McDonald’s announced Thursday that it will begin testing its Beyond Meat McPlant burger in the U.S. for a limited time. 

The fast-food giant said the “small-scale test” at eight restaurants will help it understand how offering traditional burgers and plant-based patties affects kitchens. The experiment will start November 3 in Irving and Carrollton, Texas, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jennings and Lake Charles, Louisiana, and El Segundo and Manhattan, Beach, California. 

The McPlant patty is composed of ingredients like peas, rice, and potatoes. It’s served on a sesame seed bun with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and a slice of American cheese. The item has already been introduced in various overseas markets, including Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, and most recently the U.K.

“You’ll have to stay tuned for future McPlant availability updates coming out of our test…we can’t share that secret sauce just yet,” the company said in a statement. 

McDonald’s first announced its McPlant lineup in the fall of 2020. In February, the chain revealed that it had chosen Beyond Meat as its preferred supplier and that the two sides will explore co-developing other alternatives, such as plant-based options for chicken, pork, and egg. Prior to the solidified partnership, McDonald’s and Beyond Meat tested a plant-based patty in 2019 in Canada, called the P.L.T. CNBC reported the pilot ended by April 2020, and that the company has no plans to bring it back. 

The burger brand’s upcoming U.S. test follows a quickly accelerating trend in the restaurant industry. Earlier in October, Burger King said it was testing plant-based Impossible Nuggets, described as “golden-brown crispy breading on the outside and a tender, juicy bite on the inside.” In April 2019, Burger King first tested the Impossible Whopper in roughly 60 restaurants, and launched the item nationwide four months later. Then in June 2020, the chain released an Impossible Croissan’wich sandwich

Additionally, in June, Wendy’s began testing a new plant-based Spicy Black Bean Burger in Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, and Jacksonville, Florida. The black bean patty features a blend of spices and is layered with chipotle jalapeños, melted pepper jack cheese, spicy chipotle sauce, tomatoes, onion slices, and lettuce. Around the same time, Taco Bell introduced the Naked Chicken Chalupa with a plant-based shell that’s made from a pea protein-based proprietary blend. The item was tested at a store in Irvine, California, for a short period. 

A report by Meticulous Research in 2020 said the plant-based food market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.9 percent to reach 74.2 billion by 2027. 

Fast Food, Menu Innovations, Story, McDonald's