Tyson Foods Challenges Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods with Its Unchicken Sandwich

In a development echoing last year's chicken sandwich wars, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) threw down the gauntlet to noted plant-based meat-maker Beyond Meat and privately held Impossible Foods with its first U.S. launch of its "Unchicken sandwich." Diners can sink their teeth into a crunchy faux filet at Reno, Nevada and Salinas, California Jack in the Box, Inc. restaurants during the test offering starting today, according to the press release.

The trial run is slated to continue through Dec. 12 or whenever the selected restaurants run out of Unchicken. Notably, the offering, which uses plant-based chicken from Tyson's Raised & Rooted faux-meat brand, features pea protein isolate in the Unchicken filets. While Beyond Meat highlights the use of pea and potato protein rather than soy in its Beyond Burgers, its Beyond Fried Chicken experiment made use of wheat and soy protein.

A fried chicken sandwich and french fries.

Image source: Getty Images.

Tyson says its Unchicken filets are breaded and have been designed to meet flavor, texture, and "crunch" standards approximating actual chicken. The Jack in the Box offering is apparently aimed at COVID-19-driven ordering trends, with the release noting, "chicken sandwiches consistently top the list of most ordered delivery items, and during the pandemic, 'chicken' has been the most tweeted about food."

According to reporting by Forbes, Jack in the Box and Tyson are borrowing some details of their promotional campaign, including gifts of pandemic face masks infused with chicken aroma, from the Beyond Fried Chicken advertising methods. The Raised & Rooted chief product and innovation officer Jen Kennedy remarked, however, that Tyson is aiming at "forging our own path," adding that the company decided on the Unchicken filet because it "wanted to introduce a plant-based option in this space rather than the predictable meatless burger patty."

10 stocks we like better than Tyson Foods
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Tyson Foods wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of September 24, 2020

Rhian Hunt has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Beyond Meat, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Latest Markets Videos

The Motley Fool

Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

Learn More