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Healthy eating

KFC and Beyond Meat partner to sell plant-based chicken

The test run will include nuggets and wings, too.

KFC Beyond Meat

KFC is the first fast-food chain to sell Beyond Meat chicken.

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat has teamed up with Kentucky Fried Chicken to test its plant-based chicken starting on Tuesday. One KFC restaurant in Atlanta will be the first to get Beyond Fried Chicken along with boneless wings and nuggets, the companies said in a press release Monday. 

The Cobb Parkway KFC in Atlanta will also give away complimentary samples of the plant-based chicken on Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET with the purchase of a menu item, while supplies last. 

"To be able to bring Beyond Fried Chicken, in all of its KFC-inspired deliciousness to market, speaks to our collective ability to meet the consumer where they are and accompany them on their journey," Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, said in a release Monday. "My only regret is not being able to see the legendary Colonel himself enjoy this important moment."

While the Beyond Fried Chicken is plant-based, it may not be entirely vegan. A Beyond Meat spokesperson said the chicken and its batter don't contain animal-based ingredients. However, they're cooked at KFC in fryers with other chicken, the spokesperson added, so it might not meet the standards of those with strict vegetarian or vegan diets. 

One group happy with the news of new chicken is the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The organization called the restaurant chain "Kentucky Friend Cruelty," but approves of KFC's test of non-meat food. 

"PETA is delighted to offer its support for the new vegan chicken at KFC in Atlanta," Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, said in an emailed statement Monday. "As smart businesses race to meet the sky-high demand for tasty vegan options, if this rollout of Beyond Fried Chicken goes national, it would almost certainly mean profits by the bucketful -- and countless chickens' lives saved."

Beyond Meat is already available at other fast-food chains and restaurants such as Subway, Carl's Jr. and TGI Friday's.

Originally published 8:38 a.m. PT.
Update, 1:50 p.m. PT: Adds Beyond Meat comment and PETA comments. 

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