According to Business Insider, America's iconic deep-fried meat company, KFC, is meeting with major plant-based "meat" makers to discuss what a vegan version of fried chicken could look like. The revolutionary shift in company strategy comes as vegan, plant-based "meats" join the menu at chains like Del Taco and Burger King. And now, in a future that Kevin Hochman, the president of KFC's US business, once thought unthinkable, chicken chains might be next to jump on the meat-substitute bandwagon.
"If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have said no, to be completely honest with you," Hochman told Business Insider. "Because, we're about fried chicken."
However, if the current buzz around companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat translates into long-term customer demand, then KFC will certainly test a plant-based meat substitute in the US, Hochman said. The chain has already been testing vegetarian "fried chicken" in the UK.
"In the last two weeks I've made several appointments with some of the big guys, just to figure out — what does alternative protein look like in chicken?" Hochman said.
KFC may not be the first chicken company to use "chicken substitutes" - previously Amanda Norris, the executive director of Chick-fil-A's menu, told Business Insider that the chain is also in the early stages of exploring adding vegan options to the menu.