Beyond Meat inks deal with McDonald's and Yum Brands

LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES - 2020/02/01: Plant-based Beyond Meat products seen in a Target superstore. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Plant-based food company Beyond Meat will be partnering with several major fast food chains in the coming years to expand offerings that could eventually include plant-based burgers, chalupas or toppings on a stuffed-crust pizza.

Beyond Meat on Thursday announced distribution agreements with McDonald's as well as with Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

The company based in El Segundo, California, said it will develop plant-based products for all the restaurants, with exclusive menu items for each brand.

Beyond Meat had limited partnerships with McDonald's and Yum Brands before, testing its products in limited geographies or with only an item or two. The companies are now expanding those ties.

Chicago-based McDonald's will use the Beyond Meat partnership to roll out what it is calling the "McPlant" burger, as well as eventually plant-based pork, egg and chicken products.

Yum will use Beyond Meat to expand its "Beyond Fried Chicken" products, as well as pizza toppings at Pizza Hut. Yum, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, did not lay out specific menu options for Taco Bell.

Plant-based food products that are designed to imitate meat have grown in popularity in the last few years and several large restaurant chains are now experimenting with food science to make healthier and more environmentally friendly products for customers. Burger King has partnered with Impossible Foods to provide products that use plant-based products as well.