StockBeat - Beyond Meat Hits Menu at KFC, Shares Surge
Beyond Meat climbed on Monday after Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) confirmed that it would launch a trial of the company’s plant-based chicken in an Atalanta restaurant.
Beyond Fried Chicken will be available in nuggets for between $1.99 and $8.49 and boneless wings for between $6 and $12, both based on the number of pieces, at the Cobb Parkway KFC in Atlanta in a limited test, KFC said in a statement.
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) surged 5% and Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) climbed 1.6%.
"KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it's plant based," said Kevin Hochman, president and chief concept officer at KFC U.S. "I think we've all heard 'it tastes like chicken.' Well, our customers are going to be amazed and say, 'it tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken!'"
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) is known for making its name in the beef business, but chicken is where it all started for the company.
The company launched its chicken-free mock chicken products in Whole Foods supermarkets across the U.S. in April 2013. In 2014, it launched a beef product.
Its foray into chicken did not prove successful at first, with the company pulling its Beyond Chicken Strips product from grocery-store shelves earlier this year.
But now, with its product hitting the menu at a KFC restaurant, Beyond Meat is seemingly fulfilling some of its promise outlined by JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) in a recent note.
JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) raised its rating on the stock to overweight from neutral and lifted its target price to $189 a share from $188 a share last week. The bank outlined an attractive valuation on continued signs of rising dollar takeaway growth (a measure of performance in the food sector) and the potential to acquire new food-service customers as supportive factors.
Shares are up more than 500% since the company went public at $25 on May 1. It has a consensus price target of $165.43 among analysts' forecasts compiled by Investing.com.