Impossible launches vegan chicken nuggets in restaurants9 Sep 2021
Impossible Foods officially launched its plant-based Impossible Chicken Nuggets in more than 100 restaurants across the U.S., including Michelin star chef David Chang’s Fuku. Later this month, the nuggets will become available in retail at stores including Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, ShopRite, Giant and Gelsons.
Chicken nuggets are now the company’s third meat-mimicking product following its eponymous burger and its sausage products. Unlike its burger product though, these new nuggets do not use Impossible Foods' plant-based heme. Instead, the product is made out of a soy-base with sunflower oil, a combination that the company says gives its Impossible Chicken Nuggets 40% less saturated fat and 25% less sodium than animal-based chicken nuggets. The new plant-based nuggets also do not contain any titanium dioxide, a common whitening ingredient whose usage is controversial.
Plant-based chicken is taking the market by storm, and it’s no surprise that Impossible Foods would want to take a slice out of this growing pie. The category is currently outpacing the growth of conventional chicken by more than four times. According to SPINS data, plant-based chicken is averaging 18% growth while chicken from animals is only gaining 4%.
Double-digit growth potential has prompted many manufactures to jump into the fray and begin offering chicken alternatives. Beyond Meat has already launched chicken tenders in foodservice, Quorn is angling to sell its vegan chicken in quick-service restaurants and even Kellogg’s has debuted a chicken tender option under its MorningStar Farms Incogmeato line.
With such a crowded market, there will be a lot of competition for Impossible Foods. However, the company does not seem to be worried.
"For the first time, consumers unquestionably prefer meat made from plants instead of meat from an iconic animal. In the battle for the future of food, this is the first time David has categorically bested Goliath, but it won’t be the last," CEO Pat Brown said in a statement.
Specifically, Brown is undoubtedly referring to Impossible’s own product when referring to consumer taste preferences. According to the company, seven in 10 preferred Impossible Chicken Nuggets to ones made from meat when sampling the two options in a blind taste test.
If consumers do gravitate toward these plant-based options due to an improved taste, Impossible Foods will have crossed a large hurdle for plant-based protein manufacturers. Taste has continually been a sticking point for the adoption of vegan protein alternatives. A 2019 white paper from ingredients manufacturer Kerry found that taste remains the number one barrier for plant-based substitutes. For those who are interested in consuming these alternatives, 73% said alternatives should mimic the taste of meat.
Not only does the company claim that its nuggets outperform animal alternatives in terms of taste, but it also touts their sustainability superiority. An assessment from the company determined that its nuggets use about 49% less land, about 44% less water and generate 36% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than those made from meat.
Are new WHO sweeteners guidelines ‘a disservice’ to public health?
6 Sep 2022
New draft recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) warn that zero-calorie sweeteners should not be used to help weight control or reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases’ (NCDs) – sparking mixed reactions from industry groups.Read more
Healthier products cannot tackle obesity crisis alone, says expert, as Nestlé discontinues non-HFSS Shreddies
17 Aug 2022
Creating lower-sugar products will “not solve the obesity crisis by itself, especially if these options are so quickly discontinued”, says one expert, as Nestlé withdraws its non-high-fat-high-sugar (HFSS) ‘Shreddies The Simple One’ breakfast cereal af...Read more
Capri Sun adds monk fruit to US juice drinks to reduce sugar by 40%
15 Aug 2022
With parents increasingly focusing on reducing their children’s sugar intake, Kraft Heinz is using monk fruit to cut sugar in US Capri Sun products to deliver on both taste and health credentials.Read more
Activists sue Turkish government for ‘unconstitutional’ banning of vegan cheese
8 Aug 2022
Activists in Turkey have slammed the government’s decision to ban the production and sale of vegan cheese products in the country as unconstitutional, with lawsuits and a 7,200-strong petition under way.Read more
Chickpea revolution? Companies looking to innovate could face higher prices as global shortage hits
5 Aug 2022
From coffee to ice cream, recent product launches demonstrate how companies are betting on chickpea in the plant-based revolution… but could a global shortage scupper innovation?Read more
A switch to alternative proteins could be cheapest and highest impact solution to climate crisis – report
22 Jul 2022
Shifting to alternative proteins could be the “most capital-efficient and high-impact” solution to today’s climate crisis, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which suggests more than 30% of consumers are willing to fully swap...Read more
Oman authorities put food security and sustainability centre stage with ‘transformative’ investments
21 Jul 2022
New technologies and initiatives to promote sustainable food systems, healthy diets and improved food and nutrition security have attracted the backing of authorities in the Gulf country Oman.Read more
French ban on ‘meaty’ descriptions for plant-based products will harm local industry
14 Jul 2022
The new French legislation banning the use of ‘meaty’ terms such as “sausage,” “steak,” and “nuggets” is self-destructive to its own food manufacturing industry, commenters have lamented.Read more
Europe’s plant-based boom: Opportunities for brands
6 Jul 2022
The plant-based alternative sector is rapidly expanding, in Europe and further afield. What are consumers demanding, and where do the opportunities lie for brands?Read more
Harnessing oat hulls to make sustainable sweeteners
30 Jun 2022
Finnish company Fazer is transforming the oat hull side streams from its existing oat mill into the low-calorie sweetener, xylitol.Read more