Sep 7, 2021 - Economy

Impossible Foods debuts chicken nuggets

A box with chicken nuggets, waffle fries and sauces

Impossible Chicken nuggets at Fuku in New York City. Photo: Katelyn Perry/Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods is out with a chicken nugget that closely mimics the taste and texture of the American fast food favorite.

Why it matters: Plant-based meat companies aren’t just after the vegan and vegetarian market. They’re thinking much bigger.

  • These companies are betting that getting closer and closer to the flavor of foods like nuggets and burgers will attract meat-eaters, too.

Driving the news: Impossible Foods’ nuggets will be available at a number of restaurants, including David Chang’s Fuku in New York City and Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles from today.

  • They’ll also be on shelves in the frozen aisle at major grocery stores like Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Giant and more by the end of the month.
  • The Impossible Foods product will join meatless nuggets from other brands, like Beyond Meat and Tyson Foods.

I got a taste of the new Impossible nuggets from Fuku. They were crunchy on the outside and meaty on the inside, and I could barely notice the difference between these and real chicken nuggets — especially when doused in dipping sauces.

  • The perk is that they've got 40% less saturated fat and 25% less sodium than standard chicken nuggets.

But, but, but: It’s easy enough to replicate the taste and texture of a processed meat product, like a sausage or patty or nugget. The difficult part is to mimic the muscle of an animal.

The real challenge for plant-based meat companies will be to come out with a convincing fake filet mignon or fake roast bird. For now, meatless Thanksgiving is still far away.

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