Plant nutrition on the rise in China

China: vegan products at Starbucks, KFC tests veggie nuggets, huge investment in the vegetable sector

11-Jun-2020 - Germany

For years now, plant-based nutrition has been on the rise worldwide. In Europe alone, 50% of the population is already actively reducing their meat consumption. And around 40 % already consume vegetable milk. The current corona crisis is intensifying this trend - in China too.

Photo by Brenna Huff on Unsplash

April 2020 was a quantum leap for the plant-based food sector in China. Just as the country came out of the corona lockdown, Starbucks announced the introduction of plant-based alternatives throughout China. The world's largest coffee house chain now offers products from Beyond Meat, Oatly and Omnipork in its stores. This was a very positive development after ProVeg asked Starbucks to drop its surcharge on plant-based dairy products.

KFC, the largest fast food chain in China, did a large-scale test run with meatless chicken nuggets, which are in no way inferior to the original, but are made from a mixture of soy, wheat and pea protein and water chestnuts. During the test run in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the customers were enthusiastic and the vegetable nuggets sold out in the stores within an hour!

Cargill introduces plant-based consumer brand in China

Following the KFC project, Cargill, the plant-based nugget supplier with annual sales of over $100 billion, has announced plans to introduce more plant-based foods into the Chinese foodservice industry. In addition, a new consumer brand called PlantEver for online and offline retailers will be introduced in the coming weeks.

Sebastian Joy, CEO of the nutritional organisation ProVeg International, sees his assessment confirmed: "The Asian market is moving towards plant-based products. In the course of the corona crisis, consumers are looking for safe, sustainable and interesting alternatives to animal products - and in doing so are discovering the taste diversity of plant-based nutrition. The business world is also recognizing the great potential of this gigantic growth market. We are seeing the beginning of a tidal wave here."

China is a top priority for the big US veggie brands

In April 2020, the Chinese start-up Starfield, which produces minced meat from seaweed protein, joined forces with 6 major restaurant chains in the country to bring its product to hundreds of restaurants.

But this seems to be just the beginning of a rapid development: For US brands like Impossible Foods and JUST Egg, China is the top priority for their future expansion. It is foreseeable that more and more companies will jump on the fast growing plant trend in China and all of Asia.

In the meantime, the Chinese company Dao Foods has also announced a new protein start-up incubator. So obviously not only the Chinese consumers but also the food producers have come to appreciate the vegetable taste. At a time when solutions are particularly important, this is a great sign and shows that there is interest from all sides in a safe and sustainable food system.

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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