KFC hints at plan for plant-based chicken alternative

‘We are meeting with the big suppliers of alternative proteins to understand the market’

Sabrina Barr
Friday 31 May 2019 12:04 BST
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(Getty Images)

KFC has hinted it may be considering a plant-based alternative to chicken on its menu.

The fast food chain has revealed it’s currently in talks with suppliers of plant-based protein alternatives to determine whether there may be interest in the products in the near future.

“We don’t see chicken as the big trend right now,” Kevin Hochman, US president of KFC, told CNN Business.

“But we are definitely looking at [plant-based alternatives] in earnest and meeting with the big suppliers of alternative proteins to understand the market and where it’s headed.”

Hochman stated that if plant-based poultry becomes “more mainstream”, then the company would conduct tests for it.

A KFC spokesperson added that while the firm’s US franchise currently has “no plans to rest plant-based meat”, it is “watching this trend closely” in order to learn more about the “growing industry”.

Last year, it was reported KFC were testing vegetarian options in the UK, as part of its mission to launch a healthier menu.

The fast food chain vowed to remove 20 per cent of calories per serving from the dishes on its menu by 2025.

KFC isn’t the only fast-food chain to have noted the increasing popularity of plant-based foods.

Earlier this year, Burger King launched its meat-free Whopper burger, dubbed the “Impossible Whopper“, in 59 stores around Missouri in the US.

According to a report released by inMarket inSights, the stores in St Louis which trialled the burger outperformed the eatery’s national foot traffic average by 18.5 per cent in April.

Earlier this week, Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s, said the company is considering adding a vegan burger to its menu, telling customers to “watch this space”.

“The question is: Will the demand make absorbing it worth the complexity because it will drive the business,” Easterbrook told CNBC.

Easterbrook continued, saying that while he doesn’t think adding a meat-free burger to the fast food restaurant’s menu would be “faddish”, the firm needs to consider whether doing so would maintain the “same level of buzz”.

McDonald’s announced the launch of a vegan burger in Germany in April.

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