It will be the first time that a large national fast-food chain is selling plant-based chicken products rather than the hamburger or sausage substitutes that have become increasingly regular, the chain said.
“The mission from day one was simple – make the world-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken from plants,” said President of KFC U.S. Kevin Hochman. “And now over two years later we can say, ‘mission accomplished.'”
KFC took to Twitter on Wednesday, introducing— Beyond Fried Chicken — on its menus and calling it “a crispy miracle.”
Behold! A crispy miracle coming 1/10. pic.twitter.com/QgHiYsYfqX
— KFC (@kfc) January 5, 2022
After being trailed for nearly two years in test markets, the plant-based meat will be available at more than 4,000 KFC stores nationwide on Monday, beginning with a limited rollout.
Beyond Meat stock was up about 9% in Wednesday’s premarket trading on the news but toppled just minutes after trading began.
The shares of the stock were exchanging hands at $60.52 apiece at 1:53 p.m. eastern time, down 1.74% from the previous close. At 2:37 Eastern Time, the stock was trading at $59.85, breaking the previous 52-week-low record of $60.26.
The plant-based chicken is from the house of the fast-growing company– Beyond Meat, a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes that sells vegan burgers, sausages, beef and chicken tenders at stores and restaurants across the U.S.
Customers can order Beyond Fried Chicken in combo meals, including medium drink and fries or à la carte in six- or 12-piece portions. Prices may vary according to location, but six-piece packs have a starting price of $6.99 and can cost more for the other options.
KFC began testing Beyond Meat plant-based chicken in August 2019 in Atlanta and later stretched to more areas in the following year.
Last year in February, Yum and Beyond announced entering into a strategic partnership, wherein they will create plant-based menu items for Yum’s KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut over “the next several years.”
Major fast-food chains are joining hands with faux meat makers to add vegan and vegetarian options to their menus. Beyond Meat rival– Impossible Foods Inc also collaborated with Burger King, a unit of Restaurant Brands International Inc. to give a vegan touch to their menu.
Beyond Meat also took to Twitter, and said, “We’re excited to officially announce Beyond Fried Chicken will be making its national debut on January 10th.”
It continued, “Yes, you heard us correctly. Stay tuned for more details and get ready to grab a bucket. We told you 2022 was going to be tasty.”
Kevin Hochman, KFC’s president in the U.S., told CNBC the move was “really about where the customer is going.”
Breaking News! We’re excited to officially announce Beyond Fried Chicken will be making its national debut on January 10th. Yes, you heard us correctly. Stay tuned for more details and get ready to grab a bucket. We told you 2022 was going to be tasty…https://t.co/1KVAzB8cbe
— Beyond Meat (@BeyondMeat) January 5, 2022
“They want to eat more plant-based proteins,” he said. “It’s January, so it’s a time of New Year’s resolutions and wanting to do something different in your diet.”
The announcement comes at a time when food prices are increasing, especially among meat products. The Biden administration, on Tuesday, announced a $1 billion package to help expand independent and small meatpacking businesses.