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Vegan Goes Mainstream: KFC to Launch Vegan Fried Chicken Across US

After nearly two years of trials in test markets, KFC is finally launching its own version of plant-based fried chicken alternative – Beyond Fried Chicken – across US on January 10. This could be termed as the “biggest launch” of vegan chicken anywhere in the world.

To be available at more than 4,000 KFC locations, the new Beyond Fried Chicken has been created in partnership with the plant-based meat brand ‘Beyond Meat’. The team has replicated the chain’s iconic fried chicken but without using real animal meat.

KFC is offering the plant-based chicken in à la carte in six-piece or 12-piece sizes, or as part of KFC’s first plant-based combo meal which comes with KFC vegan Secret Recipe Fries and a medium drink.

“We couldn’t be prouder to partner with KFC to offer a best-in-class product that not only delivers the delicious experience consumers expect from this iconic chain, but also provides the added benefits of plant-based meat,” Ethan Brown, Founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, said in a statement.

Beyond Meat and Yum! Brands-owned KFC first launched Beyond Fried Chicken in August 2019 at a restaurant in Atlanta. The product was a hit as it sold out within five hours, and later in February 2020, KFC took the trails to about 65 restaurants.

In an interview in 2019, KFC President Kevin Hochman said “democratizing” the product for everyone was important for the brand to be at the forefront of the plant-based trend.

“The mission from day one was simple—make the world-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken from plants,” Hochman said in a statement. “And now, over two years later we can say, ‘mission accomplished.’”

“The taste is so good that they might choose it over regular fried chicken,” he added.

The brand has roped in actress and producer Liza Koshy for the new campaign called, “Magic Chicken Carpet”.

In February 2021, In Beyond Meat announced a global strategic partnership with Yum! Brands to co-create and offer innovative plant-based protein menu items that can only be found at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell over the next several years.

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