CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - Two states that pride themselves on making award-winning meaty barbecue will now be test markets for Kentucky Fried Chicken’s meatless chicken to see if it’s “finger-lickin’ good.”
Kentucky Fried Chicken and Beyond Meat will test Beyond Fried Chicken, a plant-based “chicken,” from Feb. 3 to 23 at select KFC restaurants in Charlotte and Nashville restaurants.
Beyond Fried Chicken menu items tested in Atlanta this summer were “overwhelmingly successful,” according to a KFC press release. KFC said customers lined up hours before the restaurant opened and cars double-wrapped around the drive-thru and down the block to taste the Beyond Fried Chicken. It sold out in less than five hours.
“The iconic flavor of Kentucky Fried Chicken is one that has never been replicated, despite many imitations, until now,” said Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer for KFC U.S.
The plant-based chicken looks, tastes and pulls apart like chicken breast, said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat founder and CEO. The company says its meat-less option addresses concerns related to human health, climate change, resource conservation and animal welfare.
Many comments on KFC’s Facebook posts about the meatless chicken share excitement about the new food option with people urging a nationwide launch and saying they’re happy “the meatless movement continues.”
Others called it “frankenmeat” and some have complete disdain for meatless “meat.”
“Seriously,” one person wrote. “This vegan crap needs to STOP!”
“It doesn’t even advertise (as) vegan. ... It’s a mystery meat,” one person said of the Facebook ad.
And another person said: “Read the ingredients! Fake meat is not good for you at all. It’s (petri) dish food..”
KFC meatless menu option comes on the heels of Burger King’s nationwide in August of its Impossible Whopper, a plant-based burger produced by Impossible Foods.
A customer on Burger King’s Facebook post about it said she taste-tested the original whopper against the meat substitute whopper: “Either the Impossible Whopper is really Beef ... or the Beef Whopper is actually not 100% beef?”
Another said: “Thank you...thank you...thank you! Just had my first Impossible Whopper and I am so thrilled! Tasted great!”