Beyond Meat Shares Off After McDonald's Ends Burger Trial

McDonald's in April quietly ended a Canada trial of a Beyond Meat plant-based burger.

Shares of plant-based-meat company Beyond Meat  (BYND) - Get Report fell after McDonald's  (MCD) - Get Report confirmed that it had phased out its Beyond Meat burger trial in Canada. 

Between Sept. 30 and April 6 McDonald's launched two consecutive trials of its P.L.T. (plant, lettuce and tomato) burger in dozens of restaurants in Ontario. 

The trial was only scheduled for a 12-week run, a Beyond Meat spokesperson told TheStreet, “We can only comment generally and share that we were pleased with the test.”

The trial ended, however, without public comment from McDonald's, leaving fans of the burger wondering where the Beyond Meat patty had gone. 

McDonald's has no updates on the P.L.T.'s future, the restaurant told CBC News, but it is "evaluating learnings" from the trial in an effort to "help inform future plant-based-menu decisions."

Shares of Beyond Meat, El Segundo, Calif., dropped 6.3% to $141.83 at last check.

The Beyond Meat/McDonald's trial ending was the subject of discussion during the company's conference call with analysts following its latest earnings release. 

"I can assure you, there's no issue with McDonald's," said Beyond Meat Chief Executive Ethan Brown when he was asked about the end of the trial, according to CBC. 

"There's been no change in information since we began this test and got good results in the beginning and got good results at the end."

This is at least McDonald's second crack at a plant-based burger. It introduced the McVeggie Deluxe in 2002 in the U.S. and Canada before pulling the menu item three years later due to weak sales. 

McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski told CNBC in April that the Chicago chain was committed to having a plant-based-menu item: "It's just a question of when."

McDonald's shares recently were 1.7% lower at $181.21.