Fredericksburg-based Bell & Evans, a leading U.S. producer of premium poultry, expanded its bite-size chicken lineup this fall to coincide with the 20th anniversary of entering the nugget business.
The company is adding a new 30-ounce resealable family-size bag of nuggets. In a recent blog post related to the new bag size, Bell & Evans CEO Scott Sechler explained the 1990 origins of chicken nuggets’ first appearance on the Bell & Evans product lineup.
“There were only a few brands available for retail purchase, so I started looking into chicken nugget production,” said Sechler. “Boy was I shocked! The American way of producing chicken nuggets was as it still is today – chopped and formed chicken parts pumped onto a conveyor belt in whatever shape you want, battered, breaded, fried, and sold fully cooked.”
As it happens, the Bell & Evans CEO said that inspiration for a better tasting, better looking variety of chicken nuggets actually came to him while vacationing in Switzerland.
Sechler notes that it took some time to convince others to buy into his idea of a real chicken nugget, but despite the clear difference in “bite” and a much higher quality/simpler approach to brining and battering, he still finds the Bell & Evans nuggets to be unique and superior to other available options. (For what it’s worth, Business Insider agreed in its 2020 taste test of mass market frozen chicken nuggets.)
“After 20 successful years, you would think other producers would copycat our nuggets,” said Sechler.
Sechler said the new 30-ounce resealable bag of nuggets was based on customer demand. The company has also begun a new marketing campaign, #ANuggetAbove, promoting the Bell & Evans product.
For more on the Fredicksburg company’s approach to chicken nuggets, check out this promotional video on the production process.
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