Plant-based food maker Beyond Meat will be teaming up with major fast-food chains in the coming years to expand menus that could eventually include plant-based pizza and burger patties, according to a report by Reuters and Bloomberg on Friday.
Beyond Meat said it has signed multi-year supply deals with McDonald's and Yum! Brands, underscoring customers' appetite for vegetable-based alternatives and Beyond Meat's strong market position.
Yum! Brands is the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. McDonald's and Yum are two of the world's largest restaurant companies.
As part of a three-year deal with McDonald's, Beyond Meat will be the preferred supplier for McDonald's new plant-based burger, the McPlant.
The company wants the McPlant to be an entire platform that offers other menu items, like veggie-based options for pork, chicken and egg. Beyond Meat said it will also create a plant-based menu for Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.
Beyond Meat and McDonald's first worked together in 2019 on a test of a vegie-based burger in Canada that has since ended.
Plant-based food products that are designed to imitate meat have risen in popularity during the last couple of years and many large restaurant chains are now using food science to develop more environmentally friendly products for consumers.
Meanwhile, pandemic-triggered lockdowns have dealt a heavy blow on sales of Beyond Meat's burgers, sausages and meatballs over the past six months. Despite this, chief executive Ethan Brown said they are "starting to see a little bit of stabilization in food service."
Beyond Meat's shares were up 14% to $164 a share in extended trading Thursday on the announcements despite fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of analyst estimates. McDonald's settled at 210.95, down 1.11%.
The El Segundo, California-based company posted a loss of 34 cents a share, compared to the consensus projection of 13 cents per share, on $101.9 million revenue, below the consensus estimate of $103.2 million in sales.