Not one day seems to go without the launch of a new plant-based alternative from a dear restaurant chain or brand. In recent months, Burger King has introduced the new Impossible Foods Whopper, while Del Taco has launched two meat-free tacos and a vegetarian burrito, and Red Robin announced it will also start serving Impossible Burger.
The increase in plant-based alternatives has increased in recent years, and the fast food giants come quickly after the shift in eating we witnesses away from meat. This undoubtedly contributes to reducing nutritional and dietary changes even further.
But among the tidal wave of plant-based alternatives there has been one thing missing from ordinary outlets: plant-based alternatives to chicken. Despite the fact that chicken is the most consumed meat in the United States, there has been a clear lack of options for vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians among their favorite hamburgers.
However, it seems that the tide is slowly turning. The chicken company Perdue has collaborated with The Better Meat Co. To develop nuggets, tenders and patties made from a mixture of animal meat, cauliflower, chickpeas and plant-based protein that will be available later this year. Perdue's Chicken Plus line may not be a 1
Other brands that are well established in the meat industry have recently announced plant promotion options. Meat giant Tyson has announced that nuggets will be sold partly from pea protein to grocery stores this summer under a new brand, Raised and Rooted.
And in the United States, KFC recently began trying a vegan chicken burger in restaurants across England. The Imposter Burger has a Quorn filet, coated in the colonel's original recipe of herbs and spices. (The fast food chain was sold out of it in just four days, saying that the sale of the plant-based burger was 500 percent higher than that of a regular burger.)
It is not the case that plant-based chicken alternatives have not been available lately The years, but it is an area that has fallen behind the unprecedented innovation we have seen from red meat alternatives. While plant-based chicken alternatives available in grocery stores have served an important purpose for early adopters, the investment in research and development of comparable chicken products appears to have been far offset by similar start-ups such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.
"There have been and have been many plant-based chicken products on the market for years, when it was burgers, but nobody really focused on making products that had the juiciness and crunch of animal-based chicken," says Kristie Middleton, vice president of business development at Rebellyous ( former Seattle Food Tech).
However, this recent development may signal a change. And getting plant-based chicken to the right will be a big – and much needed – breakthrough in the plant-based industry.
The rise of plant-based burgers undoubtedly extends some of the carbon emissions and animal environment in the heart of the meat industry. And chicken use is undoubtedly even more harmful.
The United States has the largest chicken industry in the world, and the number of chickens slaughtered for food is far overweight than any other animal. Broiler chickens at factory plants are separated from their parents, and often limited to tight conditions where they become stressed and become aggressive towards each other. They spend their time in the dark, injured, unwell and unable to move, except breathing ammonia and particles from feces and feathers. (For this reason, in addition to highlighting the benefits of fast food chains containing plant-based options on the menus, many lawyers encourage companies such as McDonalds to upgrade their animal welfare standards. The company still sources chickens that have been bred to grow so large, so many do not The good news is that Burger King, Subway, Jack in the Box and more than 100 other food companies are committed to discontinuing this abuse.]
In addition, one of the biggest motivators for switching For plant-based diets, they are proven health benefits. Red meat has been linked to heart disease, high cholesterol and early death. While chicken has long had a free pass, we know that the chicken is low in fiber, and recent research suggests that it is just as bad for cholesterol as red meat.
In an ideal world we wanted to replace fast food with whole vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fruits. But the most effective way to ease the increasing consumption of all meat – including chicken – is to offer options that live up to the Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger, and other great plant-based options, so consumers don't feel they need to make radical sacrifices or changes in diet and lifestyle.
The only way we can achieve this is that plant-based companies are investing more in research and development, and increasing chicken alternatives to the same experience as those that are impossible burger and Beyond Burger offerings. The innovations in the industry so far have been incredible – this is the kind of challenge it was created for.