Impossible Foods Testing Meatless Orange Chicken

Impossible Foods Testing Orange Chicken

Impossible Foods’ plant-based chicken has now arrived on the menu at certain Noodles & Company locations in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Impossible Panko Chicken, the chain’s first plant-based protein alternative, can be added to any dish. The Impossible Orange Chicken Lo Mein, a vegan spin on a popular dish currently on the menu, is also utilizing the new meatless chicken—which is breaded with panko crumbs.

The cooperation with Impossible Foods meshes with the chain’s ambition to include new goods to its menu, such as vegetable-centric noodles and “LEANguini” (linguini pasta it developed with a lower carbohydrate content). Noodle & Company is also motivated by a goal to reduce its carbon footprint by offering a more environmentally friendly alternative to animal meat.

“Our guests took so well to Zoodles, Caulifloodles, and our upcoming LEANguini launch, that adding a delicious plant-based protein option to our menu was the clear next move to explore… When selecting a partner to test our first-ever plant-based protein, Impossible Foods was an easy choice. Like Noodles [& Company], Impossible believes that the future starts with your plate and we’re moving forward [to bring about] change one meal at a time,” stated Nick Graff, Executive Chef and Vice President of Culinary at Noodles & Company. 

Noodles & Company’s “Goodness Guarantee” covers all of its meals, allowing customers to swap a dish for a new one without fuss if they are dissatisfied. To encourage visitors to experience plant-based chicken without fear, the company is extending its Goodness Guarantee to all products incorporating Impossible Panko Chicken.

Panda Express’ Vegan Orange Chicken

Noodles & Company’s latest menu item follows Panda Express’s highly anticipated test launch of vegan orange chicken last year. Impossible Foods and its nearest competitor Beyond Meat both rolled out plant-based chicken in 2021, and Beyond teamed with a number of establishments to make vegan versions of their famous chicken meals.

Beyond Meat assisted Panda Express in developing a vegan version of their famous Orange Chicken, which has been on the menu since 1987 and accounts for one-third of the company’s revenue. The Beyond the Original Orange Chicken (BTOOC) has all of Panda’s zesty tastes without the animal components.

In July 2021, Panda began testing BTOOC in a few sites in Southern California and New York City. Panda Express extended BTOOC to an additional 70 test locations across ten states in October after selling 1,300 pounds of vegan chicken in one day.

Panda Express expanded on its collaboration with Beyond Meat earlier this year by creating two new dishes: Mapo Tofu with Beyond Beef and String Beans with Beyond Beef. Both meals were served for a month at the chain’s Pasadena Innovation Kitchen.


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