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A plant-based alternative to chicken keeps selling out in New Zealand supermarkets.

Sunfed Meats, a start-up making ‘clean’ plant-based alternatives to meat, makes the ‘chicken’ from pea protein. The product launched in stores at the end of July.

But stockists are struggling to keep up with demand and customers are regularly faced with empty shelves.


According to Founder and CEO Shama Lee: “Traditionally, the definition of meat is animal flesh. We said we’ll define meat by its composition and its structure.

“If you look at meat structurally, the proteins are aligned in a certain way that gives it that delicious texture, that bite we like.

“We take pulses which you couldn’t eat raw and we use very clean processing techniques – cooking techniques of just pressure, temperature and water – to create this product.”

Protein aisle

According to Lee, the product will be placed next to chicken in the supermarket.

She says: “The idea is to evolve – less towards a meat aisle, more towards a protein aisle.

“So when you go into the supermarket, there’s a whole selection of proteins you can pick from, and that can be a traditional conventional animal meat, or it can be plant proteins.

Sell out

These manufacturing techniques – combined with store placement – have obviously worked, as New Zealanders are struggling to get their hands on the protein-rich ingredient.

A post on the company’s Facebook page said: “Hey Sunfedites – looks like we’ve sold out again from most stores despite stocking up the supermarkets.

“If you’ve seen stock available in your local, please comment here and let everyone know so they have the option to get some if it’s within reach, many thanks, team.

“Rest assured we’re working hard to expand supply to meet this amazingly high demand.”

Sunfed’s chicken is currently only available in New Zealand, in Wellington, Hamilton, Auckland, and Palmerston North, but the company has plans to expand.


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Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.