- Nestle is teaming with vegan startup Sundial Foods to develop vegan chicken wings with skin and bones.
- The partnership is part of a $US4 ($AU6) billion funding round for the San Francisco-based meat substitute company.
- The global meat substitute market is slated to reach $US23.2 ($AU32) billion by 2023, according to Euromonitor.
Nestle is looking to take the plant-based meat craze to the next level with vegan chicken wings that have realistic skin and bones.
The company announced on Friday that it led a $US4 ($AU6) billion funding round for Sundial Foods, a vegan startup based in San Francisco that develops imitation chicken meat. The decision to work with Sundial came after a “successful collaboration” with the startup as part of the company’s research and development accelerator program, a Nestle spokesperson told Insider.
Sundial’s specialty is meatless chicken wings, which are designed “to offer a complete wing experience, which includes the skin, muscle, and bone,” according to the company. Sundial’s unique imitation wings are made using a proprietary technology and eight basic ingredients, including water, chickpeas, sunflower oil, soybeans, and nutritional yeast.
The funding round will be used to continue to expand the company and bring its chicken wings to market, with an anticipated rollout of spring 2022, Sundial co-founder Jessica Schwabach told Insider.
“Our goal is to create an experience that’s not only nutritious but genuinely enjoyable and worthy of being center-of-plate for the consumer,” Schwabach wrote in an email to Insider. “That’s why we have the plant-based skin for that extra crispiness and texture, and even the bone so consumers can fully enjoy and experience a plate of wings with everything but the animal.”
The deal marks the latest advancement within the rapidly growing plant-based meat industry, which has seen a proliferation of startups looking to take market share from major players like Beyond Meat and Impossible. The global meat substitute market is expected to reach nearly $US23.2 ($AU32) billion by 2023, the market research company Euromonitor told CNBC.
For Nestle, it reflects continued interest in meat alternatives, coming on the heels of a July announcement that the Swiss conglomerate was teaming with the Israeli cell-based startup, Future Meat Technologies.