KFC partners with Beyond Meat to test plant-based nuggets, wings

(Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc YUM.N said on Monday it will be testing Beyond Meat Inc's BYND.O plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings at an Atlanta KFC restaurant, the latest fast-food chain trying new options to attract vegan diners.

The quick-service restaurant will roll out its vegan menu items nationally based on the customer feedback from the Atlanta test, Yum said.

Yum is the latest big-chain restaurant jumping on the vegan bandwagon, a growing market as more fast-food chains tweak their menus to add new options for vegans and ‘flexitarians’.

Plant-based meat alternatives have seen booming interest from consumers and restaurants, supporting startups like Beyond Meat and its competitor Impossible Foods, and even sparking interest from veteran meat companies such as Tyson Foods Inc TSN.N and Perdue Foods.

Beyond Meat has already partnered with sandwich chain Subway, Del Taco Restaurant Inc TACO.O, Carl's Jr, Dunkin' Brands Group Inc DNKN.O and Restaurant Brand International's QSR.TO Tim Hortons.

KFC, known for its fried chicken, will be serving the six or 12-piece combo plant-based nugget meals for $6.49 and $8.49 and boneless wings for $6 and $12.

Beyond Meat’s shares rose about 4% before the bell. The stock has risen more than three-fold since it went public in May.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta