Walmart now makes own-brand vegan chicken patties and tenders

29 Apr 2021

American retail giant Walmart now has its own-brand vegan products under its Great Value range. Its new vegan additions include Chik’n Tenders and Chik’n Patties as well as a line of veggie burger patties that come in Chipotle Black Bean and Original flavors. The retailer also rolled out a vegan cheese line with three varieties: mozzarella, cheddar and a blend of both varieties.

The vegan chicken options are made from wheat protein, faba bean protein, pea fiber and chickpeas and have 12 grams of protein. The veggie burgers have between 10 – 18 grams of protein per serving. All the vegan chicken and burger options sell for $3 or less per package. Walmart’s vegan cheese line is made from potato starch and coconut oil and the 8-ounce packages retail for slightly more at $3.97 per package.

Walmart now makes own-brand vegan chicken patties and tenders
Courtesy of Walmart

Walmart rolling out these own-brand vegan protein options is a sign that plant-based protein is now unquestionably mainstream. In fact, SPINS data recently showed that the U.S. plant-based market reached $7 billion in 2020 with a 27% overall growth rate. Refrigerated meat alternatives experienced the most drastic growth last year, with sales jumping 75% last year. Vegan retail packaged meat now comprises 2.7% of the overall market.

Although plant-based protein remains a small slice of the overall market, it is growing exponentially, and retails and manufacturers are clamoring to get a piece of the pie. Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the U.S., launched 50 vegan products last year through its own Simple Truth brand. Trader Joe’s has similarly been developing its own private-label vegan products, including vegan dips and dairy-free chocolate bars. Sprouts Farmers Market has a new partnership with LikeMeat and has four new vegan chicken products.

While Walmart is trying out a few different plant-based options, chicken is a wise choice for the company to emphasize at launch as it is the most popular animal protein with Americans, beating out beef, pork and fish. In 2018, Americans at 65.2 pounds of chicken per person, up from just over 40 pounds in 1990.