Yum China, the local owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, plans to change listings across its franchises for a few days this month as part of a test that could trigger a bigger launch later.
The test marks the debut of the Beyond Dead burger on mainland China – an important step for the California-based company. Previously it had only offered other alternative meat products in the country.
KFC launches Beyond Burgers at some of its locations on Wednesday in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu.
Pizza Hut, the producer, will also debut, the first burger series in China. Restaurant goers affiliated with the Pizza Hut loyalty program in Shanghai will experience a new combo meal that includes both Beyond Vegetarian and another burger featuring real steaks.
The Taco Bell presentation will be more accurate, with a new taco folded into the Patty Burger Beyond alongside its classic ingredients, such as Chipotle and Black Beans.
Unlike other tests, Pizza Hut starts next week.
In general, the tests are somewhat limited, and only run in a few stores from each franchise for a few days. This is small, considering that Yum China has nearly 9,300 restaurants across 1,400 cities, including its other brands outside of the three fast food chains.
If things go well, the CEO, Joy Wat, said in a statement that the company would explore “large-scale deployments in the future.”
Yum China has worked to take advantage of the trend of counterfeit meat through a series of experiments in recent months, including testing vegetable chicken nuggets in KFC earlier this year and a limited set of vegan pork taco at last year’s Taco Bell.
“We see great potential in the vegetable meat market in China,” said Wat. “This latest introduction via KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands is expected to capture valuable consumer feedback across different regions of China.
In a statement this week, Beyond Meat CEO CEO Ethan Brown described the new company’s partnership as an “important milestone” in its global ambitions.