Impossible Foods launches chicken-less chicken nuggets in restaurants in US
Living up to its name, American plant-based meat substitute manufacturer Impossible Foods launched its meatless chicken nuggets at restaurants recently. The company also announced grand plans to bring the offering to supermarkets by the end of this month. The Impossible Chicken Nuggets have helped the company catch up to rival Beyond Meat that launched meat-free chicken tenders in US restaurants in July. Here's more.
CNBC reported that in the last decade, chicken has dethroned beef as America's meat of choice, making it a lucrative market to enter for companies such as Impossible Foods that intend to replace or reduce the consumption of animal meat. The new nuggets use soy as a protein source, unlike Impossible's meatless burgers and sausages that contain heme instead.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed Impossible to sell products containing heme, produced from a genetically modified form of yeast. However, this ingredient is a roadblock for Impossible's global plans to sell its meatless offerings in China and the European Union. That said, the company's plans to make the meatless nuggets accessible appear to be on schedule.
Impossible claims that its meat-free nuggets use approximately 48% less land and 43% less water than regular chicken-based nuggets. They also generate 33% fewer greenhouse gases during production, according to Impossible. From a health standpoint, the company claims chicken-free nuggets contain 40% less saturated fat and 25% less sodium than conventional nuggets.
The restaurants planning to serve the new alternative to chicken nuggets include chef David Chang's Fuku, Fat Brands' Fatburger, and Dog Haus. Interestingly, Chang's Momofuku Nishi was the first restaurant to debut the Impossible Burger back in 2016. The chain's CEO Alex Munoz-Suarez said that Fuku had tried rival Beyond's chicken alternative for a meat-free sandwich but preferred Impossible instead.
Grocery stores like Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons will begin selling the chickenless nuggets by September end. In the next three months, Impossible plans to retail its chicken substitutes in 10,000+ grocery stores. A pack of 20 frozen nuggets could cost $7.99. Impossible Foods has set an ambitious deadline for this rollout. In comparison, its meat-free sausages took over a year to hit store shelves.