KFC is experimenting with vegetarian fried chicken

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KFC's announcement provoked mixed reactions on Twitter, with one user declaring that "no vegetarian would set foot in a fried chicken chain".

"Once we've perfected the recipe we aim to test with customers this year, and if all goes well, we hope to launch a new vegetarian option in 2019", the chain told food industry news site FoodBeast.

Vegetarians will soon get an option of their own at Kentucky fried chicken, but there's a catch.

Chefs at KFC have however declined to reveal exactly what else will go into making the meat-free meat. However, the company said the initiative is its way of accommodating the growing change in lifestyle and dining preferences of its existing patrons.

"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", a KFC spokesman told theNew York Times.

The company turned to its head of food innovation, nutritionist Victoria Robertson, to explain the company's plan for its creation. She admitted that KFC is facing a huge challenge of convincing people that it can offer healthy alternatives on top of assuring its fan base that its recipe will be as good as what they have gotten used to. Colonel, we salute you.

"This is about providing choice, and offering delicious, signature KFC taste that just happens to be lighter".

KFC itself has a seven-year initiative to achieve such a cut in the calorie count of its servings in Britain, and said its work on vegetarian "fried chicken" was part of that. The health drive includes establishments that offer pizzas, ready meals, meat products, and other savory snacks.

The menu move comes as KFC's United Kingdom restaurants seek to adhere to new British government guidelines that advise overweight adults to eat just 400 calories at breakfast and then 600 more at lunch and again at dinner.