Yum China Holdings, Inc. has announced that it is partnering with Beyond Meat, Inc., a leader in plant-based meat, to introduce the Beyond Burger as a limited-time offering at select KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations in mainland China starting 3 June. This partnership marks the introduction of Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger in mainland China.
“We see great potential for the plant-based meat market in China,” said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China. “This latest introduction across KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands is expected to capture valuable consumer feedback across different regions in China. It will enable us to optimise flavours and processes and help assess the potential for larger-scale rollouts in the future. This exciting development is the latest iteration of our on-going commitment to introduce new and innovative products to Chinese consumers.”
“We are proud to further our partnership with the Yum family of brands by launching Beyond Meat offerings at select KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations in mainland China. I’m excited about what this launch means in terms of together being of service to the Chinese consumer as they seek out the nutritional and environmental benefits of our delicious plant-based meats. 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,” said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO.
Launching on 3 June, KFC will offer the Beyond Burger as a 3-day limited time offer at five locations in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Shanghai. The Beyond Burger will provide Chinese consumers with 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 stores in Shanghai from 8 June to 11 June. Pre-sale coupons are required for participating in the test and are available only for Pizza Hut’s members starting June 1.
Meanwhile, Taco Bell will offer a taco made with the plant-based Beyond Burger patty at three stores in Shanghai from 3 June to 10 June. The taco combines Taco Bell’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 previously conducted tests of plant-based meat products in China. In April 2020, KFC tested plant-based chicken nuggets at select stores in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, whilst in December 2019, Taco Bell tested a plant-based pork taco at select stores in Shanghai.
Yum China in-depth market understanding and consumer insights, accumulated over the past 30 years, offer a strong foundation to establish the concept of plant-based meat in China. KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are amongst the first Western restaurant brands to introduce a plant-based meat product in China and with this test, they are joining their global counterparts in helping to popularise plant-based meat products.