Today KFC Canada announced its new product, the KFC Plant-Based Fried Chicken sandwich. Launching tomorrow, November 27th, the sandwich will only be available for the day at a single KFC restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario. If sandwiches aren’t your bag, you can also try the Plant-Based Fried Popcorn Chicken bucket.
According to a press release from KFC Canada, the chain partnered with Canadian alternative Lightlife to develop its plant-based poultry offerings. The sandwich will be available regular or spicy and will cost $6.99. The popcorn chicken bucket is $3.99.
Lately Canada has been a testing ground of sorts for fast-food chains to try out plant-based meat offerings before deciding whether to bring them south of the border. At least that’s been the case with McDonald’s PLT and Wendy’s ‘The Plentiful’ burger.
In this case, however, it’s the reverse. KFC tried out plant-based chicken back in August in a similar one-day, one-location test in Atlanta. The launch drew huge crowds and the “chicken” sold out in less than five hours.
KFC Canada is clearly hoping to replicate the viral success up in the Great North. However, there are a couple of key differences. Firstly, KFC in the U.S. used plant-based chicken from Beyond Meat, while KFC Canada is tapping Canadian alternative meat company Lightlife. The Atlanta KFC also served nuggets and wings, while KFC Canada is focusing on a sandwich.
We haven’t tasted either of KFC’s plant-based chicken offerings, so it’s difficult to compare their finger-lickin-goodness levels. However, one thing to note is that KFC Canada doesn’t include the Lightlife name in its new sandwich, meaning it won’t be able to capitalize on brand recognition in the same way that the Beyond Fried Chicken did.
Customer response on the one-day trial run will determine whether the vegan chicken will be rolled out nationwide in 2020. Based off of the popularity of Beyond Fried Chicken in Atlanta and the general success of alternative meats in fast-food (barring a few notable exceptions), I’d say there’s a good chance that the KFC Plant-Based Fried Chicken Sandwich will be more than a one-day phenomenon.