As soon as next year, Chinese consumers may be able to eat plant meat produced locally by beyond meat.
Recently, the company announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary biexiang (Jiaxing) Food Co., Ltd. has reached an agreement with Jiaxing Economic and Technological Development Zone to design and develop production facilities in the Development Zone, including a production facility with the most advanced technology to produce vegetable beef, vegetable pork, vegetable chicken and other plant meat products under the brand “beyond meat” in China.
The company, known as the “first man-made meat” company in the United States, said in a notice that the production facilities would include “adopting state-of-the-art technology”. “Beyond meat, Inc. is about to become the first multinational company to focus on the production of plant meat products with its main production facilities in China.” The company said.
According to reports, the above-mentioned plant project is currently in progress, and is expected to start trial production in a few months, and is expected to be fully put into operation in early 2021. The company also described one of the two plants as “one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced plant meat production facilities.”.
It is not difficult to find that behind this investment action is beyond meat’s greater ambition for the Chinese market.
“Beyond meat will create a perfect path to long-term success in China,” Micky pant, senior consultant to beyond meat, said in the announcement. We are confident that we can achieve professional and advanced production capacity through wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese mainland located in Shanghai.
Ethan brown, CEO and founder of beyond meat, pointed out that China is currently one of the largest animal meat products markets in the world and has the potential to become the largest vegetable meat market.
According to the previous introduction of snack generation, on June 1, this year, beyond meat launched a number of vegetable meat dishes in cooperation with Starbucks to “open” the door of the Chinese market, and then entered the mainland retail market through the online box horse, which was sold directly to consumers.
When talking with snack food agents earlier, chuck mut, chief growth officer of beyond meat, pointed out that compared with the retail market, the future development focus of the brand in the Chinese market will be more focused on 2B business for catering service terminals.
In the company’s view, as a new food material category, vegetable meat can first contact more consumers with the help of catering stores, so as to improve public acceptance and cognition. At present, beyond meat is cooperating with many fast food chains including Starbucks and KFC. From another perspective, the cooking methods of vegetable meat in restaurants will also provide guidance and inspiration for consumers to cook at home, which is expected to boost the sales of vegetable meat products in the retail market.
In fact, China’s vegetable meat track is attracting more and more players.
In May, for example, Nestle announced that it would build its first plant-based product line in Asia in Tianjin and strive to put it into use within this year. In China, vegetable meat brands such as Sunday and hey meat are also emerging.
Some studies have shown that in 2018, the scale of China’s artificial meat market was about 6.1 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 14.2%. In the past five years, the growth rate has remained at 13.5% to 15.5%. It is estimated that the domestic market size will reach 100 billion yuan by 2030.
Image source: Ipsos
According to the market research results, the acceptance of plant meat by Chinese consumers also shows signs of growth.
According to Ipsos survey data, more than 70% of consumers think that processed meat products (lunch meat, etc.) currently consumed can be replaced; the substitutability of plant-based artificial meat is higher than that of laboratory cultured meat, especially in the category of processed meat and bean products, 86% of consumers said that they would change their meat consumption habits after the new epidemic.
It is certain that with the landing of the above-mentioned multinational companies such as Nestle and beyond meat, the future “war” of vegetable meat in China is bound to become more and more intense.