ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Impossible Foods released its meatless chicken nuggets in restaurants last week, and supermarkets will see the chicken alternative by the end of the month, reports CNBC.
Ninety percent of consumers who eat plant-based meat alternatives also eat meat and dairy, says CNBC, and consumption of faux meat is up over the past two years. Plant-based protein shipments from distributors to restaurants increased more than 60% year-over-year in April 2021.
The meatless nuggets are made from soy, but they do not contain heme unlike Impossible Foods’ burgers and sausage, which is produced from genetically modified yeast. The FDA has approved Impossible’s use of heme, but China and the European Union aren’t on board with Impossible Products yet because of heme.
Impossible is pushing the nugget’s environmental and health benefits to win over more consumers. Impossible estimates the chicken alternative uses about 48% less land and 43% less water than chicken-based nuggets and produces one third less greenhouse gas emissions.
“When we’re talking about things like meat alternatives, 40% of people say they are drawn to environmental and sustainability concerns,” Darren Seifer, an analyst with NPD Group, told CNBC. “And the younger you go, the greater the numbers.”
KFC’s U.S. President Kevin Hochman told Fortune that the future of chicken is plant-based, and he’s prepping KFC for “an inevitable future of fake chicken going mainstream.” Hochman says the fast-food chicken joint is attempting to create a plant-based chicken tenderloin with muscle fibers, so that it “cuts and tears like chicken,” according to Fortune.
Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons are among grocery stores that will carry Impossible’s nuggets, and over the next three months, the company plans to expand its nuggets into 10,000 stores. The suggested retail price is $7.99 for about 20 nuggets.
NACS Magazine explored how meatless options, including meat, dairy and snack products, are attracting health-focused customers to c-stores. NACS Daily reported that the chicken sandwich wars are moving to a new battleground, and the latest skirmish is all about plant-based chicken.
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