Beyond Meat is making sure plant-based consumers don't feel left out of the celebration this National Fried Chicken Day. The alternative meat giant is planning to give away free vegan chicken tenders on July 27th to promote the company’s new Beyond Chicken Tenders. The vegan brand will be partnering with DoorDash to crest $15 to any order including Beyond Chicken Tenders giving consumers the opportunity to try the new plant-based protein. The deal aims to give consumers the chance to consider plant-based protein as a viable alternative to conventional chicken.

“Our mission is to make delicious, better-for-you plant-based options accessible to everyone,” a Beyond Meat representative told VegNews. “We are excited about all the positive taste reviews that have started to roll in following our launch of Beyond Chicken Tender across the country, and knew we had to find a way to give more consumers the opportunity to try and enjoy our latest product innovation. We partnered with DoorDash because the added convenience of on-demand delivery allows even more consumers - particularly Gen Z and Millennials - to try Beyond Chicken Tenders this National Chicken Tender Day.”

The DoorDash partnership follows Beyond Meat’s national debut of its Beyond Chicken Tenders earlier this month. The food tech company began distribution with nearly 400 restaurants across the United States, bringing the new plant-based chicken product to consumers nationwide. The company’s Chief Innovation Officer, Dariush Ajami, stated that the company is “innovating the poultry market with the new Beyond Chicken Tenders - the result of [its] tireless pursuit for excellence and growth.”

Now, plant-based diners can find this plant-based chicken made into innovative burgers at vegan Next Level Burger or straight up alongside signature sauces at restaurants including Fire Wings, Bad Mutha Clucka, and Bird Bird Biscuit. The Beyond Chicken Tenders locations can be found on the Beyond Meat website. The company is aiming to increase its range, making the plant-based chicken one of the most accessible proteins.

Beyond Meat’s signature item is the Beyond Burger, one of the pioneering plant-based burger patties to hit the market. Since its release in 2016, the company has redesigned the burger’s recipe three times, revealing its Beyond Burger 3.0 earlier this year. The newest version contains 35 percent less total fat and 35 percent less saturated fat, highlighting the company’s focus on nutrition within plant-based alternatives.

The food tech company originally experimented with plant-based chicken in 2012. The company developed a vegan chicken strip that became widely available, but the chicken stopped being produced shortly after. Over the last decade, Beyond Meat researched how to create the best plant-based chicken product that would cook, taste, and feel like conventional chicken. The Chicken Tender uses a mixture of pea protein and faba beans to create the consistency necessary to replicate conventional chicken.

“Now, more than ever, consumers are becoming more aware of the health implications of their food choices— specifically, the health concerns associated with animal protein, which is driving greater interest and trial in Beyond Meat,” the representative continued. “Throughout the pandemic, we have been able to continue meeting consumer demand for meat amid nationwide animal meat shortages. The growing interest in plant-based meat coupled with skyrocketing demand for chicken makes this the perfect time to launch plant-based chicken. Chicken is also the most popular meat in America, so we see a huge opportunity to reach an even wider segment of consumers.”

Beyond Meat is also moving into the fast-food world. Earlier this year, the company announced that it will be partnering with Panda Express to reveal its Beyond the Original Orange Chicken at locations in New York City and Los Angeles. The company is hoping to breakthrough the fast-food market, giving consumers nationwide a chance to choose a plant-based alternative. The company also tested its Beyond Chicken in 2019 at KFC. Since then, Beyond has announced a future partnership with Yum! Brands, which could see its plant-based products entering KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut menus in the near future.

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