KFC launching plant-based fried chicken nationwide

Nation/world

KFC locations across the U.S. will begin offering Beyond fried chicken starting Monday, the fast food giant announced.

The plant-based fried chicken, which was developed by Beyond Meat, will only be available for a limited time, while supplies last.

Customers will be able to get the new menu item as a combo meal with fries, a medium drink and dipping sauce, or à la carte in six or 12-piece orders. Prices will start at $6.99. 

“It’s packed with delicious flavor and the juicy satisfaction that you’d expect from KFC’s iconic fried chicken but in a plant-based option that’s still finger lickin’ good,” KFC said in a news release.

The chicken is plant-based but was “not prepared in vegan/vegetarian manner,” the news release says.

KFC says it was the first national fast food chain to offer plant-based chicken when it tested the Beyond fried chicken in 2019 in Atlanta and then later expanded to other locations in Nashville, Charlotte and California as a part of a limited-run test in 2020.

In Southern California, the plant-based chicken sold out in just one week, according to KFC.

“We couldn’t be prouder to partner with KFC to offer a best-in-class product that not only delivers the delicious experience consumers expect from this iconic chain, but also provides the added benefits of plant-based meat,” Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement.

Customers will be able to order the new menu item through KFC’s app and select the quick pick-up option to skip the line.

Plant-based proteins have grown in popularity in recent years, with several restaurants introducing vegan-friendly options.

Chipotle this week announced it will have a plant-based chorizo available for a limited time at U.S. locations.

In November last year, McDonald’s started offering the McPlant, a plant-based burger in El Segundo and Manhattan Beach. The two Los Angeles County restaurants were among eight U.S. locations that offered the McPlant for a limited time as part of a test launch.

In 2019, Burger King started serving the Impossible Whopper, which also featured a meatless patty.

U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods increased 27% in 2020, bringing the total plant-based market value to $7 billion, according to data from the Plant Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute.

Plant-based meat in particular saw major growth, with sales growing 45% in 2020, according to the data.

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