US plant-based meat substitute start-up Beyond Meat announced Thursday it has signed partnerships with fast-food giants McDonald's and Yum! Brands, the parent company for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

The "strategic" agreements will cover a three-year period for McDonald's and "the next several years" for Yum! Brands, according to two separate statements from Beyond Meat.

Beyond Meat will be the main supplier for the patty in the McPlant, the plant-based burger currently in testing phase in McDonald's restaurants around the world.

The two companies, which have worked together since 2019, also plan to work together to explore and develop other menu items, including plant-based options for chicken, pork and eggs, they said in the statement.

Beyond Meat will be the main supplier for the patty in the McPlant, fast-food giant McDonald's plant-based burger option
Beyond Meat is a plant-based burger option. AFP / Angela Weiss

The goal is to help McDonald's offer a large variety of plant-based products.

"This strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers," said Francesca DeBiase, McDonald's executive vice president, in the statement.

Yum! Brands was the first group to offer a plant-based chicken substitute through its KFC chain in 2019 in the United States, through a collaboration with Beyond Meat. They followed the move last year with a pizza option at Pizza Hut, offering vegetable-based sausages supplied by the start-up.

"We expect this Beyond Meat partnership to strengthen our brands' capability to offer delicious, plant-based menu items that are driven by consumer demand for more diverse protein options and our brands' strategies in local markets," said Yum! Brands CFO in the statement.

The financial terms of the two agreements were not disclosed.