Novelty-shaped nuggets are flying off freezer shelves, with sales reaching over $1 billion

Frozen chicken nuggets are now a billion-dollar industry, reports The Wall Street Journal. Part of this newfound success is tied to novelty-shaped nuggets, like Tyson Foods’ Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex-shaped “fun nuggets” that make up 21 percent of the company’s total nugget sales. There’s a “dinosaur-nugget boomlet” and “rising sales during the pandemic have prompted companies to consider what other nugget shapes might catch on.” Not all shapes are meant to be—whether they’re made of chicken or cheese. Perdue Farms’ senior manager of innovation, Mark Tolbert, told WSJ that one of America’s most beloved dinosaurs, the Triceratops, continues to elude nugget-makers because of its three-dimensional shape. “We’d never be able to make a chicken nugget with three horns coming out of its head,” Tolbert explained. After seeing the success of fun nuggets, snack maker Farm Rich decided to pursue novelty-shaped frozen-cheese snacks, specifically breaded mozzarella snacks in “Toy Story 4”-themed shapes. But there was no re-creating Woody’s sheriff badge because executing the star’s sharp points proved too challenging.

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