It’s official. KFC is trialing vegan fried chicken in the U.S.
The fast-food giant teamed up with California-based vegan meat brand Beyond Meat to create Beyond Fried Chicken. It is the first-ever quick-service restaurant to introduce fried vegan chicken in partnership with the brand.
The new vegan fried chicken — available in nugget and Boneless Wing form — will be initially trialed in Atlanta, at the chain’s Cobb Parkway restaurant.
“KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based,” said Kevin Hochman, the president and chief concept officer at KFC U.S., in a statement. “I think we’ve all heard ‘it tastes like chicken’ — well our customers are going to be amazed and say ‘it tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken!'”
Beyond Meat’s founder, Ethan Brown, added, “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.”
“My only regret is not being able to see the legendary Colonel himself enjoy this important moment,” he concluded.
Vegan Fried Chicken Across the Pond
KFC U.S. follows in the footsteps of the chain’s U.K. restaurants. Earlier this year, Brits were able to enjoy vegan fried chicken in a handful of locations. The company was trialing 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.
Just like Brown, Tony Davison — the head of Global Foodservice & QSR at Quorn — believes the brand’s vegan recipe would make the Colonel proud.
“A vegan KFC? We couldn’t believe it either,” said Davison. But we’ve done it — working with KFC we’ve created a bespoke Quorn fillet that does that Colonel’s recipe justice. We have no doubt that KFC fans are going to love the modern take on a finger-lickin’ favorite.”
Beyond Meat’s vegan fried chicken was available at the Cobb Parkway location in Atlanta on August 27th, the location turned green to reflect Beyond Meat’s logo.
And the launch was “beyond” successful — according to a statement from Beyond Meat, KFC sold more of the vegan chicken in five hours than a week’s worth of its popcorn chicken sales. Lines around the block were estimated at more than two hours for a chance to get a taste.
“History in the making,” said Instagrammer reachthisinfinitelife.
Instagrammer brittpoteett said she stood in line for four hours to get a taste, “and it was all worth it!”