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The Fate of KFC’s Future Faux Fried ‘Chicken’ Kingdom Lies With Atlantans [Updated]

Eat free vegan fried “chicken” today, give feedback, and hold the keys to Kentucky Fried Chicken’s potential faux fried poultry kingdom

A green and white bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Beyond nuggets Cortney Haygood
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

Atlantans hold the keys to KFC’s faux fried “poultry” kingdom in their hands today as the lone test market for the fast food fried chicken chain’s new vegan nuggets and wings. Those interested in taking part in KFC’s vegan fried “chicken” taste test should head to 2637 Cobb Parkway SE near Braves SunTrust Park in Smyrna between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Eater Atlanta contributor Mike Jordan reports that the current scene is “absolutely nuts” and says a restaurant representative claims people began arriving as early as 8 a.m. The line was apparently close to 200 people deep at 12:45 p.m., with cars spilling out onto Cobb Parkway trying to get into the parking lot.

As if Atlanta and the surrounding metro area need any more traffic tie-ups on a Tuesday (or any day,) now Kentucky Fried Chicken enters the traffic-choking, line-inducing fast food fried chicken wars with its “confusing but delicious” imitation chicken nuggets and boneless wings made by vegan food manufacturer (and Impossible Foods rival) Beyond Meat.

The shop, decked out in Beyond Meat branded green for the occasion, plans to dole out free samples of boneless faux wings and nuggets to anyone who purchases a KFC meal, while supplies last. People can also swing in and purchase a six or 12-pack of vegan chicken nuggets and wings, too.

According to KFC president Kevin Hochman, it could prove difficult for people to tell the deep-fried, plant-based poultry doused in honey barbecue sauce apart from the real thing because, well, “it tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken.” But, the proof will be in the feedback Atlantans provide KFC, who plans to base its national rollout on how the faux chicken fares in ATL and with its rather substantial vegan community.

For now, the nation must wait for the dust to settle from the snarled traffic caused by today’s manufactured chicken feeding frenzy and Atlanta to decide the fate of KFC’s vegan menu options.

Update, August 27, 12:45 p.m.: This story was updated to include information on the lines forming at the Smyrna restaurant.

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2637 Cobb Parkway SE, Smyrna.