January 13, 2022
From The Beet
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Costco, the international supermarket known for its bulk and discounted products, just announced that it will start stocking its shelves with Plant Alternative’s new ‘Shicken’ Tikka Kebab Skewers across the United Kingdom. Costco’s partnership with Plant Alternative aims to promote Veganuary while simultaneously bulking up its frozen Indian food category with innovative, healthier plant-based options.

Plant Alternative’s Shicken selection uses textured soybean fibers and proteins to create its highly nutritious alternative. The company’s recipe seeks to replicate the taste and texture of real chicken, as well as master the complex flavors in Indian cuisine. The Tikka Kebab Skewers are marinated in a specialty tikka spice mix and flash frozen to retain all the flavor for the customer to enjoy for £9.99.

“We wanted to bring our authentic hand-crafted curries to more people, while also doing something positive to help the planet – so Shicken was born,” Plant Alternative Founder Satvinder Bains said.  “Our products make choosing plant-based alternatives easier; because small changes can make a big difference. Shicken is for vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, and meat-eaters – our products are suitable for everyone who loves Indian food. We guarantee the taste will blow you away. Not literally, mild spice only for this one!”

Bains worked closely with a team of culinary experts over two years to perfect the Shicken curries, ensuring that the recipes would only feature plant-based ingredients. The team spent years developing a nutritious recipe that catered to plant-based or plant-curious consumers without compromising the taste of the traditional Tikka curry. The new plant-based item is especially important in the UK, where the company claims 90 percent of the adult population consumes Indian food on a regular basis.

“Our vision at Plant Alternative is very simple, we want to offer plant-based vegan alternatives for everyday favorite meat-based foods,” the company’s website states. “We developed our unique Shicken pieces, to allow more and more people to enjoy a plant-based diet without sacrificing taste, texture, and most importantly the enjoyment of eating our food.”

Plant Alternative is looking to tap into the growing plant-based market, but more importantly, its Costco presence will make its product more accessible to flexitarian consumers. Within the UK, approximately 65 percent of consumers tried to incorporate vegan or vegetarian meals into their diets, according to a recent study commissioned by Quorn. The company hopes to cater to the growing interest as the demand for plant-based chicken continues to grow.

Alongside the recent Costco partnership, Shicken is working to expand its market presence and distribution range. The company secured investment from Veg Capital in October 2021, providing the financial backing to enhance its production and distribution capabilities. Veg Capital’s support will potentially push Shicken into the international market.

“Authentic Indian ready meals have historically been hard to find but with Plant Alternative we knew we could trust them to come up with the goods,” Veg Capital Managing Director Matthew Glover said. “Now there’s a viable plant-based alternative to help unlock some of Britain’s favorite meals – making them better for the planet.”

The UK-based company prioritizes sustainability at every level of its product creation. Plant Alternative packages all its products in 100 percent biodegradable and recyclable packaging, working with carbon-neutral delivery partners to minimize its environmental impact. The production of plant-based chicken already uses approximately 77 percent less land than poultry, making its Shicken the ethically and environmentally conscious product on Costco shelves.

Although not known as the healthiest grocery store, Costco is capitalizing on the growing plant-based market, especially in regards to vegan chicken. Last year, the supermarket chain partnered with Field Roast to begin offering the company vegan chicken nuggets in bulk packaging for the first time. The frozen aisle also features plant-based chicken alternatives from Alpha Foods, Hungry Planet, and more. With the vegan chicken industry expected to reach $19 billion by 2028, Costco intends to follow the plant-based trends sweeping across the industry.

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Source: Thebeet.com