- KFC and Beyond Meat are testing Beyond Fried Chicken in two new markets, the companies announced on Wednesday.
- The plant-based “chicken” will be available from February 3 to February 23 at 66 restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee.
- This extended test run follows a wildly successful test launch in Atlanta in August, when the product sold out in less than five hours after drawing lines around the block.
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KFC and Beyond Meat are bringing their plant-based fried “chicken” to two new test markets in February, the companies announced on Wednesday.
Beginning February 3, Beyond Fried Chicken will be available at 66 KFC restaurants in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee. This will mark the first extended test run of a plant-based chicken alternative by a major fast-food company.
This test of the plant-based option comes after a wildly successful test launch for a Beyond “chicken” nugget in Atlanta in August. The test in Atlanta drew massive crowds, and the product sold out within five hours. The day that the companies announced their partnership, Beyond Meat’s stock rose as much as 6%.
“Our Atlanta tests blew us away,” KFC US Chief Marketing Officer Andrea Zahumensky told Business Insider at a media preview event for the plant-based “chicken.” “I did not expect that we would sell out in five hours, that we would have to call in traffic controllers to be able to manage traffic around the restaurant. And it really showed us that everything that we’ve been seeing with the plant-based trend in the market is a reality.”
Unlike the product that was tested in Atlanta, which mimicked chicken nuggets, the new product is texturally more similar to boneless chicken breasts.
Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said that figuring out how to mass-manufacture a product with muscle fibres was the main concern during development.
“One of the key things in poultry is you get the muscle structure right,” Brown told Business Insider. “With something that’s ground, you don’t necessarily have to have that same muscle structure. But with chicken, the consumer wants that muscle structure. You can create a formed product, but I think you lose a lot of what’s great about the sensory experience of eating a chicken breast.”
Beyond Fried Chicken will be available in four- to 12-piece orders, as well as in combo options. Fans can order the plant-based “chicken” tossed in honey BBQ, Buffalo, or Nashville Hot sauce, or naked with dipping sauce on the side.
Beyond Fried Chicken will be sold at these restaurants through February 23. To find a participating restaurant, fans can visit the KFC website and look for the Beyond Fried Chicken indicator.
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