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Beyond Meat, one of the world’s biggest plant-based faux-meat brands, just launched a new Beyond Meat chicken tender. The product got a Beyoncé secret album-like drop, with little advance build-up before debuting publicly on the menus of 400 restaurants across the United States.
Most consumers haven’t had a chance to sample a chicken-inspired product from Beyond Meat since 2012, when it discontinued a chicken strip that was sold in grocery stores. The company had briefly piloted a veggie-chicken product at KFC locations in Atlanta back in 2019, but pulled the plug on that to focus solely on the faux-beef burger business.
“The demand for our beef products really started to pick up to the point where we really had to allocate all of production capacity to it, so we decided to discontinue,” Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown told CNBC about the KFC program, noting that he also felt “motivated by the fact that we wanted to make it better.”
This time around, the Beyond Meat chicken tenders are available mostly at mid-sized regional chains including Epic Burger, Sarpino’s, Next Level Burger, and Plow Burger, rather than the big national brands. And the formula is different, too. Beyond Meat chicken tenders now contain 14 grams of fava bean- and pea-based protein per serving.
If you want to taste the tendies, you’ll have to head out to (or order in from) one of Beyond Meat’s restaurant partners – there are currently no plans to sell them as a frozen retail item.