China’s meat substitute industry is on the rise in recent months.
Like its US counterparts Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, Inc., homegrown products are being introduced into the market through startups and traditional businesses and are made into dumplings and mooncakes to the locals’ delight.
The aftermath of the US-China trade tension and the African swine fever have caused such demand in this market. Undeniably, ASF devastated the pork supply of the country causing the prices to go high.
Producers can rely on demand from younger Chinese consumers, many of whom are avid followers of food trends and love to try new cuisines.
Long-time plant-based company Whole Perfect Food recently rolled out a range of sausages made from soy and pea-based protein. The sausages come in 40 varieties, including spicy Sichuan and soy-seasoned beef.
It has been the pioneer of characteristic & professional manufacturing of over 100 types of palatable first-dassvegetarian delicacies since 1993. They are equipped with the latest series of equipments imported from Germany, Sweden and Japan, supported by a team of skilful technical work force specializing in the field of Research & Development.
Over the years it has mainly catered to China’s mostly vegetarian Buddhists. It is looking forward to partnerships with Alibaba Group Holding’s Hema and Tencent-backed Yonghui Superstores after ending partnership with Walmart earlier this year.
Meanwhile, new local player Zhenmeat is looking to promote their pro
ducts whose sources are natural plant with no animal ingredients, hormones, and antibiotics but still has the protein in traditional meat.
Co-founder Vince Lu revealed that the company has partnered up with noodle manufacturer Yantai Shuangta Foods as they were looking into making meatballs and dumplings. They are also in the process of analyzing the flavoring behind meat pork as compared to their US competitors.
Starfield on the other hand has sold plant-based mooncakes which has low environmental costs and can reduce wasting animal husbandry resources. It is also suitable for people with high blood sugar, high blood pressure or high blood fats to eat, according to the researchers.
Jinzi Ham developed meat made out of plant protein with Danisco (China) Investment and saw 50 % increase in its share price. Local firm MYS Group has also announced it is conducting research into similar products.
Most Chinese companies are not making burgers, instead focusing on local dishes such as dumplings, mooncakes or meatballs unlike Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat. Marketing executive of Whole Perfect Food notes that American and European countries have rich experience in frying, roasting and baking as compared to their dieting culture and cooking recipes.
China is no stranger to food using vegetarian ingredients to give a meat-like flavor for years. But Bits x Bites Managing Director Matilda Ho has something to say about ‘mock’ meats taste, saying it must work harder to make the products tasty to make customers shift from real meat.
China’s “free from meat” market, which includes plant-based products meant to replace meat, has grown 33.5% since 2014 to be worth $9.7 billion last year, according to Euromonitor. It predicts that the industry will be worth $11.9 billion by 2023.