KFC is selling vegan fried chicken in Atlanta today and the restaurant on Cobb Parkway is dressed for the occasion.
KFC announced on Monday its collaboration with Beyond Meat, maker of the realistic Beyond burger. The California-based brand developed two vegan fried chicken options for the chain: boneless wings and chicken nuggets, both available as six-piece or 12-piece combo meals. The partnership makes KFC the first QSR (quick-service restaurant) in the country to launch vegan fried chicken.
The Cobb Parkway KFC was painted green for the one-day trial and decorated with a giant Beyond Fried Chicken bucket cutout as well as a billboard calling attention to the new menu item. According to Instagrammer Coach Ryan Horton, “KFC is testing their NEW vegan chicken right here in Smyrna and the cars and people are lined up AROUND THE BLOCK!!!”
Another, shared on Beyond Meat’s Instagram story, said the line is an hour-long wait. “Vegan fried chicken at KFC,” wrote Reach This Infinite Life, an account for a vegan family of eight. “History in the making.”
Going Beyond Meat
Kevin Hochman, president and chief concept officer of KFC U.S., said in a statement that KFC’s vegan chicken is “so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based.”
Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, which aims to make animal meat obsolete by offering plant-based versions, said: “KFC is an iconic part of American culture and a brand that I, like so many consumers, grew up with. To be able to bring Beyond Fried Chicken, in all of its KFC inspired deliciousness, to market speaks to our collective ability to meet the consumer where they are and accompany them on their journey.”
Beyond Meat became the first vegan meat brand to go public earlier this year, resulting in the biggest first-day IPO in nearly two decades. It has formed partnerships with a number of fast-food chains including Del Taco (which marks one of the most successful launches in the taco restaurant’s history), Tim Hortons, Carl’s Jr., A&W Canada, and Dunkin’.
This isn’t the first time KFC has dabbled with vegan chicken. UK locations trialed the meat-free “Imposter Burger” featuring a Quorn chicken patty last June. It sold out after just four days and performed 500 percent better than new meat launches.
KFC is trialing Beyond Fried Chicken in Atlanta for one day only. Customer feedback will be considered for a national roll-out.