KFC has developed “Vegan Meat” chicken
Have you heard the plant-based meat substitutes called “Vegan Meat” or “Fake Meat”? Meat alternative, born from the innovative question of “Are animals essential for meat production?”, has gained attention not only as a lifestyle for vegans and vegetarians but also as a solution to the food crisis and environmental problems caused by the global population growth. In Japan, the market for meat alternatives is expected to expand to 25.4 billion yen in 2022, and the momentum shows no sign of slowing down.
In the United States, chain stores such as Burger King, Subway, and Dunkin’ have developed menus that use meat alternatives, and in Japan, MOS BURGER sells hamburgers that use patties made from soybean-based meat. On August 27, KFC entered the meat alternative market by offering fried “chickens” made using chicken alternatives at a single location near Atlanta, in Smyrna, Georgia in partnership with Beyond Meat, an alternative meat producing company. Meat alternatives have been commonly used for sausage and ground beef so far, and according to KFC, it is the first time to offer as an alternative for chicken in the United States.
Nuggets and boneless wings using chicken alternatives were offered free of charge on that day. They are cooked in the same process as the chickens that are usually on sale. KFC’s president Kevin Hochman said, “The fried chicken, will be offered this time, is so delicious so our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based. Our customers are going to be amazed and say, ‘It tastes like chicken!’”
These KFC’s efforts reflect the trend of consumers who are incorporating more meat-free menus and plant-based alternatives than ever before due to health, environmental and ethical concerns. This is also reflected in Beyond Meat’s soaring stock value, trading about 10 times higher than its IPO price. It’s clear that people want the option of “plant-based meats.”
These samples were sold out in just five hours, and KFC is considering whether to add them to the official menu in the future while reviewing the customer feedback. It may be close to the day when plant-based chicken becomes commonplace.