Film/Television Grocery Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

MICKEY NUGGETS: Disney’s Plant-Based Dino Nugget Alternative, Coming Soon

Photo courtesy of Incogmeato by MorningStar Farms

Dino Nuggets have long been the fun chicken caricatures of our school lunches, snacks, and late night cravings. There are many varieties of them today, whether they contain chicken or are plant-based.

However, none yet have had the backing of Disney, who’s lent the iconic Mickey Mouse shape to a plant-based nugget poised to become as popular as the OG chicken dinosaurs.

Photo courtesy of Incogmeato by MorningStar Farms

Disney’s nugget comes courtesy of Kellogg’s, whose plant-based brand Incogmeato by MorningStar Farms is creating the nugget. The protein inside is made with soy, and the resulting product has 57% less fat and 35% less sodium than regular chicken nuggets.

These are meant to be a kid-friendly vegan alternative, giving them fun shapes like Dino Nuggets would, but also a good source of plant protein as well. Given how ubiquitous the Mickey Mouse moniker is, these will definitely be recognizable for kids all over.

It would be especially dope to see this inside of Disney theme parks, where plant-based innovation is already happening at a whirlwind pace. Kellogg’s has told Foodbeast that they don’t comment on future partnerships, but it would be awesome to see it happen.

Regardless, Mickey Nuggets are ready to take kids’ meals by storm when they arrive in the frozen chicken section of retailers nationwide this month.

Deals Fast Food

For One Day, Wendy’s Is Giving Away Free Nuggets With No Strings Attached

If a warm hug had to be equated into a food, it would most definitely be some type of fried chicken.

With the world being a bit more tense these days, Wendy’s is taking a break from its sassy Twitter presence and taking a beat to help commend those in the frontlines taking care of their communities right now.

Because everyone needs a little bit of love, more so than ever these days, the fast food chain has announced what they’re calling a GroupNug.

On this GroupNug, taking place April 24, Wendy’s will be giving away a free 4-piece Chicken Nugget order to every car that comes through the chain’s drive-thru. No purchase is necessary at all, just free nuggets. Customers can have their choice of Wendy’s regular crispy nuggets, or the ever-popular spicy nuggets.

Anyone interested in getting their free nuggets can drive through any participating Wendy’s location nationwide to get their four-piece. Just keep in mind that with folks coming out to get their free chicken, there will likely be crowds (even if they’re in cars). Be safe and be conscious of workers risking their lives to serve you.

Fast Food News Plant-Based Sustainability What's New

KFC Will Be Selling Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets In China Next Week

On Monday, KFC announced that it will be selling vegan chicken nuggets in China from April 28 to April 30, as it continues its expansion into the plant-based market.

The fast food giant said that the nuggets will be sold in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, and will be manufactured by Cargill Ltd. 

This comes after extremely successful plant-based product testing in multiple countries, which showed enough consumer demand to expand the dishes into more locations in the US. Notably, the company is using a different manufacturer for the Chinese launch, as they tapped Beyond Meat in the US and Lightlife in Canada, respectively.

This isn’t the only way in which the brand’s Chinese release differs. Customers will have to purchase a pre-sale voucher for 1.99 yuan that entitles them to five chicken pieces, according to the company’s official Weibo account. 

This is an interesting path to take, as KFC surely looks to avoid the expansive line that occurred during the high profile Atlanta launch of the company’s plant-based fried chicken. It’s reminiscent of the pre-sale lotteries and raffles that many sneaker companies have done to avoid real-life lines and online crashes during hyped shoe releases. 

We’ll surely be keeping our eyes peeled for any visuals of the new nuggets, as well as any potential plant-based nugget voucher resale market, so check back soon.

Food Policy Health Plant-Based Sustainability

Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets Are Coming To School Cafeterias Nationwide

When kids across the United States walk into their school cafeterias to start the 2019-2020 school year, many may find plant-based chicken nuggets as a brand new meal option.

Photo courtesy of Don Lee Farms

Don Lee Farms, one of the top three suppliers of protein for school lunch programs, is adding the vegan chicken substitute to its offerings. They serve most major and many small school districts in the United States, with the total they supply numbering in the thousands. Their decision to start incorporating plant-based nuggets came as both an option for sustainability and cost. “In most cases, our price for these items are at or below what chicken nuggets cost schools today,” president Donald Goodman said in a statement.

These nuggets are apparently comparable in taste and texture to real chicken nuggets, and give schools a plant-based option kids already love that is more environmentally friendly and even cheaper than meat. Given how important it is for vegan replicas to become cheaper than the real thing, the fact that a processed meat like chicken nuggets has a cheaper plant-based substitute now is monumental.

Schools will be able to purchase the plant-based nuggets to add to their cafeteria menus starting this summer.

Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

McDonald’s Creates A Vegetarian Take On The Iconic McNugget

Following the viral buzz of their ‘McVegan‘ sandwich in 2017, McDonald’s has their latest plant-based take on a classic item for sale now in Norway.

Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

The focus of these “Vegetarnuggets” is all about the veggies, which you can see peeking through the crispy breading exterior. Produce on the inside includes chickpeas, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, and onion. The breading on the outside uses ingredients like rice and semolina.

While they don’t have the exact same shapes as the McNuggets, these are the first meat-free take on a nugget we’ve seen coming out of any fast food chain. Sure, they are exclusive to Norway, but having a fast food nugget option made from vegetables would be groundbreaking in many other parts of the world.

McDonald’s Norway is refraining from calling these nuggets “vegan,” according to a representative, since they are cooked in the same fryer as other products that may contain cheese. As such, despite many current headlines suggesting the contrary, they are referred to as vegetarian nuggets.

Given how much buzz McDonald’s generates every time they create a plant-based item, though, there’s hope that these, or some version of them, could one day make it to the United States, and potentially even the rest of the world.

Packaged Food Recalls

Tyson Recalls Frozen Chicken Nuggets Because They Might Contain Rubber

If you have packages of Tyson White Meat Panko chicken nuggets in the freezer, you may want to check on them.

Photo: Walt Stoneburner // Flickr

Over 18 tons of the nuggets are being called back after consumer complaints led to the discovery of rubber pieces within.

According to a USDA press release, these were shipped to retail locations nationwide, meaning anywhere Tyson sells their products may have the rubber-filled nuggets.

The USDA also released pictures of the specific labels affected by the recall, which you can view here.

Key identifying marks to look for on 5-pound packages include a “BEST IF USED BY” date of November 26, 2019, a case code “3308SDL03,” and time stamps ranging from 23:00 through 01:59.

So far, nobody has reported any adverse reactions or injuries related to the nuggets. If you do have one of the recalled bags, however, you should either discard it or return it to where you bought it from.

Restaurants Science Technology What's New

Chicken Nuggets Made Without Harming A Single Bird Will Hit Restaurants This Year

JUST, who used to be known as Hampton Creek, just shocked the world by announcing that they intend to get cultured chicken nuggets into restaurants by the end of 2018.

That means that JUST can take something like a chicken feather and turn it into nuggets. They’re not actually adding the feather into anything, but are instead using it as a tissue sample from which meat can be cultivated.

chicken nuggets

Photo courtesy of JUST

JUST’s head of communications, Andrew Noyes, described it as a “small, harmless biopsy” that inflicts no pain on the animal.

From there, the best cells are grown from that sample, and production afterward is quick, taking just a few weeks. In the largest commercial scale JUST hopes to reach, it would take two days to produce enough meat to make a chicken nugget.

Their team is working on improving that production efficiency, including the creation of a serum-free media that’s one of the bigger challenges to scaling and commercializing that process. However, JUST does have enough production capacity at this point where they’re ready to unleash cultured chicken nuggets to the world.


Product concept illustration courtesy of JUST. Not an actual product or something being created in the near term.



Pending regulatory approval, JUST aims to complete their first sale of the nuggets (or another chicken product) by the end of the year. This will likely not happen in the United States, where the USDA and FDA are still hashing out regulations, however, small-scale restaurants in other parts of the world may be able to incorporate them soon.

Just last year, food technology company Memphis Meats announced it was working on lab-grown fried chicken, and it came with a notice that they were planning to have the “cultured meat” in grocery stores by 2021. It seemed like a far time away, and looked like nobody else was as close to a commercial product as they were, but JUST undercut that time frame with this announcement.

The end of year launch would be far faster than anyone anticipated, and accelerates the “clean meat” movement into the present day, rather than as a part of the future.

Fast Food Now Trending

This Company is Hiring People to Eat Chicken Nuggets and We’re Ecstatic

crispy homemade chicken nuggets shot with selective focusPhoto: Shutterstock / Joshua Resnick

A popular bargain retailer in the UK, B&M, recently listed a job opening that made fast-food lovers worldwide gasp with disbelief—they were seeking a “Chicken Nugget Connoisseur.” The dream job listing requested “a tasty new individual who’ll be worth their weight … in food.” Have a passion for fast food? Discover 33 things your fast food worker isn’t telling you.

Dream Job Details

The job listing went on to outline the strict experience requirements, among them “getting the 20-share box of nuggets from McDonald’s and keeping them all for yourself,” “being the first in the office kitchen whenever someone says there’s cake” and “going to an event or party because there is free food.”

However, recently the job listing had been removed. One can only imagine that it got so much attention that B&M stores were inundated with qualified applications. Chicken nugget aficionados around the world crossed their fingers in anticipation of a life-changing phone call.

More Delicious Opportunities

For those who missed out on what sounds like one of the most delicious and sodium-filled career paths, rest assured that not all hope is lost. The dream of taste-testing food as a viable profession may still be alive and well. We were able to locate a few other jobs that, at the very least, insinuate job duties include eating.

Taste Tester at the Hershey Company, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“The individual will apply appropriate focus and concentration on tasting responsibilities.” I stopped reading after “Hershey” and basically just pictured a chocolate river, a la Willy Wonka.

Kitchen Product Specialist at Land O’Lakes, Arden Hills, Minnesota.

“Support product innovation … by providing culinary and consumer perspective to flavor analysis.” I’m pretty sure that means “taste stuff.” Hopefully this involves their yummy cheeses, because analyzing tubs of butter all day might get a bit heavy.

Consumer Taste Tester at McCormick, Hunt Valley, Maryland.

Yes, the spice people. And yes, you could call yourself a Spice Girl on your resume if you land the gig. They’re looking for taste-testers who live near their Maryland headquarters, but it’s not a full-time gig by any means. You can participate in taste-testing up to four times a year.

Quality Technician at Ocean Spray Cranberries, Tomah, Wisconsin.

If you’re passionate about cranberries—and let’s be honest, who isn’t?—then strap on a pair of those high-water boots and jump into the bog. At least, that’s what the commercial makes me believe. The job duties include performing “in-process and finished goods product testing. Pull and test product not fulfilling quality standards.” In other words, don’t let any bad cranberries get through.

Focus Group Participant, nationwide.

Qualified tasters are needed all over the country to test various products, food included, for grocery stores. Simply create a profile and wait to be contacted about a focus group near you. “You will be asked to taste, touch, smell and/or look at products and answer questions about them.” Sign me up.

Let’s not forget that Taste of Home is also a hub of taste testing! Each week, our experienced and enthusiastic staff tastes everything from cookies to boxed wine to cinnamon rolls—not to mention all our recipes. We’re just some of the lucky ones!

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Article by Amanda Kippert from Taste of Home. View the original article here.