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Beyond Fried Chicken: KFC’s new menu item tastes like chicken (but isn’t)

Beyond Fried Chicken: KFC's new menu item tastes like chicken (but isn't)
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A new alternative to vegan fried chicken nuggets, called Beyond Fried Chicken, will be added to menus across the country starting Monday, January 10 for a limited time. The chain said it represented the first example of a large national chain selling vegan chicken products instead of the increasingly popular alternatives to hamburgers or sausages.

“It’s about time,” US KFC President Kevin Hochman said in an interview with CNN Business. He added that the chain’s customers want to “eat less animal protein but don’t want to give up comfort foods.”

Kentucky owned by WL! Trademarks (WL), said in a press release that Beyond Fried Chicken is “packed with the delicious flavor and delicious satisfaction you’d expect from famous Kentucky Fried Chicken.” The new product is intended for customers “who want to eat less animal protein, but that hasn’t gone vegan or vegetarian,” Hochman said.

Beyond Fried Chicken can be ordered in a combo meal that includes a medium drink and french fries or a la carte in portions of six or 12. Prices vary by location, but start at $6.99 for six pieces and cost more for other options.

KFC and Beyond Meat announced a partnership about a year ago to develop exclusive items for the fried chicken chain. Hochman said KFC took a while to create a vegan recipe for its popular chicken, but its collaboration with Beyond Meat helped the brand create a worthy product.

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

Beyond Fried Chicken from Kentucky Fried Chicken conducted a trial run in 2020 in select US cities including Los Angeles, Charlotte, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee. The first iteration sold out, according to KFC, in Atlanta in August 2019.

Hochman said there were “a few tweaks” between the different versions, and the most significant change was that customers wanted the sauces to be dipping and served like a solid lump rather than a boneless wing.

Restaurants will receive the fried and pre-baked Beyond Fried Chicken and in-store staff will re-fried it before serving. However, the new menu item is not for strict vegetarians or vegans because it is prepared in the same areas as the chicken offerings.

Fast food chains have jumped into the vegan meat trend as a way to attract new customers, attract previous customers, and create excitement around brands. The companies are also attracting so-called flexible eaters who are looking to reduce their meat intake for health or environmental reasons.

The chains were expanding beyond imitation beef, too. Burger King is now testing nuggets from Impossible, Dunkin’ sells a Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich and Starbucks (SBUX) It has its own impossible breakfast sandwich. this week, Chipotle (CMG) She said she’s bringing vegan chorizo ​​across the country for a limited time.
But perhaps the most anticipated item is a McDonald’s vegan burger, called the McPlant, which is expected to launch across the United States sometime this year.
to Beyond Meat (BYND), extended exposure can help shake up its declining stock. Shares are down 50% over the past year. Its latest earnings report from November 2021 missed analyst expectations and the company said there was a slowdown in demand for its products in both grocery stores and restaurants. The stock is up nearly 9% in pre-market trading on Wednesday following the news.

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