Is This the Beginning of a Big Beyond Meat Partnership With McDonald's?

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) shares jumped on Thursday after it was announced that McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) will be testing a new plant, lettuce and tomato (PLT) sandwich using Beyond Meat’s patties in some restaurants in Canada next week.

McDonald’s isn’t the first to the party. In fact, it’s behind the Beyond Meat curve. The world’s largest burger chain joins Tim Hortons, KFC, Dunkin’ and more in moving ahead with versions of a plant-based addition to their menus using Beyond Meat’s patties.

The new PLT sandwich, which the company said was without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, will be priced at C$6.49 plus tax and will be sold in 28 restaurants in southwestern Ontario, Canada, from Monday.

McDonald’s already sells vegan burgers in some European countries, but this will be a big move for North America. The real question is whether a successful Canadian test run could be repeated in the United States, McDonald’s biggest market and the ultimate goal for imitation-meat companies.

Rival Burger King has picked the faux-meat market’s other prominent startup, Impossible Foods, for a veggie burger in the United States.

Since it came public, Beyond Meat has made incredible gains, with the stock up over 110%. Although optimism has subsided in recent weeks, this move by McDonald’s could stir investors and analysts alike to chase this stock even higher.

Shares of Beyond Meat traded up 10% to $152.12 on Thursday, in a post-IPO range of $45.00 to $239.71. The consensus price target is $163.67.

McDonald’s traded at $213.89. It has a 52-week range of $161.82 to $221.93 and a consensus analyst target of $233.00.