POSTED BY THE VEGAN HUSBAND
“Frisco Fritz” is one of the more loyal followers of this blog. His name isn’t really Frisco Fritz, but I have chosen to protect his identity. I’m not protecting his identity because he owes the government money or has ties to the Russians. It’s just the times we live in.
So, anyway, Fritz tipped us off to a new meatless sandwich at McDonald’s called, The McVegan. There is no need to protect the McVegan’s identity because I’m guessing it will be quickly forgotten. The McVegan, a soy-based burger, was only available for about six weeks and only at a single McDonald’s restaurant. In Finland.
Being 50% Finnish, I supposed I should take pride in the fact that one of the most iconic, powerful foodservice companies in the world chose my homeland to market a daring, new product. But I’m not thinking that.
This is the marketing equivalent of Hershey’s rolling out a carrot candy bar at a Target store in Iceland or Ford introducing a car made out of recycled styrofoam at their dealership in Machu Picchu.
In the Food & Wine article that Fritz sent us (“McDonald’s is Testing a Vegan Burger” by Charlie Heller), there are no testimonials from satisfied patrons, no descriptions of lines out the door and down the block, no stories of Finnish police holding off crazed Finnish vegans. All we know is that the sandwich comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, and mustard.
My question to McDonald’s is: What are you afraid of?
As of today, McDonald’s stock is up over 36% this year. Not that long ago, the golden arches was stuck in neutral with too many unhealthy choices and too few healthy options beyond salads. It was getting its butt kicked by Chipotle, a chain that it once owned.
But McDonald’s is in a groove right now and the world is ready for the McVegan. And don’t tell me that it won’t taste good. First of all, if it’s nothing else, it’s still a McDonald’s burger. They are not going to put out a sandwich that doesn’t taste good. And secondly, it’s got lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard, and ketchup on it. How could it not taste good?
Frisco Fritz and I have gone back and forth the last several months over the Impossible Burger, the vegan burger that looks and tastes like a real hamburger. Fritz would consistently send us propaganda about the Impossible Burger but, even though he had access to it in his own city, he had not tried one.
In August, to his credit, Fritz finally tried the Impossible Burger. He said, “it was not unpleasant, but it was not as good as the flavor of beef.” He concluded there was more work to be done.
And maybe the McVegan needs more work. Maybe, to the Finns, it was not as good as (fill in a Finnish food delicacy here). But, Mickey D, if you’re listening, I will make you this promise. If you bring the McVegan to my hometown McDonald’s, I will most definitely try it. I hope I am one of the first 50 people in my town to do so. And, if for some reason I don’t like the first one, I will get a second and a third, and maybe more, to figure out what my problem is. Because, like the McRib before it, it will succeed.
And, then, once I’ve pushed away from the table and dabbed my mouth with a napkin,….then I will figure out just what Frisco Fritz has got going on with the Russians!
Would you try the McVegan burger? Please leave a comment…