Yesterday, fast-food giant KFC revealed that is is going to expand the test of its Beyond Fried Chicken plant-based "chicken"--produced in a partnership with Beyond Meat--to more than 70 restaurants in Charlotte, Nashville, and surrounding areas from February 3 through February 23 or until they run out.
And the first time they sold their Beyond Fried Chicken, KFC ran out really fast.
You may recall that, when KFC introduced its vegan fried "chicken" nuggets and boneless wings in August 2019 at an Atlanta KFC restaurant (specially decked out in bright green trim for the occasion), customers turned out in droves--many arriving more than an hour before the store opened. According to news reports, the line to enter the store wrapped around two city blocks while cars were bumper-to-bumper in the drive-thru, looping around the store twice.
The test was so successful that the store sold out of its supply of Beyond Fried Chicken in less than five hours.
Why are people so excited about fake chicken?
According to an article in Fast Company, it's all about the flavor. Says Mark Wilson,
It tastes like a doggone piece of chicken--and not just any piece of chicken, but a KFC piece of chicken with hints of those 11 herbs and spices. I fork and knife my way through the honey BBQ (perfectly too sweet, and the coating still crunchy), the buffalo (a touch vinegary for my taste but offering the uncanny aftertaste of chicken), and the Nashville (the deep pepper flavor has respectable heat that hits me a delightful 10 seconds later).
While the KFC expansion of its Beyond Fried Chicken test bodes well for the company, other fast-food restaurants aren't exactly sitting on the sidelines. Burger King rolled out a meat-free Impossible Whopper nationwide last August, and White Castle offers Impossible sliders, Cheesecake Factory has Impossible Burgers, and you can order Beyond Burgers at TGI Fridays and A&W in Canada.
KFC's Beyond Meat chicken is a damn miracle https://t.co/j2L2D3La1g-- Fast Company (@FastCompany) January 29, 2020
And Canadians have already gotten a chance to sample McDonald's PLT plant-based burger, which incorporates a burger patty produced by Beyond Meat on a sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and a distinctly non-vegan slice of cheese. Referring to McDonald's, Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy said, "By early [this] year, you will likely see a plant-based burger test in the U.S."
Clearly, the future of fast food is plant based. I can't wait to see what's next. (Oh, and to give a piece of that KFC Beyond Fried Chicken a try.)