KFC’s Newest Secret Spice: Beyond Meat

September 16, 2019
KFC’s Newest Secret Spice: Beyond Meat

KFC’s Atlanta test of Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken sold out in just five hours, demonstrating a market hungry for more alternatives to traditional fast food meats.

KFC is the first fast food restaurant to offer the product.  Soon it plans to serve up both chicken nuggets and bonefree wings in 6- and 12-piece combo meals, in addition to having an a la carte nugget option.

Video Spotlight: Beyond Meat Testing Fake Chicken at KFC

This post is based on the CNN article, KFC will start testing Beyond Meat fried chicken, by David Goldman, August 26, 2019; the Barrons article, Beyond Meat’s Test at KFC Shows There’s a Market for Alternative Chicken  and the YouTube video, Beyond Meat Testing Fake Chicken at KFC, by Bloomberg Markets and Finance, August 26, 2019. Image source: (c) Ingram Publishing / Alamy

Discussion Questions:

1. What challenges will KFC face when adding plant-based chicken products to its menu?

Guidance: Correctly forecasting demand for a product that is truly new can be challenging.  As demonstrated recently at Popeye’s with a much less “innovative” product, product shortages can cause mayhem for restaurants which do not correctly forecast and obtain sources of supply sufficient to stock the demands of hungry customers.

While media hype may add to visibility and overall levels of demand, operational issues and frustrations in dealing with shortages may outweigh any benefits.  Negative tweets and posts from customers may also outweigh the publicity gained.

2. How might the price and availability of alternative meat products change over time?

Guidance: Currently, limited supplies of alternative meat products are available, as a handful of companies compete in a relatively new market.  As time goes on, those companies will have time to expand their capacity, and other new entrants may come on the scene as well.  As supplies increase, the price of vegan offerings may come down.  This in turn may make the meatless options appealing to an ever-greater number of consumers, some of whom may find the current price points of some of these items too high for their pocketbooks.


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