McDonald’s Adds Its First Meatless Options to the Menu in China

|Updated Mar 26, 2021
Green Monday

Fast-food giant McDonald’s debuted its first plant-based meat option in China: A vegan spam sandwich made by Hong Kong company OmniPork. The restaurant rolled out this plant-based meat option in three cities across China: Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. The McDonald’s menus in China now include the OmniPork Luncheon Meat that hit menus in Hong Kong and Macau in 2020. Last October, OmniPork became available at 280 McDonald’s locations and 122 McCafe outlets, and now the fast-food company is expanding the accessibility to this plant-based option.

“This collaboration is long-anticipated after last October’s launch in Hong Kong and Macau,” OnmiFoods Founder David Yeung said. “On behalf of the Green Monday team, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to McDonald’s China for making this impactful collaboration become reality. By introducing tasty and sustainable menu innovation, the planet, our animal friends along with any new generation customers will be overjoyed to sing ‘Ba da ba ba ba ... I’m lovin’ it.’”

The partnership between OmniFoods and McDonald’s China marks the first time that McDonald’s China has worked with a vegan meat brand. The chain is releasing five new vegetarian items that include breakfast wraps and sandwiches.

McDonald's China is Expanding its Meatless Menu with OmniPork

The new menu items include a wrap with cheese and scrambled eggs served with a hashbrown, a full breakfast plate that features a large OmniPork Luncheon, eggs, a hashbrown, and toast, and two new sandwich options. The first includes a sunny-side-up egg on an English Muffin, while the other presents a scrambling egg on a bun with both holding the new OmniPork Luncheon meat.

OmniFood founder David Yeung launched his company to increase awareness about the environmental harms of animal agriculture. The eco-conscious businessman owns the social enterprise Green Monday, and his partnership with McDonald’s is helping to introduce his mission to a wider audience.

McDonald’s partnership with OmniFoods is the first time the company featured plant-based proteins in its China branch. The fast-food company recently teamed up with Beyond Meat to launch the McPant platform around the world. The staple fast-food restaurant aims to enhance its presence in the plant-based market, developing not only vegan patty options but also alternative proteins for chicken and breakfast sandwiches.

Consumers can see that between the partnerships with Beyond Meat and OmniFoods, McDonald’s is shifting its focus to sustainable alternatives. Following growing consumer trends, McDonald’s will continue to roll out plant-based options, establishing itself as a front-runner for the fast-food plant-based market in China as well as globally.

“This is not a limited-time offer, not a limited shop offer. This is long term for all of Hong Kong and Macau,” Yeung said about the initial deal with McDonald’s, projecting the partnership’s future growth. “I’ve got to say this is the most monumental plant-based protein collaboration with QSR [quick service restaurant]. No question this is the biggest in Asia, and absolutely one of the biggest in the world. This is groundbreaking."

Fast-food restaurants have finally got the memo that their customer base isn’t just coming through for a burger, fried chicken, or a beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and are coming up with creative, delicious ways to get more greens on the menu. Here are the 6 best fast-food chains with plant-based options on the menu.

1. Burger King

Turns out there’s a lot more to rely on than a salad if you’re eating plant-based. Burger King has the Impossible Whopper featuring a meatless patty as well as a few secretly vegan options such as the French Toast Sticks and Hashbrowns.

2. White Castle

Known for its mini square-shaped sliders, this hamburger chain jumped on the plant-based bandwagon at some participating locations. You can find an Impossible Slider on some White Castle menus.

3. Del Taco

This was the first national Mexican fast-food chain to offer Beyond Meat at the company’s 580 restaurants across the country. Del Taco has the Beyond Avocado Taco on the menu along with the Epic Beyond Original Mex Burrito and Avocado Veggie Bowl.

4. Carl's Jr.

Another brand synonymous with beef burgers, Carl’s Jr. offers several plant-based options for veggie and plant lover such as Beyond Famous Star Burger and Guacamole Thickburger.

5. Taco Bell

This fast-food restaurant may have been one of the first you frequented while transitioning to plant-based eating. That’s because Taco Bell has eight million vegetarian combinations and sells 350 million vegetarian items a year through menu substitutions or ordering off their vegetarian menu. In fact, they were the first quick-service restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA) certified food options.

6. Starbucks

From the time it started offering breakfast sandwiches in 2006, the coffee conglomerate became a competitor in the fast-food space. You can get your favorite hot and cold beverages made with almond, coconut or oat milk but there are also plant-based food options available such as the Baja Black Bean Veggie Wrap, bagel with vegan cream cheese and Impossible Breakfast Sandwich.