Reading Time: 2 minutes The plant-based nuggets (Photo: KFC)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

KFC is trialing vegan nuggets and boneless wings at one of its Atlanta restaurants on August 27.

Customers buying other items at its Cobb Parkway outlet in Smyrna will be offered free samples of the food – which is made by plant-based company Beyond Meat.

KFC said that customer feedback from the Atlanta test ‘will be considered as KFC evaluates a broader test or potential national rollout’.

‘So delicious’

“KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based,” Kevin Hochman, KFC U.S. president and chief concept officer, said in a statement. 

“I think we’ve all heard ‘it tastes like chicken’ – well our customers are going to be amazed and say, ‘it tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken’.”

“KFC is an iconic part of American culture and a brand that I, like so many consumers, grew up with,” added Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown.

“To be able to bring Beyond Fried Chicken, in all of its KFC-inspired deliciousness to market, speaks to our collective ability to meet the consumer where they are and accompany them on their journey.”

Vegan KFC

The test follows the recent UK trial of KFC’s ‘Imposter Burger’ – which features a bespoke Quorn fillet, coated in the chain’s Original Recipe herbs and spices, lettuce, and vegan mayo.

The burger, which was sold in a limited number of stores across the UK, racked up staggering sales figures, around 500 percent higher than an average new KFC sandwich.

“We knew there were plenty of people who would want to get a taste of the Imposter, but we didn’t anticipate this phenomenal response,” Victoria Robertson, Senior Innovation Leader at KFC, said days after the launch.

Animal cruelty

Although the chain is now trialing vegan options in the US and UK, KFC will still be unpopular with many vegans due to the numerous animals it slaughters every year and poor track record when it comes to animal welfare.

In October 2018, more than 500,000 people signed a petition by World Animal Protection(WAP) calling on KFC to ‘give its chickens a life worth living’.

‘Lives of chronic pain and suffering’

“KFC sources chickens from factory farms all around the world – in many countries chickens live in cramped, barren sheds, often devoid of natural light,’ said WAP.

“Most chickens are grown unnaturally fast, slaughtered at just 40 days when they are still effectively babies.

“This industrial, unnatural approach to farming places huge pressure on chickens’ organs and legs. Many chickens live their entire lives in chronic pain, suffering from skin lesions, lameness and heart failure.”

KFC will be giving out free Beyond Fried Chicken samples with purchase of any KFC menu item from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on August 27 while supplies last.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.