What kind of plant-based chicken does Tropical Smoothie Cafe use?

Quick Answers

Tropical Smoothie Cafe uses plant-based chicken from Beyond Meat in many of its smoothies and food items. The specific plant-based chicken products used are Beyond Chicken Strips and Beyond Chicken Tenders.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast casual restaurant franchise that specializes in smoothies, sandwiches, wraps, and flatbreads. In recent years, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has expanded its menu to offer more plant-based and vegetarian options, including plant-based chicken made by Beyond Meat. With the rising popularity of plant-based diets and meat alternatives, many customers are curious about what type of plant-based chicken Tropical Smoothie Cafe uses in its food and smoothies. This article will provide an overview of the plant-based chicken products used by Tropical Smoothie Cafe and discuss how they compare to traditional chicken.

Beyond Meat Chicken Products at Tropical Smoothie Cafe

The plant-based chicken items on the Tropical Smoothie Cafe menu are made using Beyond Chicken products manufactured by Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat is one of the leading producers of plant-based meat substitutes, including plant-based beef, chicken, and pork. Beyond Meat uses a proprietary process to create its plant-based meat products using a blend of pea protein, rice protein, mung bean protein, and other ingredients like coconut oil, potato starch, and beet juice extract for color.

The specific Beyond Chicken products used by Tropical Smoothie Cafe are:

  • Beyond Chicken Strips
  • Beyond Chicken Tenders

These products are designed to shred, chop, and prepare just like traditional chicken breast meat. The plant-based chicken strips and tenders contain 20 grams of plant-based protein per serving and have a texture and taste similar to chicken. Tropical Smoothie Cafe uses these products in many of its wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads, and smoothies when customers request a plant-based protein option.

Nutrition Information

Here is some nutrition information on the Beyond Chicken products used by Tropical Smoothie Cafe:

Beyond Chicken Product Serving Size Calories Protein (g) Fat (g) Carbs (g)
Beyond Chicken Strips 4 oz (113 g) 140 14 5 2
Beyond Chicken Tenders 4 oz (113 g) 130 14 5 2

As you can see, both Beyond products are low in calories, fat, and carbs compared to traditional chicken breast, with 14g of plant-based protein per serving. Using Beyond Chicken allows Tropical Smoothie Cafe to offer chicken-free options that are nutritionally similar to products with real chicken.

How Tropical Smoothie Cafe Uses Beyond Chicken Products

Tropical Smoothie Cafe uses Beyond Chicken in a variety of menu items as a substitute for real chicken. Here are some examples of how these plant-based chicken items are used:

  • Smoothies – The plant-based chicken can be added to any smoothie as a protein boost instead of whey protein powder. The Beyond Chicken provides a nutritious protein punch without affecting the flavor.
  • Wraps – Beyond Chicken Strips or Tenders can be used to replace grilled or crispy chicken in any of Tropical Smoothie’s signature wraps. Popular wraps made with Beyond Chicken include the Southwestern Wrap and Santa Fe Wrap.
  • Flatbreads – Plant-based chicken tenders are served on flatbreads like The Classic Pesto Chicken Flatbread, subbing in the Beyond product for chicken.
  • Salads – Chopped Beyond Chicken Strips can be added to any salad in place of grilled chicken. Theplant-based chicken mixes in seamlessly with salad greens and other toppings.

Using Beyond Chicken enables vegetarian and vegan customers to enjoy Tropical Smoothie menu items that would normally contain chicken. It also appeals to customers looking to reduce meat consumption for health or environmental reasons.

How Beyond Chicken Compares to Real Chicken

So how does the Beyond Chicken used at Tropical Smoothie Cafe compare to real chicken breast meat? Here is a look at some key similarities and differences:


  • The Beyond Chicken has a very similar flaky, fibrous texture to chicken breast meat. The plant-based strips and tenders shred and chop well.
  • When cooked, the Beyond Chicken has a savory chicken-like flavor.
  • It provides a lean, low-fat protein source with zero cholesterol. Both real chicken breast and Beyond Chicken are low in calories and fat grams.
  • The plant-based chicken contains about the same protein content per serving as an equivalent serving of chicken breast.


  • Unlike real chicken, Beyond Chicken products are vegan and contain no animal products.
  • While Beyond Chicken tastes similar to chicken, there are subtle flavor differences. The plant-based version tends to have a milder flavor.
  • Beyond Chicken typically contains added sodium, around 300mg per serving compared to around 60mg per serving of chicken breast. However, unsalted versions are available.
  • The ingredient list differs significantly. Beyond Chicken is made from plant proteins while real chicken only contains chicken.

So in summary, Beyond Chicken has a very similar nutritional profile to chicken breast meat and can easily substitute for chicken in Tropical Smoothie Cafe menu items. However, there are slight differences in taste, texture, and ingredients compared to real chicken. Ultimately, the plant-based chicken provides a tasty vegan and vegetarian option without compromising smoothie or entree quality.

Customer Reviews of Beyond Chicken at Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Many Tropical Smoothie Cafe customers who have tried menu items made with Beyond Chicken have left positive reviews:

  • “I was so impressed with the flavor and texture of the plant-based chicken in the Santa Fe Wrap. You would never know it’s not real chicken.”
  • “I love that I can add the Beyond Chicken strips to smoothies for extra protein. It blends up flawlessly and doesn’t change the flavor.”
  • “I normally get the Pesto Flatbread with grilled chicken but decided to try it with the plant-based option instead. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference except that the Beyond Chicken was a little less salty.”
  • “It’s wonderful that I can enjoy Tropical Smoothie’s food even though I’m vegan. The Beyond Chicken tenders make an excellent chicken substitute and are very tasty.”

Based on these reviews, customers find Beyond Chicken to be a delicious plant-based alternative to real chicken that allows vegans and vegetarians to enjoy the Tropical Smoothie Cafe menu. Even meat-eaters say the Beyond Chicken options taste extremely close to traditional chicken breast. Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s use of Beyond Meat products makes it easy for anyone to get their protein fix, whether they eat meat or not.

Other Restaurants that Use Beyond Meat Chicken

Tropical Smoothie Cafe isn’t the only restaurant using Beyond Meat chicken products on their menus:

  • Panda Express – Panda Express locations across the US have incorporated Beyond The Original Orange Chicken made with Beyond Meat on their menus.
  • A&W – This burger chain added the Beyond Meat Nuggets as a plant-based chicken option.
  • Carl’s Jr. – Beyond The Original Orange Chicken Biscuit with Beyond Chicken is available for breakfast.
  • Subway – Select Subway locations carry the Beyond Meatball Marinara sub which swaps Beyond Meatballs for the traditional meat.

As plant-based diets continue growing in popularity, more and more restaurants are partnering with Beyond Meat to offer chicken and other meat alternatives. Tropical Smoothie Cafe remains ahead of the curve by incorporating Beyond Chicken items across its entire menu.

Future Menu Items at Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Given the positive response to Beyond Chicken products already, Tropical Smoothie Cafe will likely expand the plant-based options on its menu moving forward:

  • More smoothies and bowls featuring Beyond Chicken as the protein source.
  • New wraps, flatbreads, and sandwiches made with Beyond Breakfast Sausage as a morning protein.
  • Beyond Beef menu items like plant-based burgers and meatball subs.
  • Vegan and vegetarian snack packs using Beyond Chicken Strips.
  • Beyond Pork options like plant-based bacon on sandwiches and flatbreads.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe has an opportunity to become the go-to destination for plant-based eaters searching for delicious, nutritious fast casual cuisine. By leveraging Beyond Meat’s innovative plant-based meat products, the possibilities for new meatless menu items are truly endless.


Tropical Smoothie Cafe uses Beyond Chicken Strips and Beyond Chicken Tenders produced by Beyond Meat to create plant-based alternatives to several menu items. Customers have responded positively to the addition of Beyond Chicken, saying it provides the same taste and texture as real chicken. The Beyond Chicken enables vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians to enjoy the Tropical Smoothie Cafe menu guilt-free. With plant-based eating on the rise, Beyond Meat gives this smoothie chain an advantage in offering nutritious, protein-packed menu items to all types of eaters. As Tropical Smoothie Cafe expands its partnership with Beyond Meat, customers can expect more delicious plant-based innovations featuring Beyond Beef, sausage, and other meatless products. For a fast casual restaurant, keeping up with food trends like plant-based diets is key to staying relevant to modern diners. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has embraced this challenge head on by incorporating Beyond Meat items that appeal to vegans and meat-eaters alike.

Leave a Comment