KFC Is Launching Vegetarian Fried Chicken (Here Endeth the World)

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Humans are strange.

They’ll pay hundreds of dollars to eat food that looks like something and actually is something else in very fancy restaurants. 

The likes of Ferran Adrià, Grant Achatz and Wylie Dufresne have turned it into an art form.

But if it’s their finest purveyor of fast food, conniptions are at hand.

And so, I fear, it will be for many when they hear that KFC is working on a new fried chicken.

Say hullo to the VFC.

Yes, the Vegetarian Fried Chicken.

Please, I understand why you ululate. However, there are very good reasons for this.

You see, all over the world fast food chains are being pressured to do healthy things.

McDonald’s, for example, has already begun to make its Happy Meals more happy-making for concerned parents by removing cheeseburgers.

In the U.K., though, the government wants there to be far more options that don’t have gorging amounts of calories.

So KFC revealed to the Mirror that it’s going to make something finger-lickin’ that isn’t (so) stomach-growin’ and heart-cloggin’.

I fear, though, that some people will want the company to look in the mirror before going ahead with such a scheme.

The UK’s KFC arm (or should that be leg?) is trying to reassure customers that all 11 of the famous herbs and spices that go into the real fried chicken will still adorn the plant-based version. The launch date is provisionally set for next year.

As long as the chain’s chefs can find a way to make something edible and reproducible, that is.

Indeed, KFC’s head of food and innovation in the UK, Victoria Robertson, sounds sanguine about the task ahead.

“We know people are more passionate than ever about eating well, and we face a big challenge in shifting their perceptions of what we offer,” she told the Mirror.

It’s not as if this is a completely revolutionary idea.

The beautifully-named London-based vegan restaurant the Temple of Seitan already offers food that is both healthy and speedy. This includes plant-based fried chicken.

Still, I contacted KFC in the U.S. to ask whether the VFC will be coming to these fair lands.

“We have no plans related to the UK’s test at this time,” a KFC spokeswoman told me.

At this time, huh?

It’s surely worth being realistic here.

Once, so many people cooked everything on lard. Now, healthier oils keep us alive a little longer, with seemingly little affect on the taste of the food. So a plant-based burger might — I said might, people — be surprisingly edifying.

Moreover, McDonald’s already has a McVegan burger. Well, in Sweden and Finland it does.

And, just as surely as we’ll all soon have implants in our brains, so plant-based foods will likely be at the core of our diets.

Of course, KFC might call its new plant-based fried chicken PBFC to make it sound cooler.

And to make people think it’s Peanut Butter-Fried Chicken, of course.

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