KFC Now Has Vegan Chicken Nuggets In 2 Major Cities, Looking To Go National Soon

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Nearly 100 KFC stores in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville Tennessee are continuing the expanded test of Beyond Fried Chicken from Beyond Meat that has been a massive success even now.

KFC has been notorious in the animal rights movement for the cruelty that the chickens from their suppliers go through. So much so that PETA had a “Kentucky Fried Cruelty” campaign that showed the horrifying conditions that the chickens suffered through in their cramped cages and filthy conditions.

It’s surprising then that KFC has taken this new turn towards plant-based vegan chicken products both here in the United States and in the United Kingdom where they sold over a million chicken burgers in the month of January thanks to the Veganuary campaign that reached nearly half a million people during this years 2020 campaign. 

The new Beyond Meat nuggets went on sale this past Monday, February 3rd and will continue to be available until February 23rd or until supplies last (which they surely will not if the history of these tests remains consistent). KFC says they hope to push the product nationwide soon after. 

KFC’s jump onto the bandwagon of vegan plant-based options really should be no surprise given the successes of other fast-food companies like Burger King who sold out their initial tests so fast of the Impossible Whopper that they quickly went national with the Impossible Foods product.

The new Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers available at Denny’s, Beyond Sausage sandwiches at Dunkin’ including a Snoop Dogg version of it, and Beyond Meat at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s for all three meals of the day all signal the coming of a vegan world that KFC is smart to get in on as early as they can.

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.

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Brandon Kirkwood

Animal Rights Activist (ARA), Vegan, Creator and editor of Vegan News, Father to an awesome cat named Boba, Youtuber

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