KFC announced that it was testing Beyond Fried Chicken on 26th August 2019. It marks a partnership with Beyond Meat to produce a finger lickin’ good “plant-based fried chicken”. The test began at a single KFC location in Atlanta starting the next day.
The initial results appear to have been an unqualified success according to VegNews which reported that crowds queued two blocks around the Cobb Parkway location and that cars were “bumper to bumper” twice around the drive-thru. The branch sold out of the vegan nuggets and wings in five hours during which time the branch sold the “equivalent of what KFC sells of its popcorn chicken in one week.”
The branch had been painted green in anticipation of the launch and local billboards had been prominently promoting the launch.
Positive endorsements were put up on Instagram extolling the realistic taste. That said, whilst the fake chicken is 100% plant-based, strict vegans should take note that it is almost certainly prepared in a shared fryer.
If the feedback is anything to go by, then the national rollout to take advantage of the vegan trend is likely to be a foregone conclusion.
Need for this Vegan Alternative has become apparent in the past six months
Business Insider had in May reported that the president of KFC’s US business, Kevin Hochman, had confirmed that he had been meeting with the makers of plant-based “meat” on account of the dramatic recent rise of interest in meat alternatives. “If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have said no, to be completely honest with you,” Hochman had said. “Because we’re about fried chicken.”
It will be down to long-term customer demand if KFC do further tests. It has already been testing a vegetarian fried chicken substitute in the UK.
Beyond Meat has been busy. It was recently announced deals with Subway, Dunkin’, and Del Taco. Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown is on a mission to make healthy plant-based meats available to the masses.