Nuggs are a great option for those looking to switch to a plant-based diet. They are higher in protein, lower in fat, and contain no cholesterol. They also have less sodium than traditional chicken nuggets.
The company’s founder, Ben Pasternak, is a serial entrepreneur who cofounded a social media app before founding Nuggs. The brand’s branding is playful and steeped in internet culture.
1. Lower in calories
The plant-based food industry has seen its fair share of venture capital dollars in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Startups like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are all the rage right now, and their products are quickly making their way to major restaurant chains.
But even though plant-based foods are generally healthier than their meat counterparts, they still have a lot of calories. So I decided to compare a 10-piece serving of NUGGS to a serving of McDonald’s McNuggets and see how the two stack up nutritionally. Here are the results:
2. Lower in fat
Nuggs use a new, scalable nutrition technology to simulate the taste and texture of chicken without actually using any animals. They also contain a lot less fat than traditional chicken nuggets.
The company behind them, Simulate, is run by a young Australian entrepreneur with tech experience and funding from Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and other high-profile investors. The brand leans heavily into internet culture, with a cheeky sense of humor and a social media presence that’s almost entirely memes.
The founder is more of a tech entrepreneur than a food scientist, and that shows in his approach to product development. Simulate treats iterations of Nuggs like software updates, rolling out changes frequently. Version 1.5 decreased sodium by 65%, for example.
3. Lower in sodium
Nuggs use new plant protein technology to give chicken nuggets a modern upgrade. The result is lower in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol.
They also have the support of an impressive roster of investors, including MTV founder Bob Pittman, Casper CEO Neil Parikh and MTV co-founder Brian Grasso. Their direct-to-consumer business model has helped them grow quickly—Nuggs are on version 1.6, after all.
Pasternak began his career building software, and that mindset shows in his brand. He describes the process of developing a food product like releasing a new software version. Their latest release, version 2.0, uses wheat and soy proteins instead of pea, and includes probiotics.
4. Lower in cholesterol
While they may not be the healthiest option, NUGGS are less harmful than traditional chicken nuggets. They are also more eco-friendly since they do not require meat production.
The entrepreneur behind Nuggs, Ben Pasternak (now with a new company name, Simulate), is a tech guy by training, and this shows in how he approaches his product. He treats the recipe like software, releasing version notes with changes. The latest update improved texture, emphasized the “chicken-like” taste and took out ingredients like gelatin substitute konjac.
NUGGS are made with advanced soy protein technology that makes them look and taste like real chicken. They are also low in fat, sodium and calories.
5. Lower in carbs
Nuggs are made with a mixture of oil, seitan, and soy protein. The company, now called Simulate, says they contain 500 million probiotics, which help digestion and nutrient absorption.
The product is sold at Walmart, Target, and Sam’s Club in both original and spicy varieties. The company claims it’s lower in calories and fat than traditional chicken nuggets.
Founder Ben Pasternak is more of a tech entrepreneur than a food scientist, and it shows in his approach to Nuggs’ development. The company regularly tweaks its formula, releasing version notes much like software updates. The most recent improvements involved reducing sodium and eliminating ingredients like gelatin substitute konjac.
6. Lower in sugar
If you’re a vegan and you want to eat a healthier version of the chicken nuggets, then these are for you. The main ingredients in these nuggets are wheat and soy, which are more sustainable than meat-based products. They also use minimal plastic packaging, which is great!
Founder Ben Pasternak is a tech entrepreneur, and his approach to product development shows. He regularly tweaks the recipe, based on customer feedback.
The most recent update included a reduction of monosodium glutamate, and 65% lower sodium content (wow)! They also added in ancho chile, red pepper and dehydrated bell pepper for some spicy goodness.