McDonald's Is Testing Meat-Free McNuggets — But There's a Catch

You'll likely have to book a flight to try them.

Chicken-less McChicken Nuggets

Courtesy of McDonald's

In 2020, McDonald's introduced its McPlant line to offer plant-based burgers to its hungry patrons. And now, it’s testing chicken-free McNuggets to potentially add to its worldwide lineup, too. 

McDees announced its customers in Germany will have exclusive access to the new McPlant Nuggets at all 1,400 locations starting on Feb. 22, 2023. 

The highly-anticipated chicken-free nuggets are made from peas, corn, wheat, and tempura batter, using a recipe the fast food giant made in collaboration with Beyond Meat, according to the Associated Press

A spokesperson for the brand shared with the AP that the future of the McPlant Nuggets depends on customer demand in Germany. So if you’re looking to get your hands on them, you’ll have to either hope Germans love them enough to make McDonald’s want to expand the product to other markets, or plan a trip to the European nation asap. 

So, why Germany? It appears the plant-based alternatives have been a much larger success in European markets for Mcdonald's. For example, in 2022, Michelle Graham-Clare, CMO of McDonald's U.K. and Ireland, shared in a press release, "We saw a remarkable response to the trial period back in October, and now McPlant is on the high-street."

However, when McDonald’s introduced the same McPlant burger in 2021 in the U.S., its performance was rather lackluster, according to Peter Saleh, an analyst with BTIG. Saleh told reporters, “Franchisee sentiment is that these figures don’t leave franchisees outside the test markets clamoring for the product and are not enough to warrant a national rollout.” 

And, as Food & Wine reported, in the end, McDonald’s ended the test of the McPlant burger and did not announce any plans for its return. 

Still, the European McDonald's team is excited about the expansion into meat-free menu items. As Graham-Clare shared in 2022, "We're proud to once again be offering our customers more great-tasting options from McDonald's. It's our same iconic taste – but plant-based."

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