China Food

Question 2020: will artificial meat still be a tuyere?

2020 is about to turn the page. This is an unusual year. Drastic changes are taking place in all walks of life. We analyze the development of different popular tracks, take stock of opportunities and challenges in different fields, let bubbles burst and let values appear.

With green environmental protection and low calorie, artificial meat has created a small whirlwind.

The existing technical conditions can not only create the texture of meat through green food such as plant protein to form textured plant meat, but also realize cell proliferation through cell culture, extraction of animal stem cells, and combination with different nutrient solutions, so as to become a real sense of artificial meat.

Beyond meat and impracticable foods have been listed successfully.  

In China, in May this year, Shandong Heda set up a subsidiary to enter the military meat market; in July, Xuerong bio increased its investment in artificial meat enterprises; in November, Shuangta group entered the plant protein meat market; recently, Zhouzi’s future food technology also received 20 million yuan investment from Jingwei China.  

According to the artificial meat plate index, since the establishment of the artificial meat concept plate in 2019, the artificial meat concept plate has been climbing in early 2020, and it will reach the highest point in history by August 31, 2020. At present, the overall plate index is still in the middle and high level.  

trend chart of artificial meat concept plate index

Combing the development of artificial meat is not a new concept. As early as the 1980s and 1990s, many artificial meat enterprises were established in inland China. However, most of the early artificial meat was rough processed, and the meat flavor was formed through bean products, extrusion by machines and assisted by seasonings.

With the progress of food deep processing, imitating the three-dimensional structure of animals through plant raw material processing has come into reality, and animal cell culture has also survived the technical difficulties. The artificial meat market has also ushered in an outbreak node in recent two years.

Tmall supermarket has launched the products of rare meat and Shuangta food, golden ham and DuPont’s artificial meat. Green common group has opened its first plant product hub in Shanghai (integrating catering and retail). Artificial meat has also appeared on the dining tables of large chain brands. Nestle, KFC, Starbucks, yum and Burger King have launched plant-based artificial meat products.  

According to the latest research report of markets and markets, the global market size of plant-based artificial meat has reached US $12.1 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow at a compound rate of 15.0% every year, reaching US $27.9 billion by 2025.


However, artificial meat also faces “three mountains” – technical cost, eating habits and ethical attitude.  

At present, the technology cost of artificial meat on the market, whether it is plant-based artificial meat or cell culture artificial meat, remains high, and consumers’ eating habits do not fully accept artificial meat.  

The idea that plant-based products are mainly green, healthy and nutritious is still accepted by people, but cell culture meat is very different from natural growth, which inevitably makes people uncomfortable.

Zhu danpeng, an analyst of China’s food industry, once said that although artificial meat is popular on the capital side, it still has a long way to go to be recognized on the consumer side.

Finally, can artificial meat enterprises make profits? How long can artificial meat last?  

Artificial meat keeps track hot

The popularity of the concept of artificial meat originated from beyond meat, which has experienced a short period of twists and turns before.

In May 2019, beyond meat, the first American Meat making stock, rose 163% on the first day after it went public, setting the best IPO performance record of American companies in this century. Benefiting from external news, domestic artificial meat concept stocks such as Shuangta food, Weiwei shares, and Harbin hi tech ushered in a big rise.

Investment strategy research report shows that artificial meat has three characteristics: new theme, large space and strong catalysis, which is likely to become a new strong theme.

However, as many concept stocks proved their innocence and said they were not engaged in artificial meat production, the speculation on artificial meat in A-share market quickly stalled, and the related concept stocks fell sharply. On the outside news, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS gave beyond meat a “holding wait-and-see” rating instead of a buy rating.

“We expect to see more ‘hold’ ratings rather than ‘buy’ ratings,” said Jennifer batasus, an analyst at research food at Bloomberg. At present, the stock price of beyond meat is still too high. The question is how far and how fast it can go. “

Since then, the hype about the concept of artificial meat has cooled for a short time, but the investment market is still heating up.

According to it orange financing data, since the second half of 2019, there has been a significant increase in investment events in the artificial meat industry. Compared with the first half of the year, only three enterprises, namely this, invisible foods and Weishida, have obtained financing. In the second half of the year, seven enterprises, including zhenrou, fazenda future and zero starfield, have made financing.

artificial meat financing data, tuyuan it orange

By 2020, the artificial meat industry will usher in an investment boom, with 26 investment events and an investment amount of 8 billion yuan.

Especially in the second half of 2020, the investment in artificial meat will continue to heat up.

In July this year, Weishida obtained RMB 140 million financing from Xuerong biology, and its main products are positioned to replace beef products.

In August, hey meat obtained Tiantu investment of 50 million yuan for financing. As a domestic plant meat brand, it mainly provides hamburgers, Chinese and Western sausages, minced pork, minced beef and other products.

Recently, Zhouzi future food technology Co., Ltd., a meat making enterprise in Nanjing, obtained 20 million yuan Angel round financing from Jingwei China. The financing is mainly used for the development and large-scale production of cell culture meat. It is also the first production platform of cell culture meat in China.

According to the “in depth research on artificial meat industry” released by industrial securities, at present, the market share of artificial meat is mainly concentrated in the United States, and American food giants occupy nearly 70% of the global market share.

In contrast, there is a huge gap in the domestic artificial meat market.

Moreover, the domestic artificial meat enterprises are relatively scattered. The total market size of three enterprises, Shenzhen Qishan food, Jiangsu Hongchang food and Ningbo Sulian food, which entered the artificial meat race earlier, is less than one beyond meat, while the consumption of meat in China is more than twice that in the United States.

This also means that in China, artificial meat is a huge blue ocean worth exploring, and a hundred billion level market may emerge in the future.

Because of this, investors prefer the field of artificial meat, but there are still some problems in the development of artificial meat industry. Whether these problems can be solved is the key to the continuous development of this industry.

Can artificial meat be popularized?  

Artificial meat is divided into plant meat and cultivated meat. Cultivated meat is mainly produced by the division and proliferation of stem cells. The safety and mass production of this kind of artificial meat have not been completely solved.

As early as 2013, post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands made the first artificial steak through cell culture technology, but the production cost was as high as 250000 euros, about 2 million US dollars.


Unless we make a breakthrough in technology, it is difficult to enter the industrial stage. Even now, Memphis meat, the representative company of cultivating meat, still costs as much as $10000 per kilogram of cultivated meat.

In contrast, the production method of plant meat is heating, pressure change and freezing, and the protein is woven into a fibrous structure. The production cost of this physical formula is lower.

So the market is dominated by plant meat, but even so, the price of plant meat is still high.

According to the market circulation of plant meat products, the price of 500 grams of plant meat is at least 70 yuan, and the slightly more expensive plant meat even reaches 120 yuan. Compared with the price of fresh pork in the vegetable market, it is generally concentrated at about 30 yuan, and the price of artificial plant meat is more than twice that of natural fresh pork.

Some chain brands also sell more expensive plant meat products.

Sanxiang City Daily has reported that the retail price of “Zhidai beef cheeseburger” of KFC is 35 yuan, which is 2.5 yuan higher than that of the same store (32.5 yuan). The retail price of “Zhidai Golden Chicken Nuggets” is 11 yuan per box, including 4 chicken nuggets. The retail price of ordinary golden chicken nuggets is 11 yuan per box, including 5 chicken nuggets.

Shenzhen business daily also reported that a product called vegetal protein hamburger cake, which weighs 226 grams per box and retails at 59.9 yuan, is sold at 132 yuan per 500 grams, almost two to three times that of ordinary pork.

In this regard, green common related staff also told wired insight that “the high cost of these plant-based artificial meat (plant meat) is mainly due to the high R & D cost and the imperfect inland artificial meat supply chain, which forces enterprises to invest and set up factories abroad. In the future, the domestic artificial meat production chain will be gradually improved, the technology will be mature, and the cost is expected to be reduced.”  

Health, green and environmental protection are the catering changes brought by plant meat, but in the short term, the price of artificial meat may make most people shy away.

Another criticism is the taste of artificial meat.

At present, the public’s feedback on the taste of plant meat is different. Some consumers think that artificial meat taste can be confused with the real and imitate the real feeling of meat.

However, some consumers reported that they still felt the taste of bean products when they imitated lunch meat, chicken chops and pork shreds.

Plant meat is very different from real meat in material, even after production, cooking and other links, it is difficult to catch up with real meat in taste and texture.

The taste problem of artificial meat also brings about the conflict of dietary demands.


A consumer who has eaten plant meat told wired insight, “China’s food culture is very complex. Products like artificial meat are more Western-style, and the taste is relatively single, so it is difficult to meet our food needs.”

At present, the main raw materials of plant meat are beans. However, Chinese bean food culture has a long history. There are hundreds of dishes with bean curd as the main ingredient. It is still a question whether the plant meat counterattack meat can win the Chinese bean food culture.

In November this year, beyond meat launched a vegetable minced pork with the intention of entering the Chinese market, and the Washington Post also published an article: “you will not try to sell coal to Newcastle (coal capital of the United Kingdom), so how likely do you think it is to sell meat substitutes to the countries that invented tofu?”  

The application fields of plant meat are concentrated in the instant and portable fields such as pork chops, ham, sausage and meatballs, which conflicts with 70% of the hot fresh meat and frozen meat in the Chinese market, such as hooves, claws, ribs and skin. Can artificial meat meet the real domestic consumption demand?  

Green common store staff also told wired insight that it is not a simple matter to imitate real dishes that meet the taste of mainland consumers in terms of dish polishing and R & D.

Ethan brown, CEO of beyond meat, which is optimistic about China’s artificial meat market, also said, “I will try to improve the products to ensure that we are not exporting American taste.”  

On the other hand, this may test the R & D capability of enterprises, and also determine that the wind power of artificial meat can not continue to blow.

How long can the tuyere last?


In China, the artificial meat market is still in its early stage.

Most of the emerging artificial meat enterprises, such as zhenrou, Weishida and Sunday starfield, have been established in recent years. The whole food industry chain, including R & D, production, distribution and channel sales, is not perfect.

Xue Yan, Secretary General of China vegetable food industry alliance, said in an interview with Securities Daily that some vegetable meat manufacturers lack awareness of product standards, which has led to the inflow of some plant meat products with weak quality control and poor taste into the market, making consumers have a bad impression on plant meat after buying and trying.

Xue Yan also said that he will jointly issue standards for the production and marketing of plant meat products with relevant units as soon as possible, learn from the mature international standard system, and gradually strengthen the market supervision and access threshold of plant meat products.

The scale of domestic artificial meat market is relatively small, and its main supply is vegetarians, such as temples and vegetarians. However, this part of the population accounts for a relatively small proportion, which also leads to the low sales volume of artificial meat.

At present, the emerging artificial meat enterprises that have obtained financing are increasing the construction of the supply chain. Weishida has opened its own factory through financing to carry out industrial operation. At the end of October this year, after the completion of a new round of a + financing on Monday, its Shenzhen factory is also accelerating.

In this case, the artificial meat under the tuyere drives the expansion of domestic production capacity, promotes the progress of artificial meat through new R & D and production technology, and brings about industrial upgrading.

Zheng insight said: “some of the enterprises in Shenzhen have the ability to upgrade their traditional artificial meat industry, and they need to upgrade their artificial meat industry.”  

However, the current problem is that the domestic emerging artificial meat enterprises have not set a benchmark. In terms of large-scale industrial production and consumer recognition, the emerging artificial meat enterprises have not made breakthrough achievements.

On the one hand, compared with the domestic artificial meat market, beyond has not yet made profits. Most of the domestic brands like zhenrou, Weishida and starfield have not been launched yet. The uncertainty of technology development also makes artificial meat just stay in concept.

Domestic artificial meat is favored by the capital, but also questioned by many.

Zheng CE said, “the layman may not understand it. There are not many differences in the artificial meat on the market. Many emerging artificial meat enterprises just change their packaging and have some differences in taste at most. There are a lot of people in China who take advantage of the tuyere to make a profit and then leave. ”  

Besides being expensive, some consumers are also doubting whether artificial meat is really healthy, and whether the artificial meat products produced by artificial meat are really low in calories and good for human body.

At present, the track has been a little crowded. In addition to the above-mentioned start-ups with financing aura, among the listed companies, there are 17 Companies in the artificial meat concept section of Oriental Fortune. On qixinbao, among the newly established companies in the past two years, there are more than 30 companies involved in the artificial meat business scope.

But the real outbreak of artificial meat has not yet come. The current layout is more like preparation and warm-up before the competition. Most artificial meat enterprises are still exploring the domestic market to adapt to the taste of domestic consumers.

Because artificial meat is still in the early stage of infrastructure laying, the renewal frequency of artificial meat products is not very fast, and the emerging artificial meat enterprises have not had much impact on the traditional industry.

In addition, the concept of artificial meat has been in the air for two years. What people see is more financing and concept, but there is no big substantive breakthrough, such as the cost control of artificial meat, the reform of supply chain and channel providers.

However, man-made meat is still a field worth thinking about. When Bill Gates talked about the breakthrough technology to change the world, he said that the plough used to be the plough of the agricultural era, now it’s man-made meat.

The magic of artificial meat is that the development of modern animal husbandry and breeding is still inseparable from the natural growth of animals. The development of artificial meat is equivalent to giving human a new ability to create more independent and controllable food supply at the production end.

The prospect and concept are still attractive, but the challenge of commercialization is also arduous. Can artificial meat take a key step forward next year? Can the financing boom last?

Author: Cuckoo; source: Online insight (ID: ixinsight), reprint authorized. Joining the community: Cherry (wechat: 15240428449); business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246). high quality original selection column hot news in a week | innovation interview – lingting | new Xiu brand | trend insight | packaging outpost food people are “watching”

Read the original

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *