KFC Is About to Launch a Vegan Fried Chicken Bucket at More than 4,000 Stores

Related Articles

On January 10, Kentucky Fried Chicken will launch its first nationwide vegetarian chicken option at more than 4,000 locations. The new Beyond Fried Chicken was created in partnership with vegan brand Beyond Meat to replicate popular Kentucky Fried Chicken but without the animal products. Beyond Fried Chicken can be ordered as a la carte in sizes of six or 12, or as part of KFC’s first vegan combo that comes with KFC Secret Recipe Fries (no animal ingredients) and a medium drink. Prices vary by location.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our partnership with Kentucky Fried Chicken to deliver a best-in-class product that not only delivers the delicious experience consumers have come to expect from this premium chain, but also provides the added benefits of plant-based meats,” Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, said. In a statement. “We’re really happy to make it available to consumers nationwide.”

While Beyond Fried Chicken itself does not contain animal products, KFC notes that the vegan chicken has not been prepared in a vegan-friendly way because it shares equipment with other menu items, including chicken. It’s also served with a choice of three sauces, honey roast, ranch, honey mustard, and Kentucky Fried Chicken sauce – all of which contain animal-derived ingredients. Beyond Fried Chicken is available for a limited time at participating locations across the country while supplies last.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Vegan Chicken Journey

Beyond Meat and KFC (owned by Yum! Brands) have been working together for several years to launch a vegan version of their popular fried chicken. In August 2019, Kentucky Fried Chicken tested Beyond Fried Chicken (in two forms: boneless nuggets and wings) in one location in Atlanta, Georgia where it sold out instantly within five hours of release. KFC has expanded testing to nearly 70 locations in Charlotte, NC, Nashville, Tennessee, and surrounding areas, followed by 50 locations in Southern California for a limited time in 2020. Test locations in California also proved very successful and Beyond Fried Chicken was sold within week.

In 2021, US KFC President Kevin Hochman commented on the chain’s continued interest in developing vegan chicken, noting that it was looking to recreate its famous chicken as much as possible without using animal products. With the announcement of the national launch, it appears that Kentucky Fried Chicken and Beyond Meat have succeeded. “The mission from day one was simple – make our world-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken out of plants,” Hochman said in a statement. And now, more than two years later, we can say, ‘Mission accomplished.

Vegetables, Lisa Kochi Beyond Meat, KFC

KFC and Beyond Meat also hired actress, producer and creator Lisa Koshy to be the face of their co-branded campaign “Kentucky Fried Miracle” to promote the launch of Beyond Fried Chicken.

Beyond Meat is changing the fast food landscape

Older fast food brands are looking to modernize in the plant-based trend in order to improve their sustainability metrics and attract new customers who are increasingly looking for more plant-based options. Many of these chains have turned to Beyond Meat for help.

In addition to KFC, Beyond is working with Yum! Brand-owned chains bringing plant-based proteins to their menus, including Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. In 2020, Pizza Hut launched two pizzas topped with Italian Beyond Meat sausage across the country before exploring the launch of Beyond Pepperoni in 2021 at 70 test sites in five cities.

Vegetarian News Beyond Meat Pizza Hut

At Taco Bell, Beyond Meat has been developing a vegan protein never before seen in the QSR space for over a year. Late last year, rumors began circulating that Taco Bell had rejected the carne asada plant developed by Beyond Meat as part of their partnership. However, Taco Bell confirmed to VegNews that its partnership with Beyond Meat was ongoing, with plans to launch the new plant-based protein in the near future.

Beyond Meat also worked with Panda Express to develop a vegan version of its orange chicken, Beyond the Original Orange Chicken that was first tested—and well received—in select locations in New York and Los Angeles in July 2021. By October 2021, Panda Express expanded testing to 70 Locations across 10 states, and if all goes well, the chain plans to add vegan orange chicken to more than 2,000 locations nationwide.

McDonald's vegetarian

And while all of these chains are huge partners, Beyond Meat’s biggest account is McDonald’s. The vegan brand is currently working with the international fast food giant under a three-year partnership to develop its McPlant platform, which could lead to the launch of various vegan products such as chicken, bacon and breakfast sandwiches. So far, the partnership has resulted in the launch of McPlant, a vegan burger that features a made-to-order Beyond Meat pie. McPlant is currently being tested in eight US locations and is arriving at all McDonald’s locations across the UK this week.

For more information on being vegan at Kentucky Fried Chicken, read:

Kentucky Canada sells vegetarian chicken in six hours
KFC sells 1 million vegan chicken burgers in the UK in January
KFC is adding a vegan chicken burger to a permanent menu across the UK

It has just been launched! Vote for your favorite vegan products at the 2022 VegNews Veggie Awards.

vote now

More on this topic



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Popular stories