Field Roast has just launched high-volume vegan chicken nuggets at Costco for the first time
New bulk packs of vegan chicken nuggets are hitting the shelves at more than 50 Costco locations in the Los Angeles area. The new nuggets, called Field Roast Plant-Based Nuggets, are made by the vegan brand Field Roast and the launch marks the first time the vegan chicken nuggets are available in Costco stores. “We are excited about Field Roast’s continued growth with Costco and the opportunity to make delicious plant-based foods more accessible to home cooks everywhere,” said Dan Curtin, president of Field Roast’s parent company Greenleaf Foods, SPC. “The Field Roast Plant-Based Nugget is the only vegetable chicken nugget alternative available from Costco LA.”
Field Roast first launched its vegan chicken nuggets in other retail channels in January 2020, selling 1.75 million nuggets in 12 months. At Costco, Field Roast nuggets are available in a special 24-ounce bulk pack (1.5 pounds) for $ 9.99 with twice the number of pieces in regular retail packaging. To launch Costco, Field Roast optimized the nuggets – which are made from roasted garlic, paprika, wheat and pea protein – using a variety of methods including High Moisture Extrusion (HME) technology.
“We created a plant-based nugget specifically for the club channel that offers improvements in taste, texture and color,” said Jitendra Sagili, chief R&D and food technology officer at Greenleaf Foods, SPC. “This plant-based field roast nugget offers a more fibrous texture and offers a dining experience that will leave you and your kids begging for more.”
Vegan Chicken at Costco
Field Roast’s may be the newest company to sell its vegan chicken at Costco, but it’s not the first. The big box store has been offering a variety of plant-based alternatives to chicken since 2010 when it first launched Gardein’s crispy seven-grain tenders and new brands regularly hit Costco’s shelves. Last May, Alpha Foods launched its crispy vegan chicken patties in Costco stores in the southeast, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Texas. The brand’s Plant-Protein Crispy Chik’n Patties are sold in a 10-pack for $ 9.99 in the freezer. Earlier this year, Costco also began stocking Alpha Foods vegan breakfast sandwiches with Violife’s meatless sausage, vegan eggs and dairy-free cheese.
In March, Daring Foods also hit the club store channel via Costco with its original vegan chicken chunks, which have a pull-apart texture that mimics animal meat. At Costco locations in Los Angeles and Hawaii, Daring’s Chicken is available in an exclusive 24-ounce pack for $ 12.99 – a significant discount when compared to the 8-ounce pack sold elsewhere for a suggested retail price of 7 .99 US dollars is sold. Shortly after Costco’s launch, Daring caught the attention of music artist Drake, who helped the brand complete a $ 40 million Series B funding round that will help fund its mission to eliminate chickens from the food system. by making it a viable, plant-based chicken alternative.
Costco’s cheap chicken problem
While the retailer has a selection of vegan chicken products, it’s best known for its rotisserie chickens, which retail for $ 4.99 but come with hidden animal cruelty costs. In February 2021, an undercover investigation by the animal rights group Mercy For Animals (MFA) found widespread atrocities at Costco’s Nebraska poultry farm that supplies Lincoln Premium Poultry, a company that Costco founded and controlled to help itself with many of the 100 million look after rotisserie chickens, which it sells every year.
Despite Costco’s assertion that “animal welfare is a critical component built into all aspects of the chicken supply chain,” MFA found during its investigation that chickens grow so large that they grow so quickly that they cannot support their weight and often die from organ failure; Hundreds of thousands of birds crammed together in filthy pens and living in their own waste for weeks; injured and sick chicks, some with exposed internal organs and others unable to walk; Birds suffering from open wounds, ammonia burns, broken bones, and twisted necks and beaks; and huge piles of dead animals on the facility’s grounds outside the barns that house live chickens.
Since the investigation, Costco has announced that the price of its rotisserie chickens will increase by $ 4.99 but has yet to commit to improved animal welfare standards. MFA and other animal rights groups have launched campaigns to urge Costco to adopt the Better Chicken Commitment, a set of animal welfare standards adopted by more than 200 companies including Whole Foods Market, Popeyes, Burger King and Subway.