Walmart is expanding its in-store vegan offerings by adding plant-based chicken patties and tenders to all of its stores. The retailer is also adding new vegan cheese to its line (for just $3.97 per 8-ounce package) made from potato starch and coconut oil. The new flavors are Mozzarella, Cheddar, and a blend. Customers will be able to find the new alternative chicken and cheeses on shelves as a part of Walmart's affordable Great Value line. The vegan chicken options will accompany the line's beef-style veggie burger and a chipotle black bean patty.

By adding these plant-based options to its affordable Great Value line Walmart is making plant-based foods far more accessible. Even though Walmart’s stores offer multiple other brands of vegan or plant-based products, this will be the first vegan chicken and vegan cheese created for its in-house brand.

The new plant-based food items contain all the protein a consumer needs. The vegan chicken has 12 grams of protein per serving. The chicken patties consist of wheat protein, faba bean protein, pea fiber, and chickpeas, which altogether create the product’s healthy nutritional profile and texture. The veggie burger and black bean burger contain 18 grams and 10 grams of protein, respectively.

More Retailers Look to Fill Out Plant-Based Offerings

The market research firm MarketsandMarkets predicts that the global vegan meat market is projected to be worth $8.3 billion by the year 2025 as the demand for plant-based proteins continues to skyrocket. Walmart is accommodating its products to the increasing consumer demand, also stocking its shelves with three flavors of vegan cheese.

Other supermarkets and companies have started to pay attention to this consumer trend. Sprouts Farmers Market released four products in partnership with LikeMeat’s vegan chicken earlier this month. The vegan chicken products will include grilled chicken, BBQ, pieces of chicken, and chicken nuggets.

Beyond stocking shelves at supermarkets, more fast-food restaurants are aiming to incorporate a plant-based chicken into their menus. Impossible Foods and Burger King plan to develop chicken sandwich alternatives after the amazing momentum that the Impossible Whopper gained. Also, McDonald’s and KFC teamed up for Beyond Meat to develop vegan chicken that will be featured at numerous locations around the United States. KFC already tested the vegan chicken at a location in Atlanta, which saw immediate success, selling out in a matter of hours.

The USDA recorded that the average American eats 98 pounds of chicken per year, but plant-based chicken substitutes continue to find burgeoning success, replacing animal protein in many people's diets. Plant-based beef products spearheaded the movement to adopt more plant-based proteins, but vegan chicken products are quickly gaining momentum. Plant-based chicken is seeing a rapid increase in popularity and large companies seem to be responding by quickly developing new products and keeping the shoppers happy.


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