Kellogg’s New Plant-Based Chicken Tenders Hit U.S. Shelves As Vegan Demand Surges

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American food giant Kellogg has introduced a new plant-based meat alternative, Chick’n Tenders, to U.S. shelves amid surging demand for vegan products. The new vegan chicken analogue is launched under its subsidiary MorningStar Farms’ Incogmeato brand, and will be available across major retailers including Walmart and Kroger. 

As U.S. plant-based retail sales over the past year reaches an all-time high of US$7 billion, Battle Creek-headquartered food giant Kellogg is ramping up its vegan offerings, launching a new plant-based chicken tender alternative this month. Introduced under its brand Incogmeato from MorningStar Farms, the new non-GMO soy-based Chik’n Tenders come in two flavours – original and sweet barbeque – and claims to taste, look and even tear “just like meat”. 

MorningStar Farms says that the signature tear-apart quality of its new chicken alternative was developed using its proprietary plant-based technology that recreates a fibrous texture. 

Incogmeato Chik’n Tenders (Source: MorningStar Farms)

“The result is a crispy, juicy, pull-apart tender that delivers the taste, texture and aroma flexitarians are looking for,” said the brand, adding that the chicken-free alternative is also nutritionally superior to real animal meat. Compared to its chicken-based counterpart, Incogmeato’s vegan version contains more grams of protein per serving while slashing fat content by 27%

Kellogg says that the product launch was due to come sooner, but was delayed due to pandemic-related challenges. But from this month onwards, both flavours of Chik’n Tenders will be retailed across major U.S. supermarkets nationwide, including Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, HEB, Wegmans and Southeastern Grocers

The result is a crispy, juicy, pull-apart tender that delivers the taste, texture and aroma flexitarians are looking for.

MorningStar Farms

The world’s biggest cereal producer explained that the launch is part of the company’s drive to cater to its ever-growing base of flexitarian consumers. According to recent Euromonitor research, as many as 4 in 10 consumers globally now consider themselves flexitarians. Another study, specific to U.S. consumers, says almost 60% are now transitioning to either a part-time vegan or plant-based diet

“Our new Incogmeato Chik’n Tenders are a game changing experience for the flexitarian chicken-loving consumer who wants to try plant-based but isn’t finding an option that stacks up to the real thing,” said Sara Young, general manager of plant-based proteins at Kellogg. 

Incogmeato range. (Source: MorningStar Farms)

Chik’n is a huge opportunity to recruit flexitarian eaters to the meatless category.

Sara Young, General Manager, Plant-Based Proteins, Kellogg

“Chik’n is a huge opportunity to recruit flexitarian eaters to the meatless category – we know plant-based chik’n household penetration is just north of 5%, leaving a huge upside worth over US$200 million.”

In addition to launching via retail channels, Kellogg says that the product will be introduced to foodservice operators throughout the U.S. as well through broadline distributors to “meet the strong consumer demand for plant-based options in restaurants”. 

Alongside Kellogg are a number of other food giants now pivoting their business strategies to tap into the lucrative plant-based opportunity. Fellow American conglomerate ADM, for instance, has opened a plant-based innovation lab in Singapore dedicated to developing alternative proteins “tailored” for the fast-growing Asian market. 

Meanwhile, meat packing behemoth JBS recently acquired Dutch meatless brand Vivera, a move that its CEO Gilberto Tomazoni says is an “important step to strengthen our global plant-based protein platform.” 


All images courtesy of Kellogg / MorningStar Farms, lead image designed by Green Queen Media.

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