KFC testing a Beyond Meat fried chicken alternative

KFC to offer meatless ‘Beyond Fried Chicken’ for limited time

Kentucky Fried Chicken, the globalized American restaurant chain, is the latest fast food joint to throw its hat into the plant-based meat substitute ring, following other American chains like Burger King and Dunkin Donuts. KFC announced that it will begin offering vegetarian chicken (called Beyond Fried Chicken and produced by the rapidly growing Beyond Meat brand) at a location in Atlanta, Georgia. The veggie chicken will be available for a limited time as a trial run. Depending on its success, it could be expanded to other locations.

Food & Wine reports that customers interested in trying the Beyond Fried Chicken will have a choice between nuggets (four for $1.99) and boneless wings (six for $6).

KFC stated that it worked closely with Beyond Meat with the goal of producing “a finger lickin’ good plant-based fried chicken that will appeal to lovers of both Beyond Meat and KFC.”

Kevin Hochman, president and chief concept officer for KFC U.S., said he expects Beyond Fried Chicken to be a hit, such is its closeness in flavor to real fried chicken.

“KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based,” he said. “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!’”

Again, whether the new item will make its way onto the menus of more KFC restaurants around the country depends on customer response to the trial in Atlanta.

According to KFC, “feedback from the Atlanta test will be considered as KFC evaluates a broader test or potential national rollout.”

As I wrote recently, Burger King made its Impossible Whopper (made by Beyond Meat competitor Impossible Foods) nationally available in early August. The fast food chain is still weighing up whether to make the meatless Whopper a permanent menu item.

It’s safe to assume that we will be seeing more restaurant chains offering plant-based meat substitutes in the near future. Stay tuned.