Yesterday, after McDonald’s announced its new plant-based P.L.T. sandwich, many of us were left wondering: why did the American fast-food giant decide to do its initial product testing in Canada ? Sure Canadians are great, and everyone deserves first crack at exciting new fast food items every now and again—but really, Canada? (This sort of whiny entitlement is what has made Americans friends all over the world!) It’s not just McDonald’s, either: Tim Horton’s tested a plant-based sausage up there, too, and Starbucks is currently trying out a black sesame tea latte.
Micheline Maynard of Forbes (and also The Takeout) wondered, too, and has found some answers.
First: Canada’s population is one-ninth that of the United States’. If the P.L.T. flops, McDonald’s can quietly go back to the drawing board. Or, if it’s a howling success, McDonald’s can gradually expand operations without courting a Popeye’s chicken sandwich-style supply breakdown.
Second: Canadians are willing to try new things. Yes, Americans are willing to try new things, too. The point, maybe (although Maynard doesn’t say this directly), is that Canadians have similar palates to Americans. So if they like it, it’s a save be that we will, too. But if it sucks, no one below the 49th parallel ever has to know.
Or, maybe, Mom and Dad love our nicer sibling more, just as we always suspected.