McDonald’s Drops Bill Gates’ Fake Meat Burgers After Huge Customer Rejection!

Written by James Bennett.

Joe Erlinger, McDonald’s U.S. president, recently admitted that their plant-based McPlant burger was a failure with customers. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal Global Food Forum, Erlinger stated the company has no plans to reintroduce plant-based options following unsuccessful trials in San Francisco and Dallas.

“It was not successful in either market,” Erlinger said. He emphasized that American consumers do not come to McDonald’s seeking plant-based proteins. The chain previously partnered with Beyond Meat to create the McPlant burgers and nuggets, but the lack of interest has led them to remove these options from the menu.

While plant-based foods are currently off the table, Erlinger did not dismiss the potential return of salads if there is sufficient demand. “If people really want salads from McDonald’s, we will gladly relaunch salads,” he said. However, he noted that consumers typically come to McDonald’s for french fries, $5 meal deals, and hot, fresh sandwiches.

Focus on Value Meals and Promotions

In response to rising inflation, McDonald’s has introduced a $5 value meal to attract customers. Launched on June 25, the package includes a McChicken or McDouble, small fries, a small drink, and a four-piece McNugget meal. This promotion is expected to last about four weeks.

To further entice customers, McDonald’s is offering free french fries every Friday until the end of 2024, as long as the purchase is made through the mobile app. This move aims to recapture lost customers and compete in the value meal market. Other fast-food giants like Wendy’s, Burger King, and Starbucks have also launched similar promotional campaigns to draw customers back.

Shifting Focus to Chicken

With the demand for protein consumption on the rise, McDonald’s is shifting its focus to chicken. “We sell more chicken today as a brand than we do beef,” Erlinger stated, reflecting on his experience working as a manager at a McDonald’s in Chicago at age 30. “We’re poised to serve that trend well and that’s where we’re making investments.”

This shift aligns with current consumer trends, as more people opt for chicken over beef. McDonald’s aims to capitalize on this preference by enhancing their chicken offerings and ensuring they meet customer demand for high-quality, affordable meals.

Our Take

McDonald’s decision to drop plant-based burgers highlights a clear disconnect between corporate initiatives and consumer preferences. While the idea of plant-based options appeals to some, the general McDonald’s customer base remains uninterested. This misalignment serves as a reminder that companies should prioritize understanding their customers’ wants and needs over following trends. Moreover, McDonald’s renewed focus on value meals and chicken products is a strategic move to retain and attract customers amid economic challenges. Ensuring that customer satisfaction remains at the forefront will be crucial for maintaining loyalty and driving growth.

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