Impossible Foods plans to release meatless chicken nuggets this fall

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Attendees visit the Impossible Foods booth, January 8, 2020 at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Impossible Foods is planning to add another meat substitute to its roster: plant-based chicken nuggets.

The company will unveil the new product to U.S. operators at a trade show next week with a broader fall launch date in mind. Bloomberg first reported the news.

In the last decade, chicken has overtaken beef as Americans’ top meat choice, making it a target for the companies that are looking to replace or reduce consumption of animal meat. Earlier in July, rival Beyond Meat launched chicken tenders in U.S. restaurants, more than two years after discontinuing its original chicken alternative.

To mimic the taste and texture of chicken, Impossible’s nugget recipe includes soy protein and sunflower oil, Bloomberg reported. However, it doesn’t include the use of heme, which is produced from genetically modified yeast. The company has used the substance in its two alternatives for beef and pork, but China and the European Union have barred its products because of that use, causing a major roadblock for Impossible’s global expansion.

The new nuggets — and their potential global reach — could make Impossible more attractive to investors. Reuters reported in April that the company is preparing to go public sometime in the next 12 months through an initial public offering or a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Impossible is reportedly seeking a valuation of at least $10 billion, several billion dollars higher than the current market capitalization of Beyond Meat. To date, Impossible has raised $1.5 billion from private investors.

Impossible Foods is a four-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company that ranked No. 24 on this year’s list.

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