Nowadays Tapped Ex-Popeyes Chef To Take On New Plant-Based Chicken

Browse the frozen section of any grocery store and you're bound to find a number of vegan-friendly meat substitutes. With buzzwords like "plant-based" and "all-natural," it's easy to automatically assume these products are better for your health than actual meat. Unfortunately, the truth is that's not always the case. According to research conducted by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (via WebMD), while many plant-based meat alternatives do contain nutritious levels of fiber, iron, and folate, some also are high sodium and saturated fat, which isn't the greatest choice for a balanced diet. Plant-based chicken nugget brand Nowadays, however, has made it its mission to provide consumers with a vegan-friendly product that both tastes good and is good for you.

As the brand shares on its website, Nowadays's plant-based, non-GMO nuggets contain only seven wholesome ingredients, no additives or saturated fats, and 13 grams of naturally-derived protein. Following the success of their Original Plant-Based Nuggets, Nowadays is now branching out into "whole cut" tenders and cutlets, and as announced in a press release sent to Tasting Table, they've enlisted the expertise of former Popeyes chef Chris Johnson.

A new way to experience fried chicken

For Nowadays, flavor and quality is just as important as nutritional value and that's precisely why the company chose Chris Johnson as its new Director for Product Development. Per the recent press release, Johnson was previously a member of Popeyes's Culinary Innovation department, the fried chicken chain's team of chefs who develop new menu items (via QSR). Johnson is now bringing that expertise to Nowadays, which will soon be releasing the new plant-based tenders and cutlets, the press release states.

The two products debuted at the September 2022 Plant-Based World Expo, and according to the press release, closely resemble real fried chicken in both texture and taste. Both are made with clean ingredients like the nuggets, and can be either fried or baked by the consumer. The tenders are made with non-GMO pea protein, breaded with a "homestyle" batter, and formed using proprietary technology that mimics the unique shape of natural-cut tenders without the use of a mold. Like the tenders, the cutlets are made with pea-protein, but use panko breading and a blend of garlic, cayenne, and pepper spices. 

Come early 2023, Nowadays is scheduled to officially roll out the products.