Perdue Farms is entering the plant-based protein market, at least to the extent of intending to introduce products with blended meat and plant material.
Eric Christianson, chief marketing officer with Perdue Foods, a unit of Perdue Farms, told CNBC that the company has chicken nuggets in the development pipeline that will blend chicken meat with cauliflower, chickpeas and other plant ingredients. He said the nuggets will start shipping to foodservice customers this summer and be available at retail in the fall.
Perdue expects such products to reach $100 million in sales within five years, which would be about 5% of Perdue Foods’ total business. Christianson said that the company is still considering whether to offer wholly plant-based products.
Tyson Foods, which recently announced the imminent rollout of a line of plant-based meat analogues, already offers meat-plant blends in its Aidells Whole Blends line.