KFC trials non-meat nuggets and wings at US restaurant and things will never be the same again…
A KFC in Atlanta, Georgia, has gone into coalition with Beyond Meat, a California-based company that creates meat free meat to appeal to vegan consumers that had previously viewed the world’s favourite fried chicken outlet as a house of horror.
Their Beyond Fried Chicken comes with the tagline “a Kentucky fried miracle”, with the nuggets being presented in green rather than red and carrying the promise that what’s inside is “still finger lickin’ good”.
I can already hear the choruses of ‘WTF is meat free meat?‘ The easy answer is that it’s meat made from plants.
Yes. Meat. Made from plants. Which isn’t really meat at all. Right?
Where can I get vegan KFC?
Starting on Tuesday, the KFC outlet near the SunTrust Park baseball stadium in Atlanta will be offering this unusual option in what is no doubt a reaction to the rise of veganism across the globe.
We’ve already had it over here in the UK in June when British stores created a vegan chicken burger – dubbed “The Imposter” – that sold out in just four days, so there must be a pretty high demand for it.
Initially, the meatless products will be available for just one day, but if the experiment is successful the chain could ship plant-based chicken nuggets and wings on all its US menus before shipping it out across the rest of the world.
Although initially denying in May that KFC USA would not be planning on releasing a vegan menu, company president Kevin Hochman told CNBC that the chain would be ‘exploring’ an alternative that would ‘get people to come in more often’.
Now, it would be foolish to assume that this move is not merely for publicity and a desire to accommodate a vegan consumer. Like many things, capitalism is probably at the heart of it.
Back in July, the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) revealed that retail sales of plant-based foods have grown 31% over the last two years, ultimately bringing the market value to $4.5 billion. With consumers becoming more and more conscious about the effects that mass meat production has on the environment, it’s easy to see why the KFC board wants to get in there quick with a healthier alternative.
In an interview with Forbes, Kevin Hochman confirmed this by saying: ‘Our primary driver is more traffic, to attract some new customers, as well as get more existing customers to come in more often.
‘We move fast when we know there’s excitement there. Obviously, this is a huge and growing trend. A big part of how we want to evolve is by taking trends that are hard to come by, either because they’re not distributed everywhere or because they’re very expensive, and democratising them for everyone. For us to be on the forefront of this trend, we’re very proud of that. It’s meaningful. Everybody deserves an opportunity to try a plant-based protein.’
What is in vegan KFC?
Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat produces meat substitutes that mimic the taste, texture and nutrients of meat without actually having to kill any animals. They’ve already done deals with other American food outlets like Subway and Burger King.
Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat said: ‘KFC is an iconic part of American culture and a brand that I, like so many consumers, grew up with. 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.
‘My only regret is not being able to see the legendary Colonel himself enjoy this important moment.’
Somehow, I’m not sure Colonel Sanders would really understand what was going on, but in the meantime we can sit back and enjoy the triggering of Piers Morgan that will inevitably ensue over the next few hours.
Anyone for a Greggs while we wait?
Images via Instagram/KFC