The world’s largest fast-food chain is launching a plant-based menu.
McDonald’s Hong Kong is the first major fast-food chain to bring on a vegan pork option. The menu expansion features OmniFoods’ plant-based OmniPork at more than 400 Hong Kong locations.
OmniFoods is an offshoot of Hong Kong’s Green Monday, a Meatless Monday style campaign launched by entrepreneur David Yeung. Green Monday has worked with a number of restaurants across the region to introduce vegan and plant-based menu items. It also operates a chain of plant-based shops and restaurants called Green Common. Last month, Green Monday announced that it had raised $70 million to expand its vegan offerings.
“Today is one of the most exhilarating days in the history of Green Monday. To partner with McDonald’s is absolutely a dream come true. This is without a doubt the most monumental and game-changing breakthrough for the plant-based movement in Asia, and one of the biggest milestones globally,” David Yeung, co-founder and CEO of Green Monday told Hong Kong-based website Green Queen.
The new menu features six options made with the vegan pork including OmniPork Luncheon & Scrambled Egg Burger, OmniPork Luncheon N’ Egg Twisty Pasta, OmniPork Luncheon Deluxe and Jumbo Breakfasts, OmniPork Luncheon & Egg Cheesy Toast, and OmniPork Luncheon & Egg Mayo Ciabatta.
Vegan Fast Food Demand
The announcement moves McDonald’s closer toward its competitors in capitalizing on the demand for vegan food. That demand has been on the uptick since the pandemic began in March, particularly as investors shift away from meat.
While McDonald’s has several plant-based and vegan options throughout Europe, it’s yet to offer U.S. customers a substantial alternative. Its chief competitor, Burger King, has been successful with its Impossible Whopper, which features the vegan Impossible Burger patty. KFC has also seen success trialing vegan chicken across U.S. stores.
McDonald’s has been promising shareholders and customers it’s working on upgrading its menu to meet current demands. But it’s most recent menu additions, three new sugary pastries introduced in the U.S. last week, earned criticism. Saturday Night Live’s News Update host and head writer Michael Che condemned the items for their high sugar content, making a diabetes reference, “They’re all available for “the low, low price of one of your feet.”
But the OmniPork announcement could be a sign of things to come for the chain. While there’s no official word if the partnership will expand to mainland China or other markets, launching in a historically meat-heavy culture points to wholesale shifts for McDonald’s.
“After 20 years as a vegetarian, I can once again say I’m loving it,” said Yeung.
The new menu items launch tomorrow at more than 400 locations.