KFC Latest Franchise to Test Plant-Based ‘Meat’ for Vegan Market

ORANGEBURG, SC - APRIL 04: Promotional Atmosphhere at KFC on April 4, 2018 in Orangeburg, South Carolina. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for KFC)
Moses Robinson/Getty Images for KFC

On Monday, Yum! Brands announced that Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) will roll out meat-free nuggets and wings at an Atlanta location.

Beyond Meat will add KFC to a list of interested investors that include owners of Subway, Del Taco, Carl’s Jr., Dunkin’, and Tim Hortons brands. Known for its eponymous chicken, KFC will sell six- and twelve-piece nuggets and “boneless wing” variants for $6.49 and $8.49, and $6 and $12, respectively.

Beyond Meats and competitor Impossible Foods have been steadily advancing on a market hungry for ways to serve the growing vegan and “flexitarian” market. In the wake of the announcement, Beyond Meat’s stock has already risen by four percent — and tripled since it went public in May.

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

According to a statement by Beyond Meat, the new product will be available on August 27, fried to order while supplies last. The only hiccup for serious vegans lies in the preparation: While the food itself is 100 percent plant-based, it will be prepared in a shared fryer.

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