It's the third major trial for the chain's chicken-free product from Beyond Meat.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
July 16, 2020

For fast food fans looking to cut back on meat, the plant-based burgers seem to have taken off as chains' go-to choice, from the Impossible Whopper at Burger King to McDonald's test run of the P.L.T. But as the frenzy around Popeyes' The Sandwich proves, Americans also have a major craving for chicken... fried chicken, to be exact. Since that's kind of Kentucky Fried Chicken's whole deal, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the brand is diving beak-first into plant-based poultry. And now, Southern Californians are about to get a taste of what KFC and its partner Beyond Meat have been cooking up.

This month, KFC is rolling out its latest round of limited trials of its take on meatless fried chicken. Of course, not having any bones or specific cuts to contend with, KFC's Beyond Meat chicken comes in a nugget form which, according to a statement from the chain, "looks and pulls apart like a chicken breast." The Beyond Fried Chicken will be available as 12 pieces for $6.99 a la carte (plus tax)—or as part of a combination with a side a drink—at select restaurants in and around Los Angeles (37 locations) and San Diego (22 locations) beginning on July 20. Participating KFCs can be found on the chain's website and will be identified with a Beyond Fried Chicken icon. The product will be on menus, as is often the nonspecific case, while supplies last.

Courtesy of KFC

“I’ve said it before: despite many imitations, the flavor of Kentucky Fried Chicken is one that has never been replicated, until Beyond Fried Chicken,” KFC's chief marketing officer Andrea Zahumensky said in the announcement. “We know the east coast loved it, so we thought we’d give those on the west coast a chance to tell us what they think in an exclusive sneak peek.”

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with KFC and bring Beyond Fried Chicken to Southern California,” said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO. “KFC is a true category leader and we are proud to be their partner of choice as they make delicious plant-based chicken more accessible to consumers.”

Courtesy of KFC

If fake meat from KFC (and we used that f-word nonjudgmentally) sounds familiar, that's because the company had already rolled out a test of the collaboration with Beyond Meat back in of 2019, but only in Atlanta for a one-day trial. That was followed up in Feburary 2020 by another round of tests in Nashville and Charlotte. Apparently, this latest and much larger market test on the west coast will feature the same product that had been reformulated since that first foray into the fried non-chicken field.