KFC (YUM) goes beyond meat, that is, plant-based products continue to encroach on fast food territory.
Late Tuesday, KFC announced the nationwide launch of Beyond Fried Chicken, after a two-year trial period. The planned menu item will be available for purchase at participating KFC locations in the United States from January 10. Customers can order the item as KFC’s first-ever plant-based combo meal or a la carte in orders of six or 12 pieces.
Created in partnership with Beyond Meat (BYND), the limited-time meal recently made headlines in September, after KFC US President Kevin Hochman revealed the chain was working hard to perfect the new meat-based offering. of plants.
“What we’re trying to replicate is a fillet where you actually have the muscle fibers. The texture is a little nicer than what we would call a ‘chew and stick’. It’s a different technology,” said Hochman at the “Fortune” outlet at the time.
KFC first tested its Beyond Meat plant-based chicken in August 2019 with a limited-run test in Atlanta. The item sold out in less than five hours.
A year later, KFC and Beyond Meat launched expanded testing in Nashville, Charlotte and Southern California.
Since then, Hochman has doubled down on the plant boom – saying meatless alternatives will be the wave of the future.
“Young people tend to be the ones who want to eat more plant-based,” Hochman told Bloomberg in an interview.
“We expect this trend to continue to grow. We are quite optimistic about this. We don’t think plant-based products are a fad, we think it’s something that will continue to grow over time,” the leader added.
In a new campaign celebrating the partnership, KFC and Beyond Meat have teamed up with actress, producer and creator Liza Koshy, who rushes to reveal Beyond Fried Chicken’s plant-based Kentucky Fried Miracle.
The vegetable revolution hits fast food
Sales of plant-based foods in the United States grew twice as fast as sales of animal-based foods in 2020, totaling $7 billion, according to the latest industry report from the Good Food Institute. .
Within this category, plant-based meat has crossed the $1 billion mark, increasing its dollar sales by 45% from 2019.
Fast-food giants have jumped on the plant-based trend in recent years, with Beyond Meat being the go-to partner for many retailers. In addition to KFC, Beyond Meat has alliances with McDonald’s (MCD), Taco Bell, Costco (COST), Subway, TGI Friday’s, Dunkin’, Pizza Hut, etc.
The McPlant burger, which analysts say could hit Golden Arches stores nationwide this year, was considered one of the most anticipated plant-based rollouts. An expanded version could help not only improve Beyond Meat’s bottom line, but also plant-based meat makers as a whole.
Other competitors like Impossible Foods have sought to form their own viable partnerships.
In 2020, Impossible landed a mega deal with Disney (DIS) that would sell meatless items at high-traffic locations including Disneyland in Anaheim, Disney World in Orlando, and the Disney Cruise Line.
That same year, Starbucks (SBUX) announced it would bring an Impossible Sausage breakfast sandwich to stores nationwide, and Burger King unveiled an Impossible Whopper (QSR), which hit the fast-food chain in big pump in 2019.
Alexandra is a Producer and Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193
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