From a partnership with the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to manufacture chicken meat substitutes using plant material and chicken cells from laboratory culture, to expanding its Beyond Fried Chicken pilots to Southern California, KFC is aggressively driving its experiments on the future of food.
In Russia, this means adding breadcrumbs and spices to 3D bioprinting to see if the company's chicken substitute can match the KFC Taste, according to the company. As the company said, there are no other methods on the market that can produce complex products from animal cells.
"3D bioprinting technologies that were originally widely recognized in medicine are becoming increasingly popular in the production of foods like meat," said Yusef Khesuani, co-founder and managing partner of 3D Bioprinting Solutions, in a statement. “The rapid development of such technologies will enable us to make 3D printed meat products more accessible in the future, and we hope that the technology developed through our collaboration with KFC will help accelerate the adoption of cell-based meat products the market."
KFC is closer to its home base in the United States and is working with the listed herbal meat replacement developer Beyond Meat to expand its recent trials for KFC's Beyond Fried Chicken.
KFC continues its hugely successful limited trials in Atlanta, Nashville and Charlotte and is now focusing on the larger markets in Southern California near Beyond Meats Headquarter in Los Angeles.
As of July 20, KFC will sell Beyond Fried Chicken in 50 stores in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego regions while supplies last.
In contrast to its Russian partner's 3D bioprinting process, Beyond Meat uses only herbal products to produce imitated chicken.
Beyond Fried Chicken first appeared in Atlanta last year and was offered in other markets in the south earlier this year. The menu item – which was first available in a one-day consumer test in Atlanta – was sold out in less than five hours, the company said.
"I've said it before: despite many imitations, the taste from Kentucky Fried Chicken to Beyond Fried Chicken has never been reproduced," said Andrea Zahumensky, Head of Marketing at KFC US. "We know the east coast loved it." So we thought we would give those on the west coast the opportunity to give us an exclusive look at what they were thinking.
Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets are available as six- or twelve-piece à la carte or as part of a combination with a side dish and a medium drink from USD 6.99 plus tax.
KFC's Russian project aims to produce the world's first laboratory-made chicken nuggets and plans to release them in Moscow in the fall.
The popularization of laboratory-grown meat has been reported to have a significant impact on climate change. The company cited statistics that show that growing meat from cells can cut energy consumption in meat production by half, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and dramatically reduce land use.
"Handmade meat products are the next step in the development of our" Restaurant of the Future "concept," said Raisa Polyakova, General Manager of KFC Russia & CIS, in a statement. “Our experiment to test 3D bioprinting technology to make chicken products can also help address several impending global problems. We look forward to contributing to its development and are working to make it accessible to thousands of people in Russia and, if possible, around the world. "