New at KFC: Vegan Ice Cream Made With Oats

Split image features a single serving tub of vegan Oatly ice cream (left) and a KFC counter (right).

KFC China just launched three varieties of Oatly vegan ice cream.

Customers can order single-serve containers of Oatly’s popular Strawberry and Chocolate flavor ice creams at KFC China stores nationwide. A latte-flavored soft serve is also available, which incorporates a smooth Oatly-coffee blend in a rich, dark cone.

KFC’s introduction of Oatly soft-serve follows a successful launch at New York’s popular 16 Handles earlier this year, including iced latte, chocolate, and vanilla flavors.

The brand’s non-soft-serve vegan ice cream has been available to U.S. customers in tubs since 2019, when it launched to Wegmans and Whole Foods stores. In the U.S. alone, retail sales of vegan ice cream reached $435 million in 2020.

Meanwhile, KFC continues to explore plant-based and vegan ingredients on its menus in order to cater to the growing flexitarian demographic. Alongside fast food brands such as Taco Bell and Starbucks, KFC has introduced several options exclusively for China.

A market study by Fact.MR suggests that plant-based dairy, in particular, is predicted to triple in value over the next decade from $11 billion to approximately $32 billion, due in part to the “flourishing” Chinese market. 

Oatly’s vegan ice cream arrives at KFC China

Oatly isn’t alone in tapping into the booming vegan dairy market, in and outside of China.

Companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, Baskin-Robbins’, Häagen-Dazs, and many more are now offering dairy-free ice cream. According to Allied Market Research, the global vegan ice cream market could reach $805.3 million by 2027.

In May, Oatly managed to raise a whopping $1.43 billion in its stock market debut. The brand remains enduringly popular despite controversial links to the Blackstone Group—criticized for its illegal collaboration with ICE, contribution to deforestation, aggressive evictions, and support for Donald Trump.

Oatly has said that its continued collaboration with key financial backers such as Blackstone (and huge brands such as KFC, which is similarly controversial for its practices) is part of its overall goal to “create the most change possible.”

Check out LIVEKINDLY’s complete guide to vegan ice cream here, with New York and LA-specific guides available here and here.