- Publix announced on Thursday it’s rolling out its first pea-based “chickenless” tenders to stores this week under its Greenwise brand.
- The rollout complements Publix's launch in April of Greenwise Meatless Burgers — a product that competes with high-profile selections like Beyond Burger — the grocer noted.
- Publix is aiming to keep pace with consumer demand for meat alternatives amid high-speed innovation from a variety of suppliers and competing retailers.
Publix is leaping into a meat-alternative category that has continued to see strong sales during the pandemic, but that has also become quite crowded.
Plant-based meat sales totaled $1.4 billion last year, according to SPINS data released by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), a 45% increase over 2019. That momentum has continued into 2021, with sales of meat alternatives up 32% over the 52-week period that ended on July 24, according to NielsenIQ data.
A wide range of suppliers are cashing in on that demand, from highly publicized players like Beyond Meat to legacy suppliers like Kellogg, making it difficult for new entrants to gain a foothold. To complement its popular line of plant-based burgers, Beyond Meat recently rolled out its own line of meatless chicken tenders. Impossible Foods will debut its own line of tenders this fall after recently launching Impossible Sausage.
Publix has managed to keep pace with innovation and will be able to prominently position its new Greenwise burgers and tenders in stores and online. The company noted its new meatless products are dairy-, soy- and gluten-free. The company also offers a black bean burger and a veggie burger under the Greenwise label.
A few other grocers have launched their own private label meat alternatives, including Trader Joe’s and Target. Kroger, which is now battling Publix in Central Florida via its new home delivery service, has also rolled out plant-based burgers, grinds and chicken alternatives.