The popular plant-based chicken nugget brand, NUGGS, which has been touted by influencers like Bella Hadid and sold out its first batch of nuggets last June in 16 minutes, just announced that it is now on sale at a Walmart near you. Next, Target will carry NUGGS beginning later this month.

NUGGS, which is made by the alternative meat startup SIMULATE, also has a new investor, Arnold Schwarzenegger's oldest son Patrick, who has stepped up his investing in cool new food companies including Super Coffee and  Vegan Energy, the TK company. Nuggs likes to describe itself as the “Tesla of chicken” because of its planet-friendly protein made from soy and wheat. The price tag is also on the higher end, selling for $44.99 for a pair of 32-ounce boxes, so when it appears in Walmart and Sam’s Club with a lower checkout price, it's bound to get people excited.

The innovative vegan chicken nuggets will now be available at 800 Walmart stores and 596 Sam’s Club locations across the US and will reach 388 Target locations by April 26th.

NUGGS is at the intersection of food and the internet

The food tech company started experimenting with plant-based foods in 2018 when then 19-year-old entrepreneur Ben Pasternak set out to create alternatives to popular meat products. The NUGGS chicken nuggets consist of a blend of soy and wheat, and after years of trials have managed to mirror the texture and flavor of animal-based chicken nuggets. The company prides its ability to maintain that flavor while also creating a product that’s healthier for the consumer. The NUGGS contains 13g of protein, which is about 25 percent higher than animal-based and also holds 10g of fat which is nearly 40 percent less than animal-based.

“NUGGS is the intersection of food and the internet,” Pasternak said. “We set out to make the best nugget period, a chicken nugget simulation is just the baseline.”

Before the in-store launch, NUGGS could only be purchased in pairs of two 32-ounce boxes on the SIMULATE website for $44.99. The expansion will provide consumers with a smaller option to purchase  10.4-ounces for $5.49. Pasternak told VegNews that he aims to have NUGGS products in 3,200 Walmart locations by the end of the year.

“SIMULATE products’ availability at some of the largest retailers on the planet is a big step towards our mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable nutrition,” Pasternak told VegNews.

Schwarzenegger's company's investment in NUGGS is his most recent into plant-based brands such as Super Coffee, Verb Energy, and Blaze Pizza. In 2020, SIMULATE raised $4.1 million, which brought its total funding to $15 million. Other investors include Whole Foods chief executive Walter Robb, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and model Jasmine Tookes.

Last year, SIMULATE teamed up with McCain foods to fuel its growth and get it ready to expand to this level of national retail distribution. Since then, the food-tech company experienced a surge in revenue, and Pasternak expects the $8 million in revenue in 2020 to grow to $40 million in 2021.

“NUGGS is an incredible product in itself and a very tasty chicken nugget simulation,” says Mauro Pennella, Chief Growth Officer at McCain Foods, as quoted by Plant Based News. “Furthermore, the NUGGS teams approach to fast, iterative innovation, based on constant consumer feedback is a great way to create products people love.”

 

News: NUGGs, ‘Tesla of Chicken" Now at Walmart

NUGGS, plant-based chicken nuggets, backed by Patrick Schwarzenegger, now selling at Walmart and coming soon to Target.