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Insight of the Day: McDonald’s boss explains why salad and McPlant won’t be returning

Findings: McDonald's US President Joe Erlinger has confirmed that the McPlant and salads have been removed from US menus due to low demand.

Key Takeaway: Consumer preferences at McDonald's lean towards traditional fast food offerings, with little interest in plant-based options or salads.

Trend: This reflects a broader trend in the US fast-food market, with a decline in demand for plant-based meat alternatives and a focus on value-driven options like the $5 meal deal.

It is about whom: McDonald's US customers and their preferences.

Description of product/service: The McPlant, a vegan burger, and salads were tested but failed to gain popularity.


  • McDonald's is responding to customer demand by focusing on items like the $5 meal deal and french fries, which are consistently popular.

  • The US market isn't currently receptive to plant-based options at McDonald's.

  • There is a significant gap between the perceived health benefits of plant-based options and actual consumer choices at fast-food restaurants.

Implications for brands:

  • McDonald's should continue to focus on value and traditional fast-food offerings to meet customer expectations.

  • Further research is needed to understand how to successfully introduce plant-based options to the US fast-food market.

Implication for society:

  • The lack of demand for healthier options at McDonald's highlights the challenges of promoting healthier eating habits in the context of fast food.

  • It may be necessary to explore alternative strategies to encourage the consumption of plant-based foods in the US.


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