Forget burgers. Beyond Meat and KFC will test plant-based fried chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken is moving beyond chicken. 

Beyond Meat and KFC announced Monday that they’re working together on “Beyond Fried Chicken” — meat-free “chicken” nuggets and boneless wings meant to mimic the taste and texture of the real thing. 

KFC will be testing the plant-based chicken products for one day only on Tuesday at the chain’s Smyrna, Georgia location — just outside of Atlanta. Customers that purchase any item that day will be given a free sample of Beyond Fried Chicken and asked for their thoughts.

“Customer feedback from the Atlanta test will be considered as KFC evaluates a broader test or potential national rollout,” the chain said in a statement.

kfc beyond meat chicken fried
KFC

The move comes as a number of different fast-food chains have started offering plant-based burgers in stores.

Beyond Meat is currently available in the form of the Beyond Meat Marinarameatball” sub at 685 Subway locations in North America, and Carl’s Jr. sells a Beyond Meat burger.

Beyond Meat’s competition, Impossible Foods, has a large footprint in the fast-food world as well. Recently Burger King made the move to roll out the Impossible Whopper to all of its stores in the United States and White Castle is offering an Impossible Slider.

Plant-based “meat” is the next big thing for food technology. Digital Trends named Impossible Burger as our Top Tech of CES 2019. We were impressed not only with the flavor of the burger but also that it “bleeds” when you bite into it. 

Products like Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat are designed to be environmental wins rather than health ones. While the veggie burgers are in most cases just as bad for you as their regular meat counterparts, the plant-based meat alternatives are significantly better for the environment.

The idea behind both companies is to encourage eaters to swap a meat product occasionally (or more) for a plant-based one. Since plant-based burgers require fewer resources such as water and oxygen to produce, if a number of people made the occasional swap it could make a dramatic difference in the world’s environment.

While Impossible Foods has largely targeted restaurants with its plant-based meat products, Beyond Meat sells a number of its products, such as ground “beef,” in grocery stores.

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