Plant-based meat is everwhere these days, including at fast food chains. So it's not a huge surprise that Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that it's getting into the vegan meat game thanks to a partnership with Beyond Meat. KFC is the first QSR—that's quick serve restaurant—that has gotten into plant-based chicken, and it's hoping to have as much success with it as other chains have with their meatless products.
Earlier this month, Burger King announced that their Impossible Burger would be available at all their locations nationwide, and Subway has plans to test out a Beyond Meatball Marinara. Chicken-less KFC products are part of the same trend, though the company is first testing the waters with a very limited run of the stuff. Starting tomorrow, Beyond Fried Chicken will be available at one Atlanta KFC, the Cobb Parkway location technically located in Smyrna.
The Beyond Fried Chicken comes in two forms. There are nuggets, breaded, plain, and available to eat with various dipping sauces, and boneless wings, which come presauced in either Nashville Hot, Honey BBQ, or Buffalo Sauce. Depending on how the new plant-based offerings go, you may well see them expand to other markets soon.
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I got a chance to taste the Beyond Fried Chicken offerrings at the KFC test kitchen in Louisville last week, where longtime KFC head chef Bob Das served up samples to me and a few other journalists. The boneless wings don't look particularly wing-like. They're more along the lines of nuggets than they are any necognizable part of a chicken. But taste and texture wise, the flavor of the Beyond Fried Chicken was comparable to any fast food chicken nugget out there. The Nashville Hot was pleasantly spicy, while the Honey BBQ had more of a sweet-and-savory balance to it.
Like other Impossible and Beyond Meat products, it doesn't seem meant for someone who keeps a strictly vegan or vegetarian diet, though it is probably a good option for those folks to grab some protein in a pinch. Rather, it seems aimed at consumers who want to ease off on the meat in their diet without deviating too much from familiar flavors.
At the Smyrna location, the nuggets will be available in six- or twelve-piece combo meals, which come with a side and medium drink, for $6.49 and $8.49, or four-piece à la carte for $1.99. Boneless wings come in a serving of six or twelve for $6 and $12 respectively, not including tax.