KFC teams up with Beyond Meat in piloting plant-based chicken

USA – KFC has partnered with meat alternatives company Beyond Meat to trial a new plant-based chicken, Beyond Fried Chicken, available as both nuggets and boneless wings.

The Beyond Fried Chicken was launched at a single KFC restaurant in Atlanta, at a time when most fast food chains are trying to come to grips with rising consumer demand for vegetarian alternatives to traditional menu items.

Customer feedback from the test will be considered as KFC evaluates potential rollout across the US. The product is marketed as “a perfect choice for those searching for plant-based meat options on-the-go”. 

After a year of tremendous growth in the plant-based beef category, KFC said it has become the first national US quick-service restaurant to introduce Beyond Meat’s chicken alternative.

 “KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based,” said Kevin Hochman, president and chief concept officer, KFC US.

“I think we’ve all heard ‘it tastes like chicken’ – well our customers are going to be amazed and say, ‘It tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken.’”

Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, added: “KFC is an iconic part of American culture and a brand that I, like so many consumers, grew up with.

“To be able to bring Beyond Fried Chicken, in all of its KFC-inspired deliciousness to market, speaks to our collective ability to meet the consumer where they are and accompany them on their journey

“My only regret is not being able to see the legendary Colonel himself enjoy this important moment.”

Plant-based food sales have jumped by 31% in the past two years driven by a confluence of factors ranging from increased consumer conscious about the effects mass meat production has on the environment, healthier eating habits as well as special interests in animal welfare.  

As such, Beyond Meat is rapidly appearing on restaurant menus across the US and Canada while its competitor, Impossible Whooper has partnered with Burger King and have introduced plant-based Impossible Whopper burger across the US.

In addition, Tyson Foods has also developed vegetarian nuggets that include egg whites and Perdue Farms has marketed its blended chicken and vegetable nuggets as plant-based.

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