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Beyond Meat launches meat-free chicken tenders in US eateries

Beyond Meat launches meat-free chicken tenders in US eateries

Beyond Meat brought back a chicken offering to its product portfolio with the launch of plant-based chicken tenders on Thursday as the faux-meat maker looks to capitalize on booming demand for meat alternatives amid a shift toward healthy eating in the pandemic.

The company is launching the product in around 400 US restaurants, more than two years after it discontinued a frozen chicken strip offering due to negative reviews.

Beyond Meat, known for its faux beef Beyond Burger, launched Chicken Strips as its first alternative meat product in 2012.

Made out of faba beans and peas, the improved faux meat chicken tenders recipe has 14 grams of protein per serving, no cholesterol and contains 40 percent less saturated fat than the leading foodservice chicken tender, Beyond Meat said in a statement.

The move to reintroduce a chicken product follows a 26 percent drop in the company’s US foodservice revenue in the three months to April 3.

In an interview with CNBC, Beyond Meat’s chief executive, Ethan Brown, said the chicken tenders were priced keeping foodservice in mind and that the company planned to launch more chicken meat substitutes in the future. The timing of the launch with the reopening of the US restaurants was a coincidence, he said.

Packages of Beyond Meat sit on a grocery shelf amid other meat and faux meat items.
Beyond Meat hasn’t yet said whether its new meatless chicken tenders will be sold at grocery stores.
AFP via Getty Images

Blissful Burgers, Detroit Wing Company and Melt Bar & Grilled are some of the smaller chains and restaurants where the chicken tenders will be available on Thursday, the company said.

Shares of the El-Segundo, California-based company, which did not disclose whether the product would be sold at grocery stores, were up 1.3 percent.

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