Beyond Meat Chicken Tenders Land at 8,000 More Stores

|Updated Apr 13, 2022
Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat has provided millions of Americans with a sustainable substitute for the country’s most beloved foods like chicken and hamburgers, and now, the brand is announcing a massive retail expansion plan, revealing that its Beyond Chicken Tenders will soon be available at more than 8,000 additional retail locations.

With the demand for vegan chicken steadily rising, Beyond aims to increase the accessibility and affordability of its vegan tenders. The retail expansion will begin this April and continue into the summer as the Beyond Chicken Tenders will be available at CVS, Kroger, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Albertsons locations nationwide.

“From a selling standpoint, wherever our customers have interest in carrying our product, we want it to be available so our consumers can ultimately shop there as well,” Beyond Chief Growth Officer Deanna Jurgens said in an interview.“Distribution continues to be a key driver for us as we go into this year.”

Beyond Chicken’s Restaurant Debut

Initially, Beyond Meat released its plant-based chickened tenders exclusively in restaurants across the United States. The plant-based brand partnered with more than 400 restaurants nationwide to showcase its new product and has since expanded to hundreds more. In September 2021, Beyond’s tenders entered the retail sector in select Jewel-Osco, Safeway Northern California, Giant Foods, ShopRite, and Walmart locations.

By expanding within the retail and foodservice sectors, Beyond intends to offer an accessible chicken alternative to customers and consumers all over the country. Current projections estimate that the plant-based meat market will reach $24.8 billion by 2030 with vegan chicken as a primary category.

“Building on the positive momentum of our recent chicken launches, we’re excited to significantly expand the availability of our Beyond Chicken Tenders by showing up in more places for our consumers – from their favorite supermarket or drugstore to large warehouse clubs – making delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based meat more accessible than ever before,” Jurgens said.

The vegan brand aims to provide consumers with a healthier and more sustainable option than conventional chicken products. With the same crispy breading and juicy flavor, the Beyond tenders contain 50 percent less saturated fat than animal-based chicken nuggets and contain no cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics.

Despite Falling Shares, Beyond Meat is Growing

Recently, the major plant-based player has struggled to retain its market value as Beyond's stock has fallen approximately 66 percent since 2020, dragging its market value to $2.77 billion. From its market high of $234.90 per share, Beyond is now valued at $45.22 per share. In the face of falling stock prices, the company is launching efforts to expand its product selection, distribution, and accessibility.

This March, Beyond announced a joint venture with PepsiCo – the Planet Partnership – that aims to improve plant-based food options nationwide. With the announcement, Beyond debuted a brand new Beyond Jerky – a beef jerky substitute made from mung beans and peas.

Within the foodservice sector, Beyond is teaming up with some of the biggest fast-food chains in the world. The company released the Beyond The Original Orange Chicken with Panda Express. More recently, the two companies launched two new dishes featuring Beyond Beef.

Before the retail expansion, Beyond's plant-based chicken become widely available nationwide when the company partnered with KFC. The Beyond Chicken Tenders rolled out across more than 4,000 locations nationwide for a limited time, marking one of the biggest plant-based fast-food launches to date.

Fast-food restaurants have finally got the memo that their customer base isn’t just coming through for a burger, fried chicken, or a beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and are coming up with creative, delicious ways to get more greens on the menu. Here are the 6 best fast-food chains with plant-based options on the menu.

1. Burger King

Turns out there’s a lot more to rely on than a salad if you’re eating plant-based. Burger King has the Impossible Whopper featuring a meatless patty as well as a few secretly vegan options such as the French Toast Sticks and Hashbrowns.

2. White Castle

Known for its mini square-shaped sliders, this hamburger chain jumped on the plant-based bandwagon at some participating locations. You can find an Impossible Slider on some White Castle menus.

3. Del Taco

This was the first national Mexican fast-food chain to offer Beyond Meat at the company’s 580 restaurants across the country. Del Taco has the Beyond Avocado Taco on the menu along with the Epic Beyond Original Mex Burrito and Avocado Veggie Bowl.

4. Carl's Jr.

Another brand synonymous with beef burgers, Carl’s Jr. offers several plant-based options for veggie and plant lover such as Beyond Famous Star Burger and Guacamole Thickburger.

5. Taco Bell

This fast-food restaurant may have been one of the first you frequented while transitioning to plant-based eating. That’s because Taco Bell has eight million vegetarian combinations and sells 350 million vegetarian items a year through menu substitutions or ordering off their vegetarian menu. In fact, they were the first quick-service restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA) certified food options.

6. Starbucks

From the time it started offering breakfast sandwiches in 2006, the coffee conglomerate became a competitor in the fast-food space. You can get your favorite hot and cold beverages made with almond, coconut or oat milk but there are also plant-based food options available such as the Baja Black Bean Veggie Wrap, bagel with vegan cream cheese and Impossible Breakfast Sandwich.