Shama Lee, chief executive of Sunfed Meats, via Stuff

Sunfed chicken-free chicken was launched in July and now the company was planning to release two new products: Sunfed beef and Sunfed bacon.

While the chicken is made from yellow peas imported from Canada, Lee would not divulge the key ingredient in the beef and bacon products.

She said there was no other product like it on the market.

“We’ve invented a clean water-based process by which pea protein cooks, feels and tastes exactly like chicken.

“There’s a stigma about meat alternatives, and we are the only ones with this amount of taste and texture. We have a 4.5 health star rating, double the protein of chicken, triple the iron in beef. It’s very versatile, we don’t hide behind flavours or sauces,” Lee said.

She compared it favourably to the Impossible Foods burger which used a larger number of ingredients including wheat containing gluten, and was made using genetic modification.

Lee said her aim was to create plant-based products that were healthier for humans, had much less environmental impact and were cheaper to produce.

The pulses used were one of the most sustainable crops in the world, requiring minimal to no fertiliser, irrigation and pesticides. She hoped to source the peas from New Zealand but said they were not yet available.

Foodstuffs head of external relations Antoinette Laird said the “chicken” was stocked in a limited number of its stores, and was selling well, albeit from a very small base.

“In terms of volume the total sales of Sunfed product remains small compared to other proteins including chicken – but this is not unexpected for a new product. Both Foodstuffs and our customers see a bright future for plant-based meat replacement products.”

It will be a cold day in hell before I put any of that pretend meat past my choppers.

She would be better to take the business overseas instead of trying to do investment rounds in this tiny market, import raw ingredients and then export them again.  All that double handling and the extra cost will make this a high-risk venture.

Not to mention the fact that, apart from vegans, mentally healthy people won’t touch the stuff.


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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