KFC and Chipotle launched new plant-based products nationwide. They probably won’t be the last.

The chains’ announcements come amid an expanding landscape for plant-based alternative meats


By Paulina Firozi, The Washington Post

Jan 5, 2022


Two restaurant chains announced this week that they are expanding plant-based menu options nationwide, the latest sign that alt-meat is having its moment.


Kentucky Fried Chicken said its plant-based chicken, developed by Beyond Meat, would be available nationwide starting Monday. Chipotle announced that its plant-based chorizo is now available at U.S. restaurant locations. Both companies say the plant-based options are available for a limited time.


“The mission from day one was simple — make the world-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken from plants,” KFC President Kevin Hochman said in a statement. For KFC, the nationwide expansion follows a test run of its “Beyond Fried Chicken” that began in 2019.


The announcements come amid an expanding landscape for plant-based alternative meats — with options increasing in restaurants and in grocery stores. Nutrition and food experts say it’s no surprise that the companies would want to seize on the trend, as more consumers become aware of the proteins and as the items become increasingly available. It may also signal that more restaurants will continue to expand and launch plant-based offerings.


“It’s no longer fringe for a company to be doing this — it’s becoming mainstream, and more are seeing it as a necessity” to offer such options, said Sean Cash, an economist with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University...