Beyond Meat Chicken Tender
Source: Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat said a new version of its meat-free chicken tenders will be launched in nearly 400 restaurants across the US on Thursday
The tenders will be the first Beyond chicken substitute available nationwide in more than two years. In early 2019, the company discontinued its original chicken alternative, frozen chicken strips, to focus on its Beyond Burger.
“The demand for our beef products increased so strongly that we really had to provide all production capacities for them,” said CEO Ethan Brown in an interview. “That’s why we decided to cancel, which was also motivated by the fact that we wanted to do better.”
Since then, Beyond has tested a fried chicken substitute with KFC from Yum Brands. The restaurants involved in the launch on Thursday are smaller chains or independent restaurants.
Brown said the chicken tenders are so expensive that the product can be sold across the restaurant industry. Additionally, the company’s recipe was created with size in mind so that it could keep lowering the price as offerings get wider.
The new and improved meatless chicken recipe uses a mix of fava beans and peas for a total of 14 grams of protein per serving. Peas have served as the main protein source for Beyond’s sausage and beef, although the products also contain small amounts of field beans and other proteins.
“One of the things that I’m very interested in is further increasing the protein diversity we have,” Brown said.
The company’s food service segment, which includes sales to restaurants, universities and office buildings, has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. In the three months ended April 3, Beyond’s US food service revenue decreased 26% to $ 16.7 million. The timing of the launch coincides with the return of consumers to the restaurants, but Brown said it was just a happy coincidence.
Beyond is looking to be aggressive in the poultry category and plans to bring more meat substitutes to market under that umbrella, Brown said. However, the company did not provide details of when the meatless chicken tenders would be sold in grocery stores. In the first quarter, more than three quarters of US sales were in retail channels.
Beyond’s shares are up 12% this year, reaching a market value of $ 8.85 billion at the close of trading on Wednesday.