In Kentucky, fried chicken mainstay KFC is leaning into plant-based meat substitutes, signing a collaboration in 3D bioprinting and aggressively expanding its Beyond Fried Chicken product to larger markets.
TechCrunch notes that the company recently provided its closely guarded 11 herbs and spices to Russia’s 3D Bioprinting Solutions to begin testing whether lab-cultured chicken cells can meet taste and texture standards. “3D bioprinting technologies, initially widely recognized in medicine, are nowadays gaining popularity in producing foods such as meat,” Yusef Khesuani, co-founder and managing partner of 3D Bioprinting Solutions, tells the tech news outlet. “In the future, the rapid development of such technologies will allow us to make 3D-printed meat products more accessible and we are hoping that the technology created as a result of our cooperation with KFC will help accelerate the launch of cell-based meat products on the market.”
KFC is also working with Beyond Meat to expand pilots of the plant-based Beyond Fried Chicken from Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte to Southern California. Fifty stores in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego areas will begin selling the KFC meat substitute on July 20. The initial offering did well, selling out in Atlanta within 5 hours.
“I’ve said it before: despite many imitations, the flavor of Kentucky Fried Chicken is one that has never been replicated, until Beyond Fried Chicken,” said Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer, KFC U.S. “We know the east coast loved it, so we thought we’d give those on the west coast a chance to tell us what they think in an exclusive sneak peek.