We knew this one was coming, right?
Today, McDonald’s (MCD) announced that it would begin a test of the PLT, the plant, lettuce and tomato burger, for 12 weeks in 28 restaurants in south-western Ontario.
The move mirrors but trails (by six months) the introduction of the plant-based Impossible burger Whopper at Burger King. (Which is owned by Restaurant Brands (QSR), a member of my Jubak Picks Portfolio.)
The news had almost no effect on shares of McDonald’s, which closed off 0.01% today. But it super-charged shares of Beyond Meat (BYND), McDonald’s supplier in the test.
Shares of Beyond Meat finished up 11.58% today and stock is now up 242% from the $45 price of its May initial public offering The shares peaked at $234.90 on July 26 and have been in retreat since then as investors and traders have taken profits ahead of the entry of other, bigger food companies into the plant-based burger market. Those worries got a bump today when Nestle announced that it would begin testing a plant-based burger and a plant-based ground beef analog in the United States. Beyond Meat closed at $154.34 today
The plant-based meat trend, though, looks like it is still rippling out into new markets. Last month KFC began testing plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings at an Atlanta restaurant in partnership with Beyond Meat. Carl’s Jr and Del Taco are also selling Beyond Meat products. Tim Hortons has tested a Beyond Meat breakfast sausage in Canada. Impossible Foods announced in May that it was making meatless “sausage” crumbles for the Little Caesars pizza chain in some states. Fans of Wendy’s have begun a petition to get the chain to add a plant-based burger to the menu.