McDonald’s shares topped $200 for the first time ever.

On Tuesday, Credit Suisse initiated McDonald’s as outperform, largely thanks to recent asset and technology investments that the company has made. The company’s shares are at an all-time high and the stock is outpacing its industry as a whole. 

McDonald’s is up 19% in 2019 and momentum certainly needs to be on its side. But can the company continue to keep pace with industry changes and shifting consumer demands? 

McDonald’s and the meat-free trend

Consumer tastes have been gradually shifting over the years and there is more demand than ever for healthy, meat-free options. This has given rise to companies like Beyond Meat, which recently surpassed all expectations with its IPO. 

And Beyond Meat isn’t the only company offering meat-free options. Now large companies like Tyson are starting to roll out plant-based meatless options. 

As the meat-free trend takes hold, more restaurants are beginning to offer plant-based meatless options. Burger King, Red Robin, and the Cheesecake Factory all offer a burger made with plant-based Impossible food patties. 

McDonald’s even began testing its own version of a meatless burger in the past couple months in its location in Germany. 

McDonald’s gives its stores an upgrade

Of course, consumer tastes are not the only things that are changing. Increasingly, consumers want more online and ordering mobile options which have given rise to companies like GrubHub and Uber Eats. 

McDonald’s partnered with Uber Eats so it now provides delivery options to its customers. But the company has also done a lot to increase its same-store sales.

In the past few years, McDonald’s remodeled its stores and added new menu options. 

Last year, it introduced 100% fresh beef patties for its Quarter Pounder. This helped the company sell 40 million more Quarter Pounders during the first quarter of 2019.

And the company continues to expand its global footprint as well. Last quarter, McDonald’s global comparable sales grew by more than 5%. 

Final thoughts 

At the end of the day, McDonald’s strong brand recognition with consumers is probably its strongest asset. Most consumers have positive opinions about McDonald’s and will likely continue to visit, as long as the company continues to be innovative.

If McDonald’s can continue to adapt and expand with changes in the restaurant industry, it should continue to be a strong player in the market.