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McDonald's Isn't Getting Meat-Free Impossible Burgers Any Time Soon

impossible foods beyond meat mcdonald's deal
Courtesy of Impossible Foods

Considering the success of Burger King's meat-free Impossible Whopper and the growing number of fast food chains that offer burgers made with plant-based "meat," it's weird that McDonald's -- the biggest player in fast food -- has yet to add a plant-based burger to its menu in the US. But it looks like you shouldn't get your hopes up for an Impossible Big Mac, now that Impossible Foods as reportedly bowed out of the running to supply McDonald's with its popular plant-based meat. 

As first reported by Reuters on Wednesday, the Redwood City, California-based food company has had issues in the past related to low supplies of its "meat" products, including a shortage for White Castle and Red Robin during the nationwide rollout of Burger King's Impossible Whopper. Considering how big -- and global -- McDonald's is, it seems unlikely Impossible Foods would be able to keep up with the chain's demand for meat-free burger patties. 

"Having more big customers right now doesn’t do us any good until we scale up production," Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown told Reuters. "I wish we had vastly more capacity than we do right now because the demand is high."

Beyond Meat, Impossible's main plant-based meat competitor, can rest easier knowing that Impossible is sitting on the sidelines. The plant-based meat company that already has partnerships with Subway, Carl's Jr., and Dunkin', started a partnership with McDonald's testing Beyond burgers in Canada back in September. In fact, according to reporting from Bloomberg, the partnership is currently expanding to even more McDonald's franchises above the border.

mcdonald's plt burger canada test beyond
Courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald's version of the Beyond Burger -- dubbed the "P.L.T." for plant, lettuce, and tomato -- features a Beyond Meat patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and raw onion topped with ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard.

With the test appearing to be going well, it seems likely that in the near future Beyond will solidify its partnership with McDonald's. “We would have to work with them (McDonald’s) on timing but, yes, we would be able to meet their demand globally,” Beyond Meat’s Chief Growth Officer Chuck Muth told Reuters last month. 

But not all is lost for Impossible Foods. The company just announced a lineup of "pork" products and a new sausage sandwich arriving the end of January in partnership with Burger King. The landscape for plant-based meats is still competitive as options continue to develop. There's even plant-based chicken now.

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Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn