KFC becomes first to offer plant-based fried chicken

Not to be outdone by its competitors, KFC has announced plans to test a plant-based fried chicken product on its menu. Plant-based protein giant Beyond Meat will be supplying the imitation chicken for KFC's Beyond Fried Chicken.

KFC’s newest offering will be launched at a single restaurant in Atlanta on Tuesday, though the product will likely expand to a greater number of locations as the test continues.

In a statement to Bloomberg, the Yum! Brands subsidiary notes that “customer feedback from the Atlanta test will be considered as KFC evaluates a broader test or potential national rollout.” The company said it is the first U.S. fast food company to offer such a product.

In an interview with CNBC, KFC U.S. President Kevin Hochman noted his company’s affinity for making emerging food trends more accessible. He also intimated that their primary motivation for introducing this product is to garner “more traffic” to their stores and “attract new customers, as well as to get more existing customers to come in more often.”

Data released by the Plant Based Foods Association suggests that retail sales of plant-based foods in the US “have grown 11 percent in the past year, bringing the total plant-based market value to $4.5 billion.” Sales of these products have increased 31 percent since April of 2017.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
YUM YUM! BRANDS, INC. 124.83 -1.70 -1.34%
BYND BEYOND MEAT, INC. 64.61 -2.75 -4.08%

KFC will join a slew of fast food chains in adding plant-based protein to the menu. Other companies offering Beyond Meat products on their menus include: Tim Horton’s, Applebee’s, Subway and Dunkin’.