KFC restaurants nationwide will add Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken to its menus, starting Monday for a limited time. The launch comes after years of testing from the Yum Brands chain and Beyond Meat to create a meat substitute that mimicked the taste and texture of whole muscle chicken, like chicken breast, rather than the ground-up consistency of nuggets.
The two companies first tested plant-based chicken at an Atlanta restaurant in August 2019 and sold out their limited supply in less than five hours. KFC then tested the new item in Nashville, Charlotte, N.C., and southern California two years ago.The famous fried chicken chain counts on customers making healthier choices to fulfill typical New Year’s resolutions. Kevin Hochman, U.S. president of KFC, said that this is where the customer is going; they want to eat more plant-based proteins.
More Americans are embracing a so-called flexitarian diet in which consumers cut down on their meat consumption for health and environmental reasons. That has driven the growing popularity of plant-based substitutes.Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said that from a supply perspective, we feel really good about it, and it’s something we have experienced within initial trials. Hochman and Brown are so bullish on the product that they’re not deterred by the current nationwide surge in the Covid omicron variant.
Beyond Meat announced a formal partnership with Yum to make complete plant-based substitutes for Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC. Chipotle Mexican Grill rolled out plant-based chorizo Monday at its restaurants nationwide. It also targets customers who are trying to eat less meat in 2022.