Panda Express, Beyond Meat bring back plant-based orange chicken to restaurants nationwide
Panda Express is bringing back a plant-based option with Beyond Meat's trademarked Beyond The Original Orange Chicken.
The sauce-covered entrée is now available nationwide for a limited time while supplies last, according to a press release the chain restaurant issued on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Beyond's trademarked The Original Orange Chicken is made from plant-based protein instead of traditional animal meat. The dish is wok-tossed in "Panda's signature sweet, spicy and tangy orange sauce" and reportedly has a crunchy texture, according to Panda Express.
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Panda Express and Beyond Meat tested the menu item in New York and Southern California in July 2021, FOX Business reported at the time.
The two companies then rolled out the Beyond The Original Orange Chicken to 70 Panda Express locations for a limited time in October 2021, according to press releases from Panda Express and Beyond Meat.
Panda Express reports that the Beyond The Original Orange Chicken had high demand and sold out across several locations in less than two weeks in its first run.
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Chefs at Panda Express reportedly cooked more than 1,300 pounds of Beyond The Original Orange Chicken on the menu item’s first day, the chain claims.
"After nearly 40 years of creating original American Chinese dishes, quality and innovation remain at the core of who we are," said Andrea Cherng, chief brand officer at Panda Express, in a statement.
She continued, "We're continuously exploring creative ways to present our guests with the comfort and crave-ability they can expect from Panda while appealing to their evolving preferences and tastes."
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The Beyond The Original Orange Chicken entrée joins other plant-based menu options Panda Express has on its menu, including the chain’s eggplant tofu, super greens, chow mein, vegetable spring rolls and steamed rice.
Panda Express' corporate summary says the brand reportedly has more than 2,400 locations, and it considers itself "the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S." with nearly 40 years of operation under its belt.
The chain's partner, Beyond Meat, was founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown, a former clean energy executive.
Beyond Meat is a plant-based meat producer in Los Angeles and the company has partnered with other restaurant brands, including KFC, TGI Fridays, Dunkin' and Hardee’s.
FOX Business' Danielle Genovese contributed to this report. Read more of this story on FOX Business.