GERMANY – McDonald’s Germany has launched its first vegan burger made from soy and wheat proteins, as it commits to meat-free products based on increasing consumer demand.

Called The Big Vegan TS, the new burger was launched as part of the “Believe it or not” campaign which shows the company’s focus on improving its menu.

The Big Vegan TS is available as standard in the McMenu and can be combined there with, for example, French fries or salad as a side dish to a vegan menu.

McDonald’s Germany seeks to showcase how it is working to improve its meat-free offerings as debates around on sustainability and animal welfare continue to rise.

“Improving for us means that we are brave enough to try new ways,” said Philipp Wachholz, company spokesman for McDonald’s Germany.

“Although the proportion of vegans in Germany is still relatively low: With the Big Vegan TS, we are specifically targeting the far-reaching trend of occasionally renouncing animal products.”

The vegan burger is a patty-based offering served in a classic sesame bun and garnished with Lollo Bionda salad, tomato, salt cucumber and red onions to provide the meaty taste, texture and appearance.

The company which previously offered a vegetarian burger made from quinoa, is foraying into the plant-based protein category even as consumers are increasingly becoming attracted to meat-free alternatives.

Burger King recently revealed that it is trialing Impossible Foods’ meatless patties in restaurants in St. Louis, US.

Carl’s Jr. was one of the first major chains to add the Beyond Burger to its menu in January of this year.

Companies are quickly investing in this category, with Nestle having just launched its 100% plant-based burger in Europe, with plans to roll out the same in the United States.

The Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger is made with natural protein from soy and wheat while natural plant extracts like beetroot, carrot, and bell pepper help create the look of a beef burger.

Soon after Beyond Meat unveiled plans for an initial public offering, Tyson Foods announced that it was selling its stake in the free-meat company.

Tyson said it was contemplating competing in the space as it plans to launch a plant-based product of its own.