Beyond Meat takes a bite out of Chinese retail market
来源: | 作者:makeyou | 发布时间: 2020-07-06 | 484 次浏览 | 分享到:
Beyond Meat is pushing into the Chinese retail market for the first time in a deal with a supermarket chain owned by Alibaba, betting that the coronavirus pandemic will make it easier to crack the country’s consumers.
The pandemic has contributed to a rise in the price for many meats as authorities suspended imports from a growing number of foreign plants where outbreaks of Covid-19 have been rife.
Under the terms of the deal, Beyond Meat will offer its burgers in 50 Freshippo stores in Shanghai before rolling them out to other cities. Earlier this year, the US group announced a tie-up with Starbucks and a partnership with Yum China to trial its products at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell outlets.
China is the world’s largest meat market, accounting for about a third of the total consumption. But interest in plant-based meats was rising before the pandemic after African swine flu hit domestic pork production.
The country also has a large soyabean-based vegan meat sector, with sales of about $10bn last year, according to Euromonitor, the consumer industries data group. Euromonitor forecasts sales will rise to almost $13bn in 2023.
Beyond Meat is not the only company trying to make headway in China’s burgeoning plant-based meat sector. Cargill tied up with KFC in China for a trial run of plant-based nuggets, and Nestlé in May announced it was investing in a plant-based protein production facility in Tianjin.
China also has its homegrown plant-based protein start-ups, including ZhenMeat and Starfield, while companies such as Whole Perfect Food have been offering vegan meat products to Chinese consumers since the 1990s. 
The arrival of Beyond Meat is likely to increase consumer interest in plant-based proteins which aims to closely mimic real meat in taste, texture and the 'bleeding{singlequote}.
Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive of Beyond Meat, said: “We know that retail will be a a critical part of our success in China, and we’re pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our market entry.”
Alibaba’s Freshippo chain said it would help plant-based meat grow in China. “We have seen a growing interest in plant-based meat among our shoppers and look forward to offering more Beyond Meat products in the future,” said Jiayu Zhao, head of merchandising for Freshippo.
Dorothy Ma, marketing manager at Hong Kong-based Green Monday which is behind a plant-based pork substitute Omnipork, said: “We find that after Covid-19 many Chinese people are aware of food safety issues and are more conscious about what they are eating.” Omnipork’s sales in Hong Kong were 120 per cent higher in April than in January, she added.
Beyond Meat’s Alibaba tie-up comes as competition in the European plant-based meat market intensifies. Earlier this month, the company announced the launch its first European co-manufacturing facility in the Netherlands.