Tyson’s 'Chicken' Nuggets Go Meatless

The leading U.S. meat producer swaps out chicken for plant-protein alternatives.

June 14, 2019

SPRINGDALE, Ariz. – Even the meat producers are jumping on the meatless bandwagon. This week Tyson Foods announced it will be swapping out chicken for plant-protein alternatives in nuggets, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new nuggets, made with flaxseed, peas and other plants, will debut this summer.

The announcement comes as meat-free burgers and other plant-protein alternatives have burst on the market from companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Fast-food restaurants have been adding meatless options on menus, including Burger King and Dunkin’.

Tyson currently produces one out of every five pounds of chicken, beef and pork processed in the United States annually. But the company sees meatless as a business that could reach $1 billion in yearly sales. The plant-based nuggets will be under a new brand called “Raised & Rooted.” 

“There are opportunities for us to produce and supply many of the products produced today in traditional form, in plant-based form,” said Noel White, Tyson’s CEO. The company also has plans to offer sausages and burgers with barley, pea protein and quinoa combined with beef and chicken.

The company is eyeing the growing number of customers who like to have veggie burgers and plant proteins along with their meats. Recent studies have found that more consumers are cutting back on meat consumption as well.

Tyson isn’t the only food company expanding into meat alternatives. Nestlé is rumored to be expanding its agreement with McDonald’s to add its plant-based Incredible Burger to stores outside of Germany, according to Reuters.