NUGGS, the company behind the plant-based chicken nuggets of the same name, announced a bunch of things this morning including: It’s rebranding its parent company name to Simulate, it has raised an addition $4.1 million and it is developing a new spicy version of its NUGGS as well as a line of DOGGS (faux hot dogs).
That’s a lot to parse, so we’ll go through it line by line.
Re-branding from NUGGS to Simulate makes sense, especially since the company is expanding its product line in to non-nugget foods. Having a broader corporate name allows it to venture into more categories without any confusion. Plus, who wants to say they work for a company called NUGGS?
The new funding came from Lerer Hippeau, AgFunder, Alexis Ohanian (co-founder of Reddit), Walter Robb (former CEO of Whole Foods), and Jasmine Tookes (a model). This cash expansion brings the total amount of funding raised by NUG–, err, Simulate to $11 million.
Simulate will need the money because the fake chicken nugget space getting crowded. In addition to NUGGS, which made the move into retail this March, rival nuggets maker Rebellyous has also started to sell through grocery stores. Big meat company Tyson launched its line of Raised and Rooted plant-based nuggets in stores last year. And there are the existing stalwarts like Morningstar and Quorn.
Given all that competition, Simulate’s addition of new product lines like DOGGS isn’t that surprising. Besides, sales of plant-based foods have been on the rise over the past two years, so diversifying its product line to nab a bigger piece of that faux meat pie seems like a good idea.