KFC brings plant-based chicken to Southern California

Beyond Fried Chicken is on menus starting Monday.
beyond chicken
Photograph courtesy of KFC

KFC debuted Beyond Fried Chicken in Atlanta last year, launching it in a one-day test. The plant-based nuggets sold out in less than five hours.

Now the QSR is introducing the menu item to a larger audience, bringing the product to about 50 select KFC locations in Southern California. The stores are in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and surrounding areas, close to the headquarters of Beyond Meat, the manufacturer of the plant-based nuggets.

Customers can try Beyond Fried Chicken beginning Monday—while supplies last. The nuggets are available in a six or 12-piece a la carte option or as part of a combo meal with a side and medium drink. Prices start at $6.99.

KFC and Beyond Meat worked on product development after the initial Atlanta test in 2019, and its further expansion into Nashville and Charlotte markets earlier this year.

Andrea Zahumensky, CMO of KFC, said in a statement that the flavor of Kentucky Fried Chicken has never been replicated—until Beyond Fried Chicken. “We know the east coast loved it, so we thought we’d give those on the west coast a chance to tell us what they think in an exclusive sneak peak,” she said.

KFC was the first major chain to test plant-based chicken, but El Pollo Loco has since introduced its Chickenless Pollo taco and burrito. White Castle, Burger King and Carl’s Jr. all added faux beef burgers to their menus last year, and Dunkin’ introduced plant-based sausage patties to breakfast sandwiches. According to Technomic Ignite menu data, plant-based mentions increased 300% last year across the major chains, and manufacturers continue to expand their product lines. That means consumers can expect to see more of these meat alternatives coming down the pike.

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