDonald’s ($MCD). Today, the company unveiled more about its plans for the McPlant, a proprietary plant-based product to reduce the meat production. It would also concern meat substitutes for vegetarian variants of burgers such as the well-known McChicken.
This also means that the menu for vegetarians and vegans can be expanded and improved, what to think of the image that can significantly change the fast food chain. McDonald’s has announced that it will launch the McPlant-Test in various markets next year. In the United States, not many people seem enthusiastic yet about a vegetarian expansion, while in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands the addition of plant-based products to fast-food menus has proven to be a success.
In 2019, McDonald’s and partner Beyond Meat ($ BYND) already tested a veggie burger in Canada, but McDonald’s stopped the pilot earlier this year to start a new plan to make its own plant-based product for the McPlant. Burger King, the big rival owned by Restaurant Brands International, released a plant-based whopper in the United States last year, it is patty made by privately-owned Impossible Foods.
The development follows earlier speculation on the internet that McDonald’s would like to partner with Beyond Meat in the United States for a longer period of time. In response, BYND shares fell nearly 5%, while McDonald’s previously rose with 4%, thanks in part to strong national Q3 results. The company reported that global comparable store sales were down 2.2% in Q3 to meet consensus expectations in this way. On a sequential basis, comparable sales results for all segments improved over this period.
McDonald’s EPS beat predictions by $0.32 and also had better sales than initially expected. The turnover of $5.42 billion (-1.5% year-to-year) is therefore higher in value of $50 million. To further increase the numbers, McDonald’s had an investor meeting today to further comment on the third quarter results and future plans.
More details were shared on driving digital revenue growth, implementing its technical investments and building new restaurants. In addition, the effects of the global pandemic and the plan for a rapid recovery of the fast food chain were also discussed. It seems the menu must change – for example in addition to the McPlant – a chicken sandwich has also been discussed. This is necessary to compete with Chick-Fil-A and Popeyes, two rivals now known for their very popular chicken sandwich. With this, McDonald’s seems to want to take two steps at the time, by not only taking on the competition but also launching a vegetable variant on the market.
Finally, the company wants to force a boost by building more drive-thrus and realizing a better digital platform. This also in view of the current pandemic and its possible after effects. The Q3 results showed that the current drive-thrus and digital platforms have been critical for the revenue. McDonald’s itself speaks of a “substantially comparable worldwide sales recovery”.
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