The Reason People Are Already Criticizing McDonald's New McPlant Products

Most of us are familiar with meat-free contenders like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Then there's Gardein, which makes and markets its inventive grocery line of meatless meats. And while we can get behind the idea of McDonald's coming up with its very own line of meat-free products, we're not quite sure about calling it "McPlant" — and it seems as though the internet is not having any of it either.

AdWeek said McDonald's ended up getting "McRibbed online" for what was seen as a lack of imagination, while Twitter users went to town over the fast food giant's name choice. One imagined the conversation between the folks over at corporate, saying "Lol really phoning it in for the vegetarians. 'What do we call this?' 'I dunno, Planty McPlant, whatever.'" Another said: "McPlant sounds like a detective show I would watch 5 seasons of while being unable to describe any of it." 

The Takeout, which covered the McPlant launch, said it was aware that McDonald's doesn't make any decisions lightly — and that the weight of market research and focus groups would have come with the decision to dub the new line of plant-blased menu offers "McPlant." It also offered a few ideas of its own, including McHerbivore, The Rawnald McDonald, Planty McPlantface, and HapPea Meal.

McDonald's takes its branding seriously

To be fair, big corporations like McDonald's are known to take their branding seriously. Very seriously. And it seems as though baptizing products with the Mc- prefix should bestow it with some amount of gravitas. According to Business Insider which has seen a copy of the brand guidelines, the "Mc-" prefix is only used on products and programs which might enhance the brand.

The company's Golden Arches Code from 2012 reportedly states: "Do not invent gratuitous 'Mc' or 'Mac' terms or phrases that add no long-term strategic value to the brand, such as 'McPhone,' 'McMeeting' or 'I work at McDonald's with McPride,'" the code states. "All such uses are prohibited, including on license plates and in speeches and internal materials."  We're taking this to mean that McDonald's is taking the development of its plant-based line seriously and that they're committed to giving vegans and vegetarians something to write home about — other than the fact that McDonald's corporate has very little imagination, that is.