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Fried Chicken From KFC And Beyond Meat Is Coming Soon

The Beyond Fried Chicken will be available in KFC locations nationwide this month.

A new plant-based chicken has dropped, as KFC  (KFC)  has announced plans to team with with Beyond Meat  (BYND) - Get Beyond Meat, Inc. Report to launch a meatless poultry option, as reported by Fast Company.

On January 10, the Beyond Fried Chicken will be available in KFC’s nationwide, which will surely be good news for people who are looking to add some variety to their #meatlessmonday.

But What Will It Taste Like?

The Beyond Fried Chicken will be “shaped into fried chunks that are somewhere between a chicken nugget and a chicken finger” and will be available in six-piece packs starting at $6.99 at the franchise’s more than 4,000 locations.

The meal was introduced to test markets two years ago to reportedly rave reviews. The company wanted to bring it to the mass market sooner, but the pandemic made it difficult to update KFC’s operations, according to KFC U.S. president Kevin Hochman. 

KFC developed the exclusive recipe with Beyond Meat, and with not only the 11 herbs and spices that fast food fans have come to expect, but protein that is designed “to shred like a chunk of muscle tissue.”

Plant-Based Fast Food Continue To Sprout Up

While the Beyond Meat company is mainly known in the public imagination for its popular vegan burgers and sausages, it introduced a plant-based chicken to grocery stores last year. 

Beyond Meat's CEO hasn’t been shy about his overall mission for his company, previously telling the Wall Street Journal that “we want to be the brand that lets people separate the idea of 'meat' from animals.” 

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Aligning with KFC is another step towards his larger goal.

“This [product] needs to democratize plant-based protein, and do it where consumers love to go and eat,” Brown told FastCompany. “The position that KFC is in to change how the consumer eats, it’s just hard to overstate that.”

While the exact number of people who practice veganism is difficult to parse, The Guardian reported that the “once fringe” diet is catching on, with a 40% increase in 2020, bringing the total to around 1.5 million. 

The reasons why more people are eschewing or at least eating less meat range from health to environmental and animal rights concerns, and growing reports that meatpacking factories were hit hard by COVID infections. 

But while a relatively small portion of the U.S. population completely avoid animal-based products, more consumers are making an effort to not have meat every day or with every dinner. A recent Gallup poll found that nearly one in four people have cut back on eating meat. 

Fast Food Embraces Plant Food

Fast food franchises began working with the two main meatless companies, Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger in 2019, and there are now so many meatless drive-thru options that last year Thrillist ranked their six favorite, naming the Quiznos: Plant Based Corned Beef the reigning champ.

But it hasn’t always been a smooth road: Taco Bell recently passed on Beyond Meat's version of carne asada for not quite nailing the taste, and Dunkin' Donuts ( (DNKN) - Get Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Report) limited the availability of the Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich to just 10 states in the Western part of the country after it failed to catch on in other locations.