Food crush: Beyond Meat’s plant-based nuggets

Beyond Meat’s plant-based nuggets are available for a limited time at A&W Canada. — Picture from Beyond Meat, Inc via ETX Studio
Beyond Meat’s plant-based nuggets are available for a limited time at A&W Canada. — Picture from Beyond Meat, Inc via ETX Studio

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LOS ANGELES, Aug 13 — Meatless food brand Beyond Meat has just dropped some tantalising news with the launch of its vegan chicken nuggets. Soft inside, this protein alternative extends the brand’s savvy when it comes to plant-based delicacies a little further. The only question is to dip or not to dip? 

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? At Beyond Meat, neither. The California-based company recently launched its plant-based chicken bites. And these look just like traditional nuggets. The protein content of six nuggets is 18 grams of protein. They are, for the moment, intended just for the North American market.

This new product, debuting in a time-limited offer, expands on the existing partnership between A&W Canada and Beyond Meat. The restaurant chain has actually been serving plant-based meat since 2018. But the addition of plant-based chicken meat is a first.

For the brand, releasing the product in the summer is a strategic choice. “Beyond Meat Nuggets couldn’t come at a more perfect time. We’ve doubled down on plant-based chicken this summer, just as consumer demand for chicken is skyrocketing,” said Deanna Jurgens, Chief Growth Officer, Beyond Meat. The launch follows the rollout of Beyond Chicken Tenders in the US in recent weeks.

The brand seems to have combined two global food needs. On the one hand, poultry is the second most consumed meat in the world, and chicken is the most popular in this category. On the other hand, the demand for vegan meat is growing. The plant-based meat market is expected to be worth US$8.3 billion (RM35 billion) by 2025.

Of course Beyond Meat is not the only company interested in this consumer segment. Impossible Foods plans to enter the sector with its own nuggets this fall. Germany’s LikeMeat and South Africa’s Fry Family Food Co both launched vegan chicken products in the United States earlier this year.

In Singapore, startup Shandi Global has released a drumstick where the meat comes off just like the conventional version. The space also continues to attract big investments from celebrities, including Jay-Z, Drake and British soccer player Dele Alli. — ETX Studio

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