Hospitality

Tastes Like Chicken: Interest in KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken Shows Meatless is Only Gonna Get Bigger

Image Credit: Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

In recent years, Beyond Meat has become a household name in meat alternatives, offering vegan substitutes for items including burgers, sausages, ground meat, and more. Late last month, KFC released a limited run of Beyond Meat Beyond Fried Chicken at a single Atlanta, GA location. According to reports, the vegan chicken alternative sold out within five hours. 

To better gauge the appeal, CivicScience asked more than 1,900 U.S. adults about their interest in Beyond Meat Beyond Fried Chicken. According to the data, a quarter of the adult population is keen on the idea.

While there is an obvious appeal to vegans and vegetarians, the data reveal what previous studies have shown: interest is strong among those who only eat meat occasionally, and even those who eat meat regularly demonstrate some level of interest. 

This suggests that Beyond Fried Chicken may not just be a way to satisfy those who have chosen a meatless diet, but to provide more opportunities for loyal meat-eaters to try a plant-based alternative. 

The potential appeal does not end there. According to the data, there is substantial interest in Beyond Fried Chicken from those who are neutral and even unfavorable towards KFC.

So while loyal KFC fans are already on board, this could be an opportunity to change some opinions–or provide more options–for those who had previously ruled out the popular fast-food chain. 

What’s more, the largest interest comes from those who eat at fast-food restaurants less than once a month. This further suggests that KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken may stand a real chance to pull infrequent visitors back into its restaurant locations.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the youngest adults are also the most interested in this meatless menu item. 

And while men and women are both interested, women seem to have the most intense desire to give Beyond Fried Chicken a try. 

Ultimately, the data indicate that there is a very real interest in plant-based meat alternatives. And, in the case of Beyond Fried Chicken, this product has garnered interest not just from a meat-free minority, but from a wide range of eaters who may simply be interested in trying out a plant-based meal. Given the potential it has to sway favorability and bring formerly excluded customers back into the mix, if the opportunity exists to make this a regular menu item, KFC would be wise not to chicken out.

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