In an effort to fill a demand for flexitarian families struggling to get their kids to eat enough vegetables, Perdue Foods is introducing Perdue Chicken Plus products, which contain a blend of chicken, vegetables and plant-based protein.

The products will be distributed nationally.

The first-of-its-kind Perdue Chicken Plus products come in the form of nuggets, tenders and patties, and all are blended with vegetables.

Perdue’s latest innovation blends cauliflower, chickpeas and plant protein to create the next generation of frozen chicken nuggets, tenders and patties, and each serving is complete with one-quarter cup (half a serving of vegetables) and is made with 100 percent all-natural ingredients and no antibiotics ever white meat chicken.

“Perdue Chicken Nuggets have been a staple for families for years, but we wanted to provide an easy way to round out the meal and help parents put an end to the ‘eat your vegetables’ battle,” said Eric Christianson, chief marketing officer for Perdue. “By blending plants and vegetables with the Perdue chicken families love, not only are we helping to meet demands for millions of parents but we are appealing to the growing number of flexitarian families who have an increased commitment to getting more plants and vegetables in their families’ diets.”

In fact, 74 percent of people are looking to increase their vegetable intake, according to Nielsen data, while people are seeking out plant-based proteins in nearly every aisle of the grocery store and looking for substitutes for their regular go-to meals and snacks.

“Boosting meat with high-quality plant protein is a great way to give the consumer more choices while enhancing both sustainability and nutrition,” said Paul Shapiro, CEO of The Better Meat Co., with whom Perdue partnered to source some of the plant-based ingredients.

But Christianson pointed out that many of the new plant-based products are geared for vegetarian adults with strict meat-replacement requirements, and not for kids who turn their noses at some foods. Perdue Chicken Plus is available in the playful, favorite panko dinosaur-shaped nuggets, as well as crispy rice tenders and panko patties. When kids tested the new Perdue Panko Dino Chicken Plus Nuggets they gave high marks for the overall look, texture and flavor.

“We are very pleased that Perdue is offering a blended product, and we welcome this important step forward. By integrating plants into their core products, Perdue has started on the journey to diversify their offerings and meet the growing consumer demand for plant-based proteins,” said Alison Rabschnuk, director of corporate engagement at The Good Food Institute. “Perdue is listening to consumers and responding to the meteoric rise in interest in plant-based foods. It’s clear from the research that consumers are looking for plant-based foods that deliver on taste, texture, and nutrition, while also offering flavor experiences that are familiar.”

Perdue Chicken Plus comes in a 22-oz. bag with a suggested retail price of $6.99, and will be available in food service and found in the freezer aisles nationwide in September 2019.