SHANGHAI – Kentucky Fried Chicken China, a unit of Yum China Holdings Inc., launched a market test of KFC Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets between April 28-30. The new menu item will debut at three participating stores in three cities across China, the company said.

KFC and Cargill partnered on the market test to benefit from Cargill’s global supply chain resources and extensive experience in plant-based protein production. KFC Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets include high-quality soy, wheat and special pea proteins which help create a taste that KFC said is as close as possible to real chicken. KFC’s proprietary crispy golden layer is added after the nuggets are cooked. A small amount of locally sourced water chestnut makes the nuggets juicy and contributes to the flavor.

Customers in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen will have the opportunity to sample the new plant-based nuggets in-store, at a special price of RMB 1.99 for five pieces.

“We are committed to embracing innovation and continue to delight and surprise our customers with tasty products,” said Joey Wat, chief executive officer of Yum China. “The test of KFC’s Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets caters to the growing market in China for delicious alternative meat options on the go. We believe that testing the plant-based chicken concept with one of our most iconic products will take this increasingly popular meatless trend to a new level.”

Pre-sale coupons are required to participate in the test, the company said. More than 7,000 coupons were purchased on the KFC APP between April 20-23. Pre-sale coupons for the first day sold out within one hour in Shanghai.

Participating stores will be given a ‘green’ makeover throughout the test period to convey the plant-based concept of the product, Yum China said.

KFC US became the first national US quick-service restaurant brand to test plant-based chicken during a limited release at a KFC store in Atlanta in August of 2019.