Famous for the notorious finger-lickin' good catchphrase, the international food chain KFC partnered with Bangkok-based Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl (CPF) 's brand 'Meat Zero' to create a plant-based menu series in Thailand. Available at two KFC Green stores in Sangsom Building and Vanachai Depot Chachoengsao, consumers will get a limited period of time to enjoy this menu until the 29th of September.
This step of creating a plant-based option is mainly driven by the market’s demand and rising enthusiasm for a plant-based diet. More and more people are driven to have a more mindful lifestyle. These target markets are more conscious about what they are consuming and thrive for a more sustainable environment as KFC Thailand provides options for them. This plant-based series is a more significant part of KFC Thailand’s sustainability plan in hopes of creating more outlets serving vegan chicken in the future.
As Waewkanee Assoratgoon, the general manager of KFC from Yum Restaurants International Thailand, states, “Consumers will barely notice that the chicken they are eating is made from plants. Whenever they want to skip real meat, they can come to us, and they will still enjoy the familiar delicacy.” KFC has been successfully creating vegan and plant-based options in other countries.
In 2019, KFC UK launched “Imposter Burger” – the vegan chicken sandwich, and was sold at 20 locations around the United Kingdom, and it brings 500% more sales than any new launches. These plant-based series have also thrived in Asian countries, such as in Hong Kong, the year 2020 where KFC partnered with Green Monday to feature nuggets for its New Era series with Alpha Foods and Gardein.
“Opting for Meat Zero as the material for our plant-based Chicken Pop and spicy rice bowl with plant-based Chicken Pop menus, we can create very delicious products,” continues Assoratgoon in a statement. Usually, KFC plant-based series create burgers and nuggets, a different approach was taken for the menu selection from the past plant-based series from KFC, KFC Thailand opted for menus that include Plant-Based Chicken Pops, Spicy Rice Bowls with Plant-Based Chicken Pops, Combo Plant-Based Pops, Combo Plant-Based Zabb Rice Bowls, and Combo Salad Bowls w/ Plant-Based Pops.
According to its official statement from Meat Zero, The chicken product they are using is 100% vegan and the recipes for the dishes they are using the chicken in are also 100% vegan. However, KFC Thailand releases a statement that they use the same tongs for the plant-based dishes as they do with the chicken dishes, so cross-contamination is possible.
We asked Joanna Broomfield and Max Hellier, Founders of Root The Future a Bangkok-based media about this launch. "We believe this is a great step towards a plant-based future. When mainstream brands like KFC start introducing plant-based options, you know there is a big change happening."
They continued "Although choosing to support local, small businesses is the most sustainable option, but it would be much harder to transition towards a more sustainable food system without having these big players on board. PLUS, this is amazing exposure for plant-based food to the masses and will definitely work to change the image of plant-based food from being just 'salads' to anything at all! It helps promote the 'anything you can make I can make vegan' perception!"