Yum! China partners with Beyond Meat for plant-based burgers

KFC is rolling out Beyond Burgers at some of its locations Wednesday in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu.
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat has partnered with Yum! China to test beef burgers with Chinese customers.

Starting Wednesday, the plant-based protein maker will offer beyond burgers in the country.

Yum China, which is the local owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, plans to shake up menus across its franchises for a few days this month as part of a test that could lead to a bigger rollout later on.

KFC is rolling out Beyond Burgers at some of its locations Wednesday in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu.

Pizza Hut will also debut the product, which is the chain’s first foray into burgers in China. Diners who belong to Pizza Hut’s loyalty program in Shanghai will get to try a new combo meal that includes both Beyond’s plant-based offering and another burger featuring real steak.

Taco Bell’s offering will be more subtle, with a new taco that folds in Beyond’s burger patty alongside its classic ingredients, such as chipotle and black beans.

“If all goes well, the company will explore “larger scale rollouts in the future,” shared Joey Wat, CEO Joey in a statement.

Yum China has been working to cash in on the fake meat trend through a series of trials in recent months, including a test of plant-based chicken nuggets at KFC earlier this year and a limited run of plant-based pork tacos at Taco Bell last year.

“We see great potential for the plant-based meat market in China. This latest introduction across KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands is expected to capture valuable consumer feedback across different regions in China,” he added.

Beyond Meat, meanwhile, has recently made inroads in the vast Chinese market. In April, the company teamed up with Starbucks to offer Chinese customers a lasagne made with its beef substitute.

In a statement this week, Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown called the company’s new partnership an “important milestone” in its global ambitions.

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