CHINA – Beyond Meat has partnered with Yum China Holdings, the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in mainland China to introduce its plant-based burger in the country.

The partnership will debut Beyond Burger at select KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations in mainland China starting June 3 this year, in a collaboration that marks the launch of Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger in mainland China.

KFC will offer the Beyond Burger as a 3-day limited time offer at five locations in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Shanghai while Pizza Hut will launch the plant-based burger at six stores in Shanghai from June 8 to11.

Meanwhile, Taco Bell will offer a taco made with the plant-based Beyond Burger patty at three stores in Shanghai from June 3-10.

The partnership with Yum China further expands Beyond Meat’s ambitions of popularize meat alternatives in the world’s second largest economy following a previous collaboration with Starbucks to sell its plant-based meat in China.

Commenting on the new partnership with Yum China, Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO said: “We are proud to further our partnership with the Yum family of brands by launching Beyond Meat offerings at select KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations in mainland China.

“I’m excited about what this launch means in terms of together being of service to the Chinese consumer as they seek out the nutritional and environmental benefits of our delicious plant-based meats.

“More generally, our partnership with Yum China and the iconic brands of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell is an encouraging and important milestone toward increased accessibility to our plant-based meat globally.”

Plant-based meat products have become an increasingly popular concept around the world.  Prior to partnering with Beyond Meat, KFC and Taco Bell had previously conducted tests of plant-based meat products in China.

In April this year, KFC tested plant-based chicken nuggets at select stores in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, while in December 2019, Taco Bell tested a plant-based pork taco at select stores in Shanghai.

“We see great potential for the plant-based meat market in China,” said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China. “This latest introduction across KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands is expected to capture valuable consumer feedback across different regions in China.

“It will enable us to optimize flavors and processes and help assess the potential for larger scale rollouts in the future. This exciting development is the latest iteration of our on-going commitment to introduce new and innovative products to Chinese consumers.”

KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are among the first Western restaurant brands to introduce a plant-based meat product in China and with this test they are joining their global counterparts in helping to popularize plant-based meat products.