Food

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.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

Brands need to think creatively as the industry heads into a value war

The Bottom Line: Giving customers meal options they can afford will be key to generating traffic this year. But make sure those offers can generate a profit.

Financing

The Red Lobster bankruptcy is a seminal moment for the restaurant business

The Bottom Line: The seafood chain’s bankruptcy declaration was not surprising after months of closures and Endless Shrimp recriminations. But that doesn’t make it any less notable.

Workforce

The White House has ideas about how all that AI on the Show floor should be used

Reality Check: President Biden issued a set of guidelines Thursday for protecting workers from the digital onslaught.

Trending

More from our partners