KFC Reformulates Plant-Based Beyond Fried Chicken for Tests in Two New Markets
Plant-based meat has been undeniably one of the biggest trends in fast food. But different brands have taken different approaches: Some brands, like Burger King, waded in cautiously with slow rollouts, while others, like Carl’s Jr., dove right in. Meanwhile, last summer, KFC barely dipped its toe in the water. On August 27, the chain offered plant-based Beyond Fried Chicken at just one Atlanta location. While supplies lasted. And supplies lasted for just five hours.
But there's good news for people who don’t mind waiting five months: KFC has announced a new-and-improved version of its Beyond Meat-made faux fried chicken is about to get a slightly larger rollout.
On February 3, Beyond Fried Chicken will be tested at about 70 locations in two new markets: Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee, and their respective surrounding areas. This return of the fake chicken is slated to continue until February 23 or “while supplies last”—but hopefully since the chain is earmarking three weeks for the event, those supplies will last more than the number of hours you can count on your hand.
“The response in Atlanta continues to underscore the growing consumer demand for high-quality, delicious plant-based meats,” Ethan Brown, founder and CEO, of Beyond Meat said in the announcement. “Together with KFC's team, we have created a plant-based chicken that looks, tastes and pulls apart like a chicken breast. I am very proud of what our R&D teams have accomplished and look forward to continuing to lead the charge on plant-based chicken.”
Speaking of which, the two companies weren’t just killing time over the past five months. KFC says that consumer feedback from the successful first test encouraged them to make additional improvements to the new vegetarian menu item, creating a reimagined recipe “designed to deliver on the taste and texture of whole muscle chicken.”
“The iconic flavor of Kentucky Fried Chicken is one that has never been replicated, despite many imitations, until now,” Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer for KFC U.S., added. “We’ve really pushed the limits to develop plant-based chicken that I think will have KFC and plant-based protein fans saying, ‘That’s finger lickin’ good.’”
Beyond Fried Chicken will be sold as part of a six- or 12-piece combo meal, including a side of KFC’s new Secret Recipe Fries, or as a four-, six-, or 12-piece a la carte item. And though original would seem like the best way to do the whole head-to-head comparison things, customers can also ask for their faux fried chicken to be tossed in one of KFC’s sauces like Nashville Hot, Buffalo, or Honey BBQ.
KFC says you can see if locations near you will be serving Beyond Fried Chicken by checking the store locator. In North Carolina, it will be served at ten Charlotte locations, two Salisbury locations, and two Denver locations, as well as locations in Kings Mount, Belmont, Mooresville, Lincolnton, and Mint Hill. In Tennessee, it will have wider availability at locations in Nashville, Antioch, Ardmore, Ashland City, Cadiz, Clarksville, Columbia, Dickson, Fort Campbell, Franklin, Gallatin, Goodlettsville, Hendersonville, Hermitage, Hopkinsville, La Vergne, Lafayette, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon, Lewisburg, Livingston, Madison, Mount Juliet, Murfreesboro, Paris, Pleasant View, Pulaski, Russellville, Shelbyville, Sparta , Spring Hill, Springfield, Tullahoma, Waverly, White House, and Winchester.