Impossible Foods launches soy-based chicken substitute

Impossible Foods introduced Impossible Chicken Nuggets, a soy-based meat alternative, to the menus of foodservice distributors across the U.S.

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(Impossible Foods)
(Impossible Foods)

Impossible Foods introduced Impossible Chicken Nuggets, a soy-based meat alternative, to the menus of foodservice distributors across the U.S.

According to a press release from Impossible Foods, the Impossible Chicken Nuggets feature a “golden, crispy breadcrumb coating, a juicy and springy white meat texture and a savory chicken flavor” with less saturated fat and sodium than animal chicken nuggets. Producing the plant-based protein requires 48-49% less land and 43-44% less water than traditional nuggets.

The faux nuggets are made of soy protein as a protein source and sunflower oil to create a juicy flavor. 

Impossible Chicken Nuggets will join the meus of Fuku, Red Rooster, Joyland, in addition to chains like Fatburger, Dog Haus and Gott’s Roadside.

In addition, the soy-based protein will be available in more than 10,000 grocery stores and supermarket chains, including Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway, by the end of the year. The suggested retail price is $7.99 for 20 nuggets.

“We are tremendously excited about our Impossible Nuggets. But this launch isn’t really about nuggets. It’s about the historic inflection point we’ve reached. For the first time, consumers unquestionably prefer meat made from plants instead of meat from an iconic animal,” said Pat Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, said, citing a recent taste test conducted by the company claiming that seven out of ten consumers preferred the faux-chicken to animal-based chicken nuggets. 

“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.” 

More chicken innovation to come

The majority of meat alternatives currently available on the market are designed to taste like beef or pork. This is because it is much more difficult to mimic the taste and texture of poultry. However, that is slowly changing.

The plant-based foods market is set to make up 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, with a value of $162 billion, according to a recent report from Bloomberg Intelligence. Plant-based chicken alternatives are especially primed for significant growth in the next 12-18 months.

The launch of Impossible Chicken Nuggets could help Impossible Foods better compete with rival company Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat introduced Beyond Chicken, a plant-based faux chicken tender, at select restaurants across the country on July 8. 

Beyond Chicken tenders are “crafted to look, cook and taste like traditional chicken tenders” and “breaded to perfection for a crispy outside and irresistibly tender bite,” according to a press release. The plant-based faux chicken is made from fava beans and peas, containing 14 grams of protein per serving, 40% less saturated fat than the average tender, no GMOs, antibiotics or hormones and have no cholesterol. 

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