Quorn talks QSR expansion in ‘multiple’ European countries with meat-free KFC tie-up

Building on the successful and ‘widely-publicised’ launch of the KFC Vegan Burger in the UK, KFC now plans to bring a meat-free proposition to additional European consumers, starting in Germany.

“Our Culinary Team worked closely with KFC to co-create these products,”​ Peter Harrison, Chief Commercial Officer at Quorn told FoodNavigator. “It is critical that we work closely with our QSR partners to ensure that products meet the high standards that their customers expect, and we’re delighted to support KFC, as well as other QSR customers, in their aspirations to expand meat free offerings.”

The KFC Vegan Chicken Burger and beyond

The Vegan Chicken Burger was launched in the UK in 2020 following a two-week trial in June 2019 that saw stock selling out in just four days. To date, sales of the vegan burger have shown the meat-free menu option to be a ‘firm customer favourite’ since its launch in the UK and Ireland, Quorn said. The vegan option it became a permanent item in all KFC restaurants in January 2022.

“Our fans were thrilled to see the launch of our Vegan Burger in 2020. The Original Recipe Vegan Burger proved to be such a success in theUK and Ireland that we have already tested Quorn-based products in several other countries, and plan to extend into multiple European markets in the coming months,”​ noted Kate Wall, Strategy & Innovation Director at KFC.

Quron and KFC have already trialled bespoke products in Germany and the Netherlands. The companies are now working together on developing a range of new meat-free menu options, from big buckets to veggie wraps, it was revealed.

“The main product we have been working on with KFC is the Original Recipe Tender (known as the Mini Fillet in some markets). They were extremely well received, hence the roll-out of products to new markets,”​ Harrison told us.

Detailing the products that are ready to hit KFC menus in Europe, Harrison commented: “Initially, there will be the new KFC Original Recipe Tender alongside the existing KFC Vegan Burger in the UK.”

Expanding in QSR a boost for plant-based sales

Global demand for meat-free alternatives continues to grow and the sector is estimated to reach a worldwide value of $27 billion by 2027, Quron noted.

To support this expansion, the meat-free brand believes it is important to develop new channels and routes to market, making it easier for consumers to select meat-free options.

“Ensuring there are delicious meat-free food choices for consumers, wherever and whenever they make food decisions, is key to our mission of providing healthy food for people and planet,”​ Harrison said.

“Of course, it’s a positive development for our expansion plans. KFC is a global leader in QSR, with tens of thousands of restaurants worldwide who can offer millions of customers a delicious meat-free alternative to their favourite KFC meals.”

Harrison will be joining the upcoming FoodNavigator event, Protein Vision, Innovations in Alternative Meat and Dairy​, when he will discuss Quorn’s expansion in under-developed channels for plant-based meat analogues such as QSR. To REGISTER FOR FREE, click here​. 

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