After a small trial “blew all the expectations out of the water,” the meat-free burger is expanding its reach.
Back in October, McDonald’s announced that it would be trying out its first-ever vegan hamburger, fittingly called the McVegan. Not long ago, that name would have read like something from a satirical science fiction film, and even today, the idea would probably make some red meat-loving Americans wince… which might explain why the McVegan was only tested in Finland. But turns out, the Finnish really took to the McVegan, and now the meat-free burger is getting added to permanent menus and expanding its reach.
Despite a small and short trial run in just one city—Tampere—over the course of just seven weeks, the McVegan has been billed as a huge success by the burger giant. “The test in Finland blew all the expectations out of the water,” Staffan Ekstam, Head of Food Strategy at McDonald’s in Sweden, said according to Business Insider. As a result, the McVegan is getting a full national rollout, not just in Finland but also in neighboring Sweden where the burger was developed. There, the vegan offering will sell for 49 Swedish krona, or about $5.80, described as less than other items on the menu and also cheaper than the vegetarian burgers being sold by rival chain, Max.
If the success of a vegan burger at McDonald’s sound surprising, credit is probably due to the brand for actually putting in the work to create an option customers would like. The McVegan reportedly went through over 100 iterations before McDonald’s and Swedish vegan food brand Anamma decided on the final recipe, said to be soy-based and neutral-tasting. However, if the fast food giant feels like this new creation might appeal to American palates, it’s staying mum on that topic for the moment. Business Insider wrote, “McDonald’s Swedish press officer Henrik Nerell is reluctant to speculate on the subject, saying he can’t predict what local decisions other countries will make.” Unpredictable decisions? Yeah, that sounds pretty American.