Europe is getting the McVegan.

On December 28, McDonald’s locations in Sweden and Finland started selling meatless burgers, a move McDonald’s says is in line with the requests and wishes of its Northern European customers.

“Vegetarian and vegan is a strong trend, and more and more people want to eat more plant-based today,” a spokesperson for the company wrote in a statement. “With McVegan on the menu, it’s easy for everyone to try a good vegan burger, whether it’s for the good taste or for variety.”

The McVegan is a soy-based sandwich that consists of a soy patty and the regular Big Mac toppings (with the addition of an eggless sandwich sauce). Like most vegan “burgers” it is modeled after the meat-filled option, giving eaters the illusion of eating real meat.

As of now, the McVegan will be offered (permanently) only in these two markets, but if successful it will eventually expand into more countries. The McVegan acquired a large fanbase when tested in Finland, which led to its current placement. But this is no surprise, because vegan food is becoming increasingly popular in Northern Europe and Scandinavia.

This past year nearly 10% of all new restaurants in Sweden were vegan, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. McDonald’s isn’t alone either. Nestle is also getting involved in the vegan business, too.

“As many as 50% of consumers now are seeking more plant-based foods in their diet and 40% are open to reducing their traditional meat consumption,” said Paul Grimwood, CEO of Nestle USA.

McDonald’s says that the move to vegan-friendly options goes beyond diet. McDonald’s wants to focus on the impact meat has on the climate as well.

McDonald’s has partnered with vegan food manufacturer Anamma to create the burger.

“We are very proud that McDonald’s chooses to build his new burger on Anamma. It gives more opportunity to discover how good and easy it is to eat vegan, while at the same time we reduce the climate pressure on our planet,” said Nina Sandström, Marketing Manager for Anamma.

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Sarah is a freelance writer with a wide variety of interests, including international relations, politics, education, humanitarianism, women's rights, yoga, mental and physical health, and natural remedies.