Food & Beverage

Impossible Foods plans to release meatless chicken nuggets this fall

Key Points
  • Impossible Foods is planning to release a meat-free chicken nugget this fall.
  • Earlier in July, rival Beyond Meat launched chicken tenders in U.S. restaurants.
  • In April, Reuters reported that Impossible is looking to go public through an IPO or SPAC merger.
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.

Sign up for our weekly, original newsletter that offers a closer look at CNBC Disruptor 50 companies like Impossible Foods, and the founders who continue to innovate across every sector of the economy.

Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown on the company's new plant milk initiative