Meat- and Fish Alternatives

THIS and Planted Launch Plant-Based Chicken NPDs in UK as Vegan Chicken Market Soars

This week, two behemoths in the world of plant-based meats — THIS of the UK and Planted of Switzerland — this week both launch vegan chicken formats in the form of Asian rotisserie-style meat products. According to Global Market Insights, the market for plant-based chicken is projected to grow with a CAGR of 16% to 2032.

THIS, the UK’s fastest-growing food brand (Alantra, Fast 50, 2022), this week reveals its latest NPD, THIS™ Isn’t Chicken Shawarma. Based on its THIS Isn’t Chicken Pieces recipe, THIS has leveraged its “chicken-iest” tasting vegan chicken pieces for the shawarma pieces, created with soy and fava bean protein, with a blend of spices including smoked paprika, cumin, coriander seed, cassia, ginger, mint and cayenne pepper.

THIS claims that THIS Isn’t Chicken Shawarma pieces offer unique hyper-realistic shapes and a fibrous texture achieved through the company’s extrusion technology. Mark Cuddigan, recently appointed CEO of THIS since original founders Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman stepped down in January, commented: “I love this product Shawarma’ch! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Seriously though, I really do, and we believe THIS™ Isn’t Chicken Shawarma will be a customer favourite.”

THIS™ Isn’t Chicken Shawarma

Available in ASDA, Waitrose, and Co-op from May, THIS™ Isn’t Chicken Shawarma (170g) retails at £3.30. THIS™ Isn’t Chicken Shawarma is also on sale in the Netherlands in Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the country.

Planted Chicken Tikka Skewers

Meanwhile, Planted — Europe’s leading foodtech scale-up — is launching Chicken Tikka Skewers exclusively into selected Tesco stores across the UK, described as being coated in a “mouth-watering marinade”, infused with hints of cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and curry leaf. Planted’s Skewers produce 77% less CO2e and require 85% less water than their poultry counterparts, says the company.

Planted combines proprietary structuring and fermentation technologies to produce meat from plant proteins, produced in a glass-house production facility in Kemptthal (Zurich) Switzerland – the first transparent meat production open to the public.

Planted chicken tikka skewers
© Planted

In an Op-Ed for vegconomist at the end of 2023, Rob Reames, VP of Commercial at Planted discussed how plant-based brands can best navigate the UK market, and tipped a hat to industry peer THIS, noting, “Brands aiming to leave a lasting mark in the UK’s plant-based category need to envision a long-term game plan. The emphasis should be on building a sustainable brand that resonates with evolving consumer needs. A pertinent example is THIS’s strategic launch of its Roast Chicken for the festive season. The brand’s ability to identify and capitalise on new opportunities underscores the importance of adaptability and foresight.

“The narrative surrounding the UK’s plant-based industry is multifaceted. While some reports suggest a growing list of challenges, many success stories underscore the sector’s vitality and potential. In this vibrant and dynamic market, brands equipped with a clear vision, unwavering commitment to quality, and a pulse on consumer preferences will pave the way for a future where plant-based is more than just an option—it’s the preferred choice.”

See all bookmarks