A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Feb 6, 2020

KFC Has Started Selling Vegan Chicken Nuggets

 Which suggests that if even KFC customers want it, this vegan menu thing is really happening. JL

Dylan Matthews reports in Re/code:

The company is rolling out Beyond Fried Chicken, a vegan chicken nugget product made in conjunction with the company Beyond Meat. While most meatless fast-food products, like Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, are based on a standard recipe, the Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets are “completely custom for KFC … The company went through countless iterations on the protein, ultimately opting, not for a ground, spongey protein, but something more akin to whole breast muscle tissue.”
KFC is one of the most notorious American food brands in animal rights circles — but the latest KFC news is something animal welfare supporters should cheer.
The company is rolling out Beyond Fried Chicken, a vegan chicken nugget product made in conjunction with the company Beyond Meat, to almost 100 stores in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee. The nuggets will go on sale Monday, February 3, and will be available until February 23 or while supplies last. If the test is successful, the company says it hopes to push the product nationwide.
KFC’s move is the latest in a long succession of meatless meat rollouts by various national restaurant and fast-food brands, including the Impossible Whopper at Burger King, Beyond Burgers at Denny’s, and the Impossible Meat tacos at Qdoba. It’s an especially noteworthy move, as KFC’s chicken suppliers have been the frequent target of undercover investigations, including one in 2004 that showed workers kicking, stomping, and throwing chickens against walls.
Beyond Fried Chicken first premiered in a KFC location outside Atlanta this past summer. I haven’t tried the nuggets yet, but Fast Company’s Mark Wilson is enthusiastic: “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.” He adds that it’s “the best faux chicken I’ve eaten in the last five years of eating mostly vegan.”
Wilson reports that while most meatless fast-food products, like Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, are based on a standard recipe, the Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets are “completely custom for KFC … The company went through countless iterations on the protein, ultimately opting, not for a ground, spongey protein, but something more akin to whole breast muscle tissue.”
If you’re in the Charlotte or Nashville areas and are curious if your local KFC will feature the meatless nuggets, you can search for your store on the KFC site and look for a “Beyond Fried Chicken” indicator.
If you live elsewhere and want to eat Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods products, be sure to check out Sigal Samuel’s guide to which restaurants and grocery stores are featuring them.

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