Business Strategies / Proteins

McCain to Make Startup’s Analogue Nuggets

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Jul 11, 2019

Plant-based “chicken” nuggets will be made by a startup company in a facility owned by McCain Foods – which is also furnishing much of the capital.

The product, called Nuggs, is the brainchild of Ben Pasternak, a 19-year-old tech prodigy who developed a successful app at age 15. Nuggs is made of pea protein and touts its absence of allergens like wheat flour, eggs or soy.

Nuggs will be manufactured at a McCain plant, but initially will be available only online, although plans are to expand eventually into foodservice and retail. The product is relatively expensive at $24 a pound, but the hope is that the price will drop once McCain begins large-scale production.

Although McCain put up most of the $7 million startup money, other investors include several venture capital firms and high-profile individual businesspeople, including Bob Pittman, founder of MTV and CEO of iHeartMedia, and John Maloney, former president of Tumblr.