Beyond Meat Plans R&D Center in Shanghai

Beyond Meat Plans R&D Center in Shanghai
Beyond Meat developed a plant-based fried chicken.

El Segundo-based Beyond Meat Inc.’s version of plant-based fried chicken will be available this week at more than 4,000 KFC restaurants nationwide. The launch of the six-piece nuggets, made using a proprietary recipe, comes nearly two years after the product’s initial success in test markets in Atlanta; Nashville, Tenn.; and Charlotte, N.C.

“We couldn’t be prouder to partner with KFC to offer a best-in-class product that not only delivers the delicious experience consumers expect from this iconic chain, but also provides the added benefits of plant-based meat,” Chief Executive Ethan Brown said in the announcement. “We are truly thrilled to make it available to consumers nationwide.”

KFC’s parent company is Yum Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., which also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands.
Beyond Meat also said it signed a lease for a research and development center in Shanghai, its first outside the United States. The facility will include a test kitchen and will focus on “developing high-quality plant-based meat products that cater to customers and consumers in the Asia-Pacific region,” according to the company.

“The best-in-class R&D team we are building in Shanghai represents the next leg in our journey to become a global protein company,” Chief Innovation Officer Dariush Ajami said in a statement. “This new resource will enable us to more precisely serve the palate of the Chinese consumer and contribute directly to the culture’s delicious cuisine while joining our global effort to deliver plant-based meats that are indistinguishable from, healthier than, and — over time — priced at parity with their animal protein equivalents.”

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