Earlier this month, McDonald’s Germany announced the nationwide launch of the McPlant burger and McPlant nuggets in Germany.
Since the launch, social media outrage has ensued in the country, as it has emerged that these products are neither suitable for vegans nor vegetarians due to the sauces used in their preparation and that the products may come into contact with animal flesh when prepared on the same grill.
Vegan options removed
Additionally, with the introduction of these products, vegan-friendly burgers are removed from the menu. McDonald’s Germany has omitted the vegan burgers “Veganburger TS” and “Fresh Vegan TS” from menus, citing low demand, exchanging them for the Beyond Meat products, with the burger apparently containing cheese and an egg-based sauce.
McDonald’s openly states “not vegan or vegetarian”
Various German publications have reported over the past few days that the patties and nuggets may come into contact with animal meat and that milk and eggs are included in the recipe. The company said to RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland that “the beef alternatives can come into contact with meat during grilling. Therefore, the plant-based beef burgers are not automatically vegan and free of animal products.”
The McDonald’s homepage states that “because it is topped with processed cheese preparation and sandwich sauce that contain milk and eggs, and the patties are prepared on the same grill as the meat, it is not vegan or vegetarian”.
Lazer focused on the flexitarian
It is no surprise that such products are aimed squarely at the flexitarian which has always represented the primary consumer of “plant-based” fast food items. However, veganism is thriving in Germany, and the inclusion of a non-vegetarian sauce and the omission of a fully vegan option will of course be disappointing to many.
“The two products are designed to encourage guests to try meat-free alternatives and discover them for themselves,” McDonald’s states in a press release. “The new plant-based offering of the new McPlant platform is basically aimed at all our guests and specifically at flexitarians. We want to offer good plant-based alternatives with the new platform and are happy if we can encourage one or the other to give up meat now and then.”