KFC announced a partnership with Beyond Meat today to bring plant-based chicken sandwiches to 50 KFC locations across Southern California. Starting on July 20, the Beyond Meat Chicken will be available for a limited time in select KFCs in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.
This is the latest in a string of tests KFC has rolled out for the Beyond Chicken. The restaurant chain made it first available in Atlanta, GA last year, followed by tests in Charlotte, NC and Nashville, TN, as well as a one-day promotion in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. In Atlanta, the Beyond Chicken sparked long lines of customers who waited at least an hour to try the plant-based nuggets.
Today’s announcement continues the relationship between Beyond Meat and KFC parent company, Yum Brands. In addition to the previous market tests, this past June Yum China announced that Beyond’s burgers would be available at select KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell stores in mainland China for a limited time as well.
The timing of KFC’s move into California is actually coming at a good time. Sales of plant-based meat, which have been growing over the past few years, have surged even higher during the pandemic, as COVID-19 highlighted limitations of our meat supply and shone a light on the working conditions of meat packers.
But plant-based chicken wasn’t the only alternative protein news to come out of KFC today. Over in Moscow, KFC Russia announced that it was “launching the development of innovative 3D bioprinting technology to create chicken meat in cooperation with the 3D Bioprinting Solutions research laboratory.” In other words, KFC is looking to develop lab-created chicken nuggets. The company says it will receive a final product for testing this fall.