Canada-based frozen french fries manufacturer McCain Foods has invested in NUGGS, a US-based start-up, which sells plant-based chicken nugget alternative.

As part of the partnership, NUGGS’ textured pea protein technology, as well as research and development (R&D) capabilities, will be combined with McCain’s production and commercial expertise to enhance the brand’s growth and market scale.

McCain Foods chief growth officer Mauro Pennella said: “NUGGS is an incredible product in itself and a very tasty chicken nugget simulation.

“Furthermore, the NUGGS teams approach to fast, iterative innovation, based on constant consumer feedback is a great way to create products people love.”

The partnership with NUGGS is in line with McCain’s long-term sustainability priorities and strengthens its role as a partner to food and farming technology entrepreneurs.

NUGGS noted that its R&D process is based on an iterative methodology, which helps the company to improve its food product continuously based on consumer feedback.

The company claims that its latest version of plant-based chicken nugget alternative simulates the taste of traditional chicken nuggets. Compared to an animal-based chicken nugget, its products are higher in protein and lower in calories.

McCain has been focusing on sustainable food and farming technology segments. Last year, the company invested in TruLeaf, pesticide-free vertical farming of leafy greens and Resson predictive data analytics for agriculture.

In May, McCain Foods announced the acquisition of a 70% stake in Brazilian potato products manufacturer Sérya.

Established in 2015 in the city of Araxá, Sérya operates in the pre-formed potato speciality market. The company has technology facilities, which guarantee quality and production flexibility, as well as a wide range of innovative potato products for the Brazilian market.