KFC testing Beyond Meat at a suburban Atlanta restaurant

Beyond Meat is partnering with KFC to produce experimental nuggets and "wings."
KFC will start testing plant-based fried chicken from Beyond Meat in an Atlanta restaurant.
KFC will start testing plant-based fried chicken from Beyond Meat in an Atlanta restaurant.KFC

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By David K. Li

KFC, best known for its "finger lickin' good" fried chicken, and vegetarian food producer Beyond Meat have combined forces to create a new "plant-based" poultry that'll debut this week, they announced on Monday.

KFC's new "Beyond Fried Chicken" nuggets and wings will roll out Tuesday at a single store in Smyrna, Georgia, about 13 miles north of downtown Atlanta.

Nuggets and "boneless wings" will be on the menu.

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“KFC is an iconic part of American culture and a brand that I, like so many consumers, grew up with. To be able to bring Beyond Fried Chicken, in all of its KFC-inspired deliciousness to market, speaks to our collective ability to meet the consumer where they are and accompany them on their journey,” Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat, said in a prepared statement.

"My only regret is not being able to see the legendary Colonel himself enjoy this important moment."

A rep for Louisville-based KFC, a brand within global fast-food conglomerate Yum!, promised consumers the new faux meat will taste like chicken.

“KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based,” said Kevin Hochman, KFC's president and chief concept officer.

“I think we’ve all heard ‘it tastes like chicken’ — well our customers are going to be amazed and say, ‘it tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken!’”

Beyond Meat has already made deals with sandwich chain Subway, Mexican fast-food brand Del Taco, burger giant Carl's Jr, and donut stores Dunkin' and Tim Hortons.

Earlier this year, Beyond Meat raised nearly $241 million in an initial public offering this past spring.

Wall Street, and the public in general, appear to have an appetite for meat alternatives as Beyond Meat's chief rival, Impossible Foods, launched an Impossible Whopper earlier this year.