In September, chicken company Perdue will release its Chicken Plus line, a major product innovation for the chicken company that features nuggets, tenders, and patties made from a blend of animal meat, cauliflower, chickpeas, and plant-based protein. Perdue partnered with new vegan-owned brand The Better Meat Co.—which aims to help companies replace some of their animal-derived protein with plants—to develop the blended line using its plant-based protein. While many companies have embraced the demand for fully vegan meat alternatives—including Perdue competitor Tyson Foods which will debut a vegan meat line this fall—the Chicken Plus line is aimed at so-called “flexitarians” and families looking to convince their children to consume more vegetables. Alison Rabschnuk, Director of Corporate Engagement at nonprofit The Good Food Institute, sees Perdue’s move as a positive first step into the plant-based space. “This is a gateway product range that will give Perdue an opportunity to test the market and see how consumers respond,” Rabschnuk said. “Given its wide distribution, massive consumer base, and reputation in the meat industry, the leadership Perdue is showing here in diversifying its offerings and introducing an innovative plant-based option will have a significant and positive impact on the sector. This is just the beginning. If the market responds as we anticipate, this could pave the way for the introduction of a fully plant-based product.”

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