KFC is continuing to test its plant-based chicken.
Months after the chicken chain sold out of the new Beyond Fried Chicken at one Atlanta restaurant in less than five hours, it’s expanding the test to more than 70 locations in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee, and surrounding areas.
The expanded test starts Feb. 3 and will be available through Feb. 23, or while supplies last, KFC announced last week.
“We’ve really pushed the limits to develop plant-based chicken that I think will have KFC and plant-based protein fans saying, ‘That’s finger-lickin’ good,’” Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer, KFC U.S, said in a news release.
The meat alternative is available in four to 12 pieces a la carte or as a combo and with a dipping sauce or tossed in one of three sauce options: Nashville Hot, Buffalo or Honey BBQ.
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Over the last two years, the demand for plant-based products has been growing as more people want to reduce meat consumption due to health concerns.
Burger King announced in early January that it will test the plant-based Impossible Croissan’wich in markets including Albuquerque, New Mexico; Montgomery, Alabama; and Lansing, Michigan.
And KFC’s plant-based experiments reach beyond the U.S. – and beyond chicken. KFC reportedly sold 1 million vegan burgers since it added the menu item Jan. 2 nationwide in the U.K., according to several plant-based food news sites including VegNews.
The vegan burger consists of a Quorn filet with KFC’s fried chicken coating on a vegan bun.
In August, KFC announced it was the first national fast-food chain to introduce a plant-based chicken in partnership with El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat with a test in Atlanta.
With the Atlanta one-day test, KFC said customers lined up hours before the restaurant opened and cars double-wrapped around the drive-thru and down the block.
“The response in Atlanta continues to underscore the growing consumer demand for high-quality, delicious plant-based meats,” said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat CEO and founder, in the release.”Together with KFC’s team, we have created a plant-based chicken that looks, tastes and pulls apart like a chicken breast.”
To find the nearest location serving Beyond Fried Chicken, KFC will have a Beyond Fried Chicken indicator at www.kfc.com.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko