Sundial Foods uses a proprietary protein structuring technology to create plant-based meats that are free of heavy processing and synthetic ingredients. Its first product is whole-cut chicken wings made entirely of plants that are meant to taste and feel like traditional wings.
Sundial Foods will use the seed funding to expand its team and begin production at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgeton, New Jersey.
Sundial Foods is a member of the 11th cohort of food tech investor IndieBio’s San Francisco accelerator program.
Skin, meat, muscle, and bone are all edible.
Sundial Foods recreates whole chicken wings from the meat and skin all the way down to the muscle and bone using a proprietary processing technology.
Jessica Schwabach and Siwen Deng, co-founders of the company, detailed the technical process to IndieBio earlier this year.
“Like extrusion, we combine plant ingredients under thermal processing to generate a fibrous bite texture, but there are two key differences. First, we don’t have that shear, so we’re able to create a cohesive three dimensional product in one shot – no assembly required later. Second, we don’t just use the functionality of protein isolates to create these fibers — we use intrinsically present starches, fiber, and so on to our advantage when we’re trying to create this texture.”
Sundial Foods’ products require less processing than many other plant-based meat alternatives. As a result, fewer ingredients are required. Water, chickpeas, chickpea protein concentrate, gluten, sunflower oil, soybeans, nutritional yeast, and salt are the only ingredients in the chicken wings. There are 9.4 grams of fat and 247 milligrams of sodium in one serving.
According to the company, it began with chicken wings due to their popularity among Americans (who were projected to eat almost 1.5 billion wings during Super Bowl 2021).
Sundial Foods’ products are not yet available to fans of wings looking to add a more environmentally friendly option to their plates. The company intends to launch its wings in Bay Area restaurants in the spring of 2022 before expanding to other US locations.
Sundial Foods will reach the market faster than any other IndieBio company in history, according to Po Bronson, General Partner at SOSV and Managing Director of IndieBio. “Making a super tasty alt-chicken wing is only half of it. During the IndieBio program, the Sundial team really focused on automating their production and manufacturing method, where they had several breakthroughs,” he explained.
plant-based chicken alternatives for vegans and “flexitarians” are proliferating around the world. Making that taste, texture, and mouthfeel appealing to a wider demographic will be critical to Sundial’s future success.
“Our goal is to make meats that replace the butcher, so our product can be enjoyed as a center-of-plate experience,” Schwabach made the comment. “We want to give consumers—whether vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, or meat-eating—a plant-based meat-eating experience that’s interesting, craveable, and versatile.”