US – Alternative proteins company Beyond Meat is launching its meatless chicken tenders in US grocery stores in October, two years after it discontinued its original chicken frozen strips to focus on the Beyond Burger.   

The new tenders were first unveiled in July after more than of research on various protein sources and their attributes. 

Unlike its other range of alternative proteins, the meatless chicken tenders uses faba beans as its protein source and contains half the saturated fat of a traditional chicken tender. 

The product has already been tested by Panda Express which used it as part of its meat-free orange chicken in select markets. 

Fast food restaurant chain A&W also had a good run with the Beyond Meat meatless tenders reporting that 1000 of its locations in Canada sold out of its Beyond Meat Nuggets.  

Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said in an interview that the company is taking a cue from consumers’ existing shopping behavior.

According to Brown, grocery shoppers who eat meat typically buy a range of proteins, adding fish, beef and chicken to their carts. 

“We’re trying to build out a plant-based option for consumers across the meat aisle — wherever they’re consuming something that is animal protein, we want to offer a plant-based version of it,” Brown said. 

Select Walmart, Harris Teeter, Giant Foods and Shoprite locations will stock the chicken tenders at a suggested retail price of $4.99 per package.  

Beyond anticipates that it will add more retailers and locations later this year. The tenders will be placed in the frozen section for retailers, but not side-by-side with other Beyond items, Brown said. 

Beyond Meat’s alternative chicken option will be coming into freezers already bursting with plant-based chicken options.  

More than 50 brands of plant-based nuggets, tenders and cutlets are already on sale in U.S. stores, according to the Good Food Institute, which tracks plant-based brands. 

Beyond Meat’s major competitor Impossible Foods also began selling its soy-based nuggets this month at Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons and other groceries. They’ll be in 10,000 stores by later this year. 

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