It’s official. KFC is trialing vegan fried chicken in more than 70 locations.
Last August, the fast-food giant teamed up with California-based vegan meat brand Beyond Meat to create Beyond Fried Chicken. The collaboration made KFC the first-ever quick-service restaurant to introduce fried vegan chicken in partnership with the brand. It was trialed for one day at a store in Atlanta over the summer.
Now, KFC is bringing its vegan fried chicken to locations in Charlotte, Nashville, and the surrounding areas from February 2 through February 23, while supplies last.
Customers will be able to order Beyond Fried Chicken with dipping sauce or tossed in Honey BBQ, Buffalo, or Nashville Hot sauce. Offers include a four or 12-piece a la carte and combo options.
Vegan Fried Chicken Sells Out
The initial trial was “beyond” successful. KFC sold out of the vegan chicken in less than five hours. Lines were double-wrapped around the block were estimated at more than two hours for a chance to get a taste.
The success of the test prompted KFC and Beyond Meat to improve the recipe. According to a press release, it now mimics the “whole muscle chicken.” Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat, said the new recipe “tastes and pulls apart like a chicken breast.”
“The iconic flavor of Kentucky Fried Chicken is one that has never been replicated, despite many imitations, until now,” said Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer, KFC U.S.
Vegan Fried Chicken for Days
KFC U.S. follows in the footsteps of the chain’s U.K. restaurants. Last spring, Brits were able to enjoy vegan fried chicken in a handful of locations. The company trialed a Quorn version of its iconic recipe. The trial was a success, and the chain sold out of vegan chicken—available in the form of the Imposter Burger—four days in.
“We knew there were plenty of people who would want to get a taste of the Imposter, but we didn’t anticipate this phenomenal response,” said Victoria Robertson, the senior innovation leader at KFC U.K., to Metro.
Earlier this month, KFC U.K launched its vegan fried chicken—now called the Original Recipe Vegan Burger—in 900 locations.
Stores in Canada also trialed vegan fried chicken. Last December, an Ontario store served plant-based chicken sandwiches and popcorn chicken made with Lightlife vegan meat. It sold out in just six hours.