Beyond Meat is tempting us with its latest product: vegan chicken nuggets.
The new Beyond Meat chicken nuggets are crunchy on the outside and contain 18 grams of protein per six pieces. But, the catch is (why, oh why, is there always a catch?) they’re available at 1,000 A&W Canada locations, and only for a limited time. Starting today, the nuggets are available as a six- or 10-piece order, as well as in the A&W Kids’ Pack.
This test is an expansion of the two companies’ existing partnership. A&W Canada has served the Beyond Meat burger since 2018, and the plant-based brand has been steadily increasing its foodservice presence for years. However, it wasn’t until recently that it began to shift its focus to chicken.
Earlier this summer, the San Francisco-based company launched plant-based chicken tenders for distribution in restaurants across the U.S. Then, it partnered with Panda Express on sweet-and-savory vegan orange chicken.
Beyond Meat: the year of vegan chicken (nuggets)
In late 2020, we predicted that this would be the year that vegan chicken steals the spotlight from plant-based burgers. Beyond Meat recognizes the potential of plant-based chicken as well. “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,” says Deanna Jurgens, Chief Growth Officer of Beyond Meat.
Poultry is the second-most widely consumed meat in the world, and chicken is the most popular of those meats. But, demand for vegan meat continues to grow, predicted to reach $8.5 billion by 2025, and the demand for meatless chicken is particularly high. Beyond Meat isn’t alone in honing in on chicken.
Impossible Foods intends to enter the space with its own nuggets this fall. Germany-based LikeMeat and South Africa’s Fry Family Food Co. both launched vegan chicken products in the U.S. earlier this year. In Singapore, the startup Shandi Global brought to market drumsticks that pull apart like the conventionally produced version. The space also continues to attract big investments from celebrities, including Jay-Z, Drake, and British soccer player Dele Alli.