This month, fast-food chains Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut will add plant-based Beyond Meat to their menus at select locations in China. Yum China Holdings—parent company of these three chains in China and licensee of Yum! Brands—will launch the plant-based burger patty as a test to determine consumer demand. “We see great potential for the plant-based meat market in China,” Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China, said. “This latest introduction across KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands is expected to capture valuable consumer feedback across different regions in China. It will enable us to optimize flavors and processes and help assess the potential for larger scale rollouts in the future. This exciting development is the latest iteration of our on-going commitment to introduce new and innovative products to Chinese consumers.”
At Taco Bell, the Beyond Burger will be used as a base for a taco, which will be available at three Shanghai locations from June 3 until June 10. Pizza Hut will launch its first burger combo set (available from June 8 until June 11), featuring two burgers: one made with a Beyond Burger patty and another with animal-derived beef.
At KFC, the Beyond Burger—served with dairy-based toppings—will be available for three days starting June 3 at five locations in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. KFC China previously tested plant-based chicken nuggets made by agribusiness giant Cargill in April at three locations: Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. In Shanghai, the vegan nuggets sold out within an hour and 7,000 portions were purchased during the trial period.
“I’m excited about what this launch means in terms of together being of service to the Chinese consumer as they seek out the nutritional and environmental benefits of our delicious plant-based meats,” Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown said. “More generally, our partnership with Yum China and the iconic brands of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell is an encouraging and important milestone toward increased accessibility to our plant-based meat globally.”
Stateside, Beyond Meat partnered with Yum! Brands last August to test Beyond Fried Chicken at one KFC location in Atlanta—which sold out of the vegan chicken in less than five hours, prompting KFC to expand the option to nearly 70 test locations in Charlotte, NC, Nashville, TN, and surrounding areas in February.