Shanghai-headquartered Yum China Holdings has partnered with Beyond Meat, an El Segundo, California-based trendsetter in plant-based meat substitute product innovation, to introduce the Beyond Burger as a limited time offering at a limited number of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell quick service restaurant locations in mainland China starting June 3.
“We see great potential for the plant-based meat market,” said Yum China CEO Joey Wat. “This introduction is expected to capture valuable consumer feedback across different regions in China. It will enable us to optimize flavors and processes and help assess the potential for larger scale rollouts in the future. This exciting development is the latest iteration of our ongoing commitment to introduce new and innovative products to Chinese consumers.”
“I’m excited about what this launch means in terms of together being of service as consumers seek out the nutritional and environmental benefits of our delicious plant-based products,” said Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown. “More generally, our partnership with Yum China and the iconic brands of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell is an encouraging and important milestone toward increased accessibility to our plant-based meat globally.”
On June 3 KFC began menuing the Beyond Burger as a three-day limited time offer at five locations in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Shanghai. The Beyond Burger is being promoted to Chinese consumers as “an exciting and delicious plant-based twist on the iconic beef burger patty.”
Pizza Hut is also launching its first-ever burger offerings by testing a combo set that includes both a Beyond Burger and an Australian sirloin steak burger at six outlets in Shanghai from June 8 to11. Pre-sale coupons are required for participation in the test and are available only for Pizza Hut’s members.
Meanwhile, Taco Bell is offering a taco made with the plant-based Beyond Burger patty at three units in Shanghai from June 3-10. The taco combines the restaurant chain’s classic taco recipe with a crispy corn taco, signature Mexican spices and ingredients such as chipotle and black beans, vegetables and unique sauce.
Plant-based meat products have become an increasingly popular concept around the world. Prior to partnering with Beyond Meat, KFC and Taco Bell had conducted tests of plant-based meat products in China. In April of this year, KFC trialed plant-based chicken nuggets at select stores in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, while in December of 2019 Taco Bell tested a plant-based pork taco at select stores in Shanghai.