Kentucky Fried Chicken has become the first national quick service restaurant in the US to introduce plant-based chicken, according to KFC Corporation. The chain is introducing its “Beyond Fried Chicken” in a single location in Atlanta; the plant-based offering is available in nugget form or as boneless wings.
Customer feedback from the Atlanta test will be considered as KFC evaluates a broader test or potential national rollout.
KFC partnered with Beyond Meat – which began developing its plant-based meat in 2009 and has since introduced beef, pork, and poultry products – to create the offerings. The companies say the nuggets and boneless wings will appeal to both KFC fans and lovers of Beyond Meat.
The plant-based diet movement has been steadily gaining momentum and, according to Ecovia Intelligence, 2019 will be the year that plant-based products become mainstream in the food industry. Investment is increasingly going into plant-based foods from large operators looking to capitalize on the veganism trend and surging demand for sustainable foods.
Beyond Meat says its mission is to help the world shift from animal- to plant-based meat, thus solving four growing issues attributed to livestock production: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare.
While KFC is the first national quick service chain to introduce plant-based chicken, a handful of others are offering sausage and beef alternatives from Beyond Meat. Dunkin’ recently began selling a Beyond Breakfast Sausage in all Manhattan locations. Carl’s Jr., A&W and TGI Fridays also offer Beyond Meat products.