With each passing day, we’re seeing an abundance of new alt-meat products in 2021.
Just within the past few days, Nathan’s Famous revealed it will launch plant-based Meatless Farm hot dogs, while Buona Beef unveiled a plant-based Italian Beefless sandwich in partnership with Upton’s Naturals at all locations.
Continuing the apparent movement away from traditional meat, one publication, Epicurious, announced it will no longer publish new beef recipes over concerns about climate change, as noted by The New York Times (April 27). The shift was “solely about sustainability, about not giving airtime to one of the world’s worst climate offenders,” Epicurious said in an article. “We think of this decision as not anti-beef but rather pro-planet.”
But the biggest eye-opening news regarding alt-meat lately is the announcement of Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken offering, set to debut this summer.
Beyond Meat is close to adding plant-based chicken to its product lineup, reported Bloomberg (April 27). With chicken being the most popular meat in the U.S., the addition would mark a major expansion for a company that currently uses pea-based protein to make plant-based beef, burgers, and sausages.
Beyond has been experimenting with creating a chicken, plant-based product for years. It previously sold a frozen chicken strip product, but it was discontinued in 2019. It has also tested plant-based chicken with KFC for limited-time trial runs.
Competitor Impossible Foods has not gotten into plant-based chicken territory just yet, so Beyond’s launch would be a key milestone. However, other brands such as Sweet Earth Foods, Tofurky, and Morningstar Farms have already introduced vegan chicken products to the market.
TIMELINE FOR RELEASE
During an interview in March, Beyond’s Chief Growth Officer, Chuck Muth, declined to pinpoint when a chicken product would launch, saying only that it would be coming “sometime in the relatively near future.”
Though it has not given an exact date for the alt-chicken product, the company has announced a reformulation of its signature Beyond Burger is coming the week of May 3, which is supposed to have an improved taste and nutritional value.
The trend of seeing new plant-based protein products shows no signs of slowing anytime soon—and the addition of Beyond Chicken could be a summer blockbuster for Beyond Meat.