Animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) recently wrapped up a free public giveaway of McDonald’s McPlant burgers across cities in Texas and California. The promotion was designed to increase visibility and sales for the Beyond Meat-made burger, which is still in a limited testing phase.
According to preliminary sales reports, the organization succeeded in its goals: the giveaway led to a much-needed sales boost for the McPlant, which has reportedly seen slower demand since its rollout expanded from eight to 600 Mcdonald’s stores in February.
10,000 burgers in 10 days
PETA worked with Mcdonald’s operators to place bulk orders for the McPlants in cities from Dallas, Irving and Fort Worth to Oakland and San Francisco, reports Bloomberg. During the campaign, which started in late March, PETA staged a series of giveaways to hand out free McPlants (with no mayo or cheese) to passersby on the street and even from moving trolley cars.
Marley Delgado, a PETA McPlant campaign coordinator, said the success of the McPlant “will save millions of animals’ lives, which is our ultimate goal.” She added, “It’s helping sales, getting the word out there.”
From protests to promotions
PETA has a long history of protesting McDonald’s negligible track record of improving welfare standards for the farm animals used in its supply chains. The non-profit has also spent decades urging the fast-food giant to introduce a plant-based burger option. With the long-awaited debut of the vegan-friendly McPlant burger, PETA says it is pulling out all stops to ensure the item’s long-term success.
The group is also running an online petition asking McDonald’s to bring the McPlant to US cities nationwide. The petition so far has 27,000+ signatures.
Joey Blanton, a McDonald’s franchisee in Fort Worth, TX, says he sells the McPlant for $5.39 – about the same cost as a quarter pounder. While the McPlant has not yet been selling as quickly as other items, Blanton states PETA’s efforts have led to a definite sales bump.
“We saw an uptick in sales after that,” Blanton told Bloomberg. “PETA bought basically a bulk purchase for them to give away, that alone helped our numbers on the units sold per week.”