KFC announced that it had closed a deal with Beyond Meat to sell plant-based nuggets in more than 60 outlets in Charlotte, N.C., and Nashville.
The plant-based nuggets will be on trial for three weeks. If the test is successful, the plan is to offer the new item at 4,000 KFC’s U.S. restaurants.
The new meat-free product was co-developed by Beyond Meat and KFC’s innovation teams.
The vegan chicken is made with soy and wheat, unlike the burger, which is pea-based and it’s very realistic.
“You actually can pull it apart like you would with muscle, which is hard to do,” CEO of Beyond Meat Ethan Brown said.
Last year, the nuggets, named Beyond Fried Chicken, were on a one-day test at a single Atlanta KFC in August and sold out in five hours.
“It blew us away. The proof will be in this expanded test to really tell us if this something that has legs,” said Andrea Zahumensky, chief U.S. marketing officer for KFC.
The nuggets will be sold in boxes of 4, 8 and 12 and as part of a combo in larger options.
The prices range from $4.29 to $15.99.
KFC believes the meat-free nuggets will appeal to consumers who want to try plant-based food and potentially attract new customers who wouldn’t ordinarily visit a fried chicken restaurant.
“What we are really seeing in this kind of movement that is sweeping the country is a desire for people to eat less animal protein and they do it for various reasons — sustainability, health reasons. Many people do it because they want to be part of the movement and it’s cool to do it,” Andrea Zahumensky added.