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v2food has announced it has developed a range of plant-based chicken products. It comes after success with beef alternatives and a recent launch of meat-free pork into the Asian market. The company says it worked closely with government agency CSIRO food scientists to replicate the taste, aroma and texture of conventional chicken.
Australia is a meat-eater’s paradise. Chicken is especially popular, with the average citizen consuming 45 kilos a year- which makes the country fifth globally when it comes to chicken eating per capita. On a mission to help the country eat less meat, v2food has turned its plant-based innovation attention to poultry with three newly debuted analogues developed. Two of them will enjoy a retail launch in May this year.
Getting to the other side
v2food has already launched beef mince and patties, alongside sausages, in Australia. Now, it is making chicken tenders, nuggets, and schnitzel available. Nuggets will be sold exclusively through foodservice partners. All products are soy-based and non-GMO. The company claims they are a direct swap for conventional chicken products, in any meal.
“Our mission is to help the global population live more sustainably by providing plant-based products, so a great tasting, easy to cook chicken range was always on the cards for v2food,” Nick Hazell, CEO and founder of v2food said in a statement. “We know Aussies love chicken – in fact, data shows that we eat an average of 45 kilos of poultry per year. If you wanted to visualise just how much that is, it’s about the equivalent of 2,250 chicken nuggets a year, per person.”
Hazell continues to highlight that recent consumer trends data shows that 63 percent of Australian shoppers are willing to buy plant-based meat. The caveat is that it has to taste good. “In order to make a real difference to our planet, we need to create delicious, sustainable alternatives of the foods we love to make the switch easy and tasty for meat lovers. We are thrilled to unveil our delicious plant-based chicken products for everyone to enjoy,” he commented.
The road (trip) to launch
To mark the launch of v2food’s new chicken line, the company’s food truck will be taking an extended road trip along the country’s east coast. Consumers will be able to track the truck’s whereabouts and catch up with it for exclusive tastings of the new tenders and schnitzel. The team’s route will begin in Melbourne and end, weather permitting, in Byron Bay.
Australia’s taste for plant-based meat
Alt protein companies are increasingly targeting the Australian market, with Californian giant Impossible Foods sharing its retail launch in Australia yesterday. Both its vegan mince and burger patties available in supermarkets for the first time, following successful foodservice launch in November last year. Woolworths has signed up as the distributor, with around 800 locations onboard to merchandise the beef alternatives.
A recent study commissioned by No Meat May and Vegan Australia determined that Australian consumers are not confused by plant-based product labelling. The issue was raised by Senator Susan McDonald, following meat producers making complaints that they were losing sales due to customer befuddlement. The new research, compiled by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, has categorically blown that theory out of the water. Conversely, it was shown that those trying to buy meat-free items are more likely to buy animal-derived products by mistake.
All photos by v2food.