Vegetarians won’t have to opt for only fries the next time their friends want to go to KFC. The iconic chicken brand says it’s cooking up a new, healthier recipe; one that will be missing the restaurant chain’s most famous ingredient: chicken.
The company, famous for its finger lickin’ fried chicken, announced this week that it’s testing a chicken-like vegetarian options in United Kingdom with its signature blend of herbs and spices. Their hope with the vegetarian fried chicken to reduce its meals’ calorie counts by 20 percent. And by 2020, KFC hopes to unveil several offerings that are under 600 calories each.
“Development of the recipe is still in its very early stages, and so the options we’re exploring in our kitchen are still top secret,” a spokesperson for KFC said in a statement. “Once we’ve perfected the recipe, we aim to test with customers this year. And if all goes well, we hope to launch a new vegetarian option in 2019.”
Apart from featuring Colonel Sanders’ famous recipe of 11 herbs and spices, KFC has kept tight-lipped about how the vegetarian fried chicken might look or taste like. Still, it’s surprising news for a global food chain that’s predicated on serving fatty meat to take this move.
Low calorie, vegetarian options
The venture, however, was announced as the British government is pushing to cut the national consumption of excess calories. Public Health England issued guidelines in March with the aim of reducing the calorie count of some popular foods by 20 percent by 2024. This means that vegetarian alternatives may now finally become more standard for larger restaurants. Taco Bell, for instance, has long offered beans as a vegetarian filling. Other big chains like Burger King have offered veggie burger alternatives. And most recently Shake Shack has been testing out a new beet-based veggie patty that can be served vegan.
At the moment, however, there are no plans to release the vegetarian fried chicken elsewhere.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.