Chicken + plants = Chicken Plus… Perdue taps into plant-based trend with blended nuggets, tenders, patties

By Elaine Watson contact

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Chicken Plus: Perdue taps into plant-based trend with blended nuggets, tenders, patties

Related tags: plant-based meat, Perdue

Poultry giant Perdue is dipping its toes into the plant-based trend with a new line of dinosaur-shaped nuggets, rice tenders and panko patties blended with cauliflower, chickpeas and plant proteins hitting the market in September.

Each serving of PERDUE CHICKEN PLUS – which will be supplied in 22oz bags with an MSRP of $6.99 - will contain one-quarter cup (half a serving) of vegetables, said chief marketing officer Eric Christianson.

“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.”

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

The primary purpose of our startup is to help major meat users easily join the plant-based movement.”

GFI: This is just the beginning

Good Food Institute Director of Corporate Engagement Alison Rabschnuk said: “This is just the beginning. If the market responds as we anticipate, this could pave the way for the introduction of a fully plant-based product.”

This is a gateway product range that will give Perdue an opportunity to test the market and see how consumers respond.

"Given their wide distribution, massive consumer base, and reputation in the meat industry, the leadership Perdue is showing here in diversifying its offerings and introducing an innovative plant-based option will have a significant and positive impact on the sector."

The Better Meat Co

Sacramento-based start-up The Better Meat Co​ is targeting institutional food sellers with plant-based proteins that “blend seamlessly into ground meat products​” at inclusion rates of up to 30%, to deliver healthier, tastier, and more sustainable sausages, burgers, and meatballs.

Co-founded by Paul Shapiro (CEO), author of the best seller, ‘Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World​​​;’ food scientist (and My Food Job Rocks​ podcast host)  Adam Yee; and finance and consulting industry veteran Joanna Bromley, Better Meat Co​​​’s blends of wheat protein, mushroom, pea fiber and umami extracts are designed to replace at least one-third of the meat in a wide range of processed meat products from burgers, and meatballs to chicken nuggets.

While on the face of it, a plant-meat combo might seem like the worst of both worlds – it’s not all meat, which may put off some meat lovers, but it’s not all plants, which automatically excludes vegans and vegetarians – the success of the blended burger project​​​ (which promotes burgers with 75% meat and 25% mushrooms)​​,​​ suggests otherwise, Yee told FoodNavigator-USA last year.

Indeed, manufacturers are increasingly open to blended meat products for health reasons (they have less saturated fat and fewer calories), environmental reasons (they have a lower carbon footprint, and many companies have targets to meet on this front), or simply the novelty factor (reducing meat is a hot trend), said Yee.

Better Meat Co​​ promises to:​​

  • Enhance the taste and texture of meat products
  • Improve the health profile of meat products by reducing calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol (blending its Albina 100 product at 30% into ground pork maintains similar protein levels while reducing saturated fat and cholesterol by 30% each, and calories by 12%). 
  • Improve the environmental footprint of meat products, helping firms achieve corporate sustainability goals
  • Offer cost-competitive prices

Read more about The Better Meat Co HERE​.

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