KFC is set to launch a plant-based version of its fried chicken in about 50 locations in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego next week.
The fast-food giant has already served the faux chicken version of its product, which is made by Beyond Meat.
Last summer, KFC first tested Beyond Fried Chicken in Atlanta for a day, and then it served the product for a limited time in Charlotte and Nashville this past winter.
The current fried chicken version will be available in California until supplies last. KFC plans to monitor the results of this test to determine whether to make Beyond Fried Chicken available nationwide.
Several fast-food chains have jumped on the plant-based meat trend as a way to bring in new customers, attract former fans, and build excitement around the brand.
Morningstar restaurant analyst R.J. Hottovy said that most restaurants have halted major menu changes as their supply chains have been put to the test during the pandemic. But “plant-based innovation has been the exception to the rule.”
“We’re still seeing increased demand for plant-based products,” Hottovysaid. The analyst added that the new plant-based menu items don’t add much complexity to restaurant kitchens, especially if the restaurant already serves such products.
Burger King, which sells the plant-based Impossible Whopper, launched the Impossible Croissan’wich breakfast sandwich in Jun and made it available nationwide.
Starbucks launched its own Impossible breakfast sandwich in June as well. And Dunkin’, which serves a Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich, introduced a wrap version of the sandwich around the same time.