Succulent, center-of-the-plate chicken made without harming animals or the environment? A new offering made by vegan brand Daring Foods in partnership with Cuisine Solutions aims to deliver just that. Cuisine Solutions is a global leader in the sous vide cooking technique, a French cooking style that means “under vacuum” where food is sealed and slow-cooked to bring out nuanced flavor and succulent texture.
Currently, Daring Foods’ vegan chicken is available at approximately 500 restaurant locations, including Monty’s Good Burger, Gekko Steakhouse (which is co-owned by musical artist Bad Bunny), Tao Restaurant Group, and more. Under the new partnership, Daring Foods’ vegan chicken undergoes the sous-vide process to make it easier for foodservice operators to put the plant-based meat on their menus.
“We are so excited to be partnering with Cuisine Solutions, Inc. to offer a sous vide format for our restaurant partners and for the opportunity to expand this new offering into other parts of the business in the future,” Ross Mackay, Founder and CEO of Daring, said in a statement. “Taste and texture are at the forefront of everything we do, and we trust the sous vide cooking format to produce both at the highest quality.”
Daring is backed by celebrities such as Drake and Naomi Osaka and its latest marketing campaign was made in partnership with Kourtney Kardashian Barker and husband Travis Barker. Its vegan chicken products are currently available at 11,000 retail stores, including Target, Walmart, and Kroger.
Sous vide vegan chicken and eggs
Daring Foods is a mission-driven vegan company that aims to take chickens out of the food system. Since it launched in 2017, the company has developed several products to mimic animal-derived chicken, including pieces in Original, Lemon & Herb, Cajun and Breaded varieties.
“The sous vide format provides our foodservice partners with a new option not previously available: Ready-to-Eat,” David Johnson, Vice President of Food Service at Daring, said in a statement. “The combination of our simple ingredients with Cuisine Solutions sous vide technology gives our partners the consistency and quality that they are looking for, while opening the door to more cold applications as well.”
Daring’s sous-vide chicken recently launched at Juice Press, which added the Daring Plant-Based Chik’n Salad Wrap to its grab-and-go section at 80 locations. Along with giving consumers a cruelty-free chicken option, the new format comes with other benefits for foodservice providers such as allowing for lower labor costs, lower preparation time, and guaranteed consistency of product.
“Part of our focus when it comes to delivering innovation in the plant-based space is finding the very best companies in the market to partner with,” Nolan Popper, Director of Plant-Based Innovation at Cuisine Solutions, said in a statement.
“Pairing Daring’s clean ingredients with cutting-edge manufacturing technology means that together we can create endless platforms with options for all dayparts,” Popper said. “We’re excited by the possibilities our sous-vide process has helped to unlock for vegan and flexitarian customers alike.”
In addition to Daring, Eat Just also worked with Cuisine Solutions to release a sous vide version of its vegan JUST Egg last March. The sous-vide egg bites are offered in four, globally inspired flavors and can be prepared in the oven, toaster, or microwave.
Earlier this month, Starbucks put sous vide JUST Egg bites and Daring’s vegan chicken on the menu at three locations in Washington, DC and Virginia, where the coffee chain is currently testing six plant-based options.
Vegan chicken for every meal
Daring has cracked the code to plant-based chicken, with its pieces and new sous vide format made to closely resemble its animal-derived counterparts.
Other brands such Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are also making their own chicken products, which have found their way onto retail shelves and fast-food menus from KFC to Panda Express to Burger King.
And even skinless chicken breasts—once touted as a health food—are getting the plant-based treatment. Last month, Swiss company Planted Foods raised $72 million in venture capital funding to grow its plant-based meat company, with particular focus on whole cuts of meat such as skinless chicken breasts. Planted uses yellow pea protein and a process called “biostructering” to produce its minimally processed vegan meats, that start with proteins extracted from plants and get elongated through wet extrusion before being put through a fermentation process.
Planted’s vegan chicken breasts are already on the menu at Tim Raue, a two-Michelin starred restaurant in Berlin and are slated to expand to other restaurants before hitting store shelves later this year.