It can be said that global fast-food brand KFC became one of the “victims” of a greater wave of health consciousness among commercial food consumers. After all, the franchise juggernaut created by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952 was originally called “Kentucky Fried Chicken” until 1991, when the company decided to rebrand as simply the initials to remove any reference to “fried” and the health concerns it tends to connote. But the story of KFC offering healthy eating does not end there. Recently KFC has partnered with plant-based meat substitute producer Beyond Meat to develop plant-based chicken for frying. This week they are announcing that they are ready to test it.
CBS News tells us that KFC is ready to field test their new line of meatless fried chicken co-developed with Beyond Meat in one of their fast-food restaurants in Georgia. The test will be conducted this Tuesday, August 27, during daytime business hours at a KFC outlet in Smyrna, within Metropolitan Atlanta. The initial wave of KFC-Beyond Meat plant-based chicken products will be chicken nugget combo meals and the so-called “boneless wings,” made available for diners at the Smyrna restaurant by choice. KFC representatives will then take feedback from the customers after sampling the “meat.”
The partnership with KFC is part of the early inroads that Beyond Meat, headquartered in Los Angeles, is making in the fast-food restaurant sector. Originally they have been offering their plant-based meat substitutes on grocery supermarket chains such as Kroger and Publix. KFC is just one of several fast-food partners working with Beyond Meat to get its product into restaurants; the rest include Tim Hortons and Subway, offering plant-based sausage sandwich and meatball marinara respectively, between this and next month in the US and Canada.
In a way, Beyond Meat is doing the opposite of the journey being undertaken by its substitute meat competitor Impossible Foods. This company started marketing its impossible meat as an ingredient alternative in fast-food chains such as Burger King and White Castle, which respectively now produce the Impossible Whopper and Impossible Slider. Beyond Meat does have a leg up on Impossible Foods by going public earlier this year; following the announcement that KFC was ready to test their Beyond Meat-made fried chicken in Georgia this week, stock price for the plant-based meat producer increased by 4% ($153.35) as of Monday.
For their part, KFC is excited at the results of their test, noting that the feedback of Atlanta diners who have tried their Beyond Meat fried chicken will determine if they are ready to roll out this product across America.
Image courtesy of The Verge