Sales of the new McDonald’s McVegan burger have exceeded expectations across Sweden.
According to McDonald’s head of food and menu strategy in Sweden, Staffan Ekstam, the McVegan is selling “as estimated” in Finland, yet in Sweden, the sales were “far above estimates.” He also hinted that the McVegan patty may appear in other burger-based forms soon.
A recent poll by Animal Rights Sweden uncovered some plant-positive statistics that may explain why sales were so high for the Swedish version of the meat-free burger. One out of ten people in the country are now vegan or vegetarian, and for those under 30, it’s a shocking one in five. Furthermore, a staggering half of all Swedes showed an interest in opting for vegetarian food over the last year.
A vegetarian burger has been on Swedish Mcdonald’s menus for over ten years. However, this wasn’t a popular option – neither for meat-eaters nor vegetarians. “The insight for us was that the burger patty that we used to have wasn’t good enough,” said Ekstam. He added, “we could not develop new recipes with that patty. So we started a journey to see if there are any other patties out there that fit our needs.”
One-hundred different samples later, the Swedish McDonalds team chose a soy-based patty made by Anamma, from Orkla Foods Sweden. According to WABE, “it’s good. Firm, weighty, a tiny bit smoky with a strange — but not unpleasant — note of instant ramen, the patty comes topped with a generous dose of McFeast sauce (a vegan “special sauce”), lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.”
The head of consumer issues at Animal Rights Sweden, Francesca Vilches, is a vegan. It is her belief that the introduction of the McVegan burger is a big step toward more convenient vegan options becoming widely available in fast food locations.
“My first thought was, well that’s about time!” Vilches told WABE. “But I was very happy. I was, like, wow, that’s a big step, because they’re a big player and that means they think this is the future.”
Image Credit: McDonald’s Sweden