Kentucky Fried What? KFC will test a vegetarian alternative in UK

KFC is experimenting with vegetarian fried chicken

KFC creating vegetarian version of its fried chicken in U.K.

Meat-free chicken will feature the same spice blend of the real chicken, but will be part of a drive for healthier food at the chain.

Almost four decades after the death of the man who founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food chain, KFC is devising a fake meat version with the colonel's tightly held original recipe of 11 herbs and spices.

Over the next seven years, the company, famous for its "finger lickin'" southern fried chicken, hopes to cut their calories per serving by 20%.

KFC ran into major trouble in the United Kingdom earlier this year, when a logistics snafu caused a chicken shortage and forced the extended closure of hundreds of restaurants. The company said the new recipe will be tested on customers this year and if successful, it will be introduced by 2019.

KFC is about to launch a new menu item, but unlike other recent new items like the Double Down or the Famous Bowl, it does not include the chain's signature ingredient: chicken.

As fast food chains scramble to provide healthier alternatives to traditional menus known for high caloric fries and sugary sodas, KFC U.K.

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"Development of the recipe is still in its very early stages, and so the options we're exploring in our kitchen are still top secret", KFC told FoodBeast in a statement.

Restaurant consultant Aaron Allen told USA Today more restaurant companies would release vegetarian options.

"It's a tricky challenge, because our fans absolutely love our Original Recipe chicken, and we won't be changing the Colonel's secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices", Robertson said.

"How sharply has vegetarianism increased in the U.S.?"

KFC, part of Louisville-based Yum Brands Inc.

It suggested that food chains change the recipe of their products, reduce the portion size, and encourage their customers to opt for lower calorie products.

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