PETA to ‘Grill’ McDonald’s Over McPlant Rollout

For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2022

Robin Goist 202-483-7382


When McDonald’s holds its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow, PETA will be there to plant a question to company executives about what plans are in the works for a well-advertised, nationwide launch of the new vegan McPlant burger.

PETA will point out that McDonald’s could easily replicate its successful U.K. release of the McPlant, yet the chain has only tested the meat-free burger in a handful of select U.S. markets—and its promotion of the patty on this side of the pond was so lacking that PETA had to step in. The group gave away 10,000 McPlants in 10 days—sans mayo and cheese to make it vegan, of course—to delighted recipients in the San Francisco and Dallas–Fort Worth areas, but the sluggish rollout on McDonald’s part has PETA questioning whether the chain is truly invested in the McPlant’s success in the U.S.

“It would be no biggie for McDonald’s to satisfy the skyrocketing consumer demand for a juicy vegan burger option, yet it’s dragging its heels,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the company to dish up its delicious McPlant nationwide.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s shareholder question follows.

My name is Mary Robles, and I’m here on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

After undeniably escalating customer demand, McDonald’s finally began testing its McPlant burger in the United States, reflecting the consumer-driven expansion of vegan food in the quick service restaurant industry. While we were beyond pleased to see the company moving in this direction, we have been baffled that the McPlant has only been trialed in three markets and that there has been minimal advertising and marketing to promote it, which makes us wonder whether McDonald’s is serious about this initiative. Most people had no idea the McPlant was on offer.

International markets have seen strong performance for plant-based burgers. A market test of the McPlant in the United Kingdom and Ireland led to market wide rollouts. That launch was supported by extensive company marketing, including a robust joint marketing program across TV, radio, social media, public relations, mobile, and digital elements. McDonald’s efforts in the U.S. are depressing compared to the ambitious launch and success of the McPlant in the U.K., something this company can easily replicate here.

My question is this: At a time when demand for vegan food in the U.S. has skyrocketed and is still growing, thanks to consumer awareness of animal welfare, public health, and the climate catastrophe issues associated with meat production and consumption, when will McDonald’s get serious about this issue and launch a McPlant trial nationwide with a robust advertising and marketing campaign?

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