China has become a battleground for plant-based meat companies to tap into the world’s largest market for meat consumption.
US plant-based meat company Impossible Foods Inc. on Thursday said it was awaiting regulatory approval to enter the Chinese market, while rivals pushed ahead of plans to increase production in China despite sweet ties between Beijing and Washington is.
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Of those companies set at 1.4 billion Chinese consumers, there are just two companies that hope they can join their Western counterparts in looking for alternatives to meat beyond traditional fake meat offerings that are already sourced from fake crab Laker ducks span the spectrum from breast and steak.
Impossible foods require additional regulatory approval because its plant-based meat products include genetically modified substances including heme, a molecule that imparts a meaty flavor, as well as soy protein.
“We are going through a regulatory process and it takes time. Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown told reporters that it’s as good as I can tell. “But as soon as we reach the other end of it, we’ll see you the next day.”
Apart from Meat, which announced this week that it was opening a factory in an industrial area near Shanghai, it says it does not use any genetically modified material.
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Nestle has said that it is expanding the plant-based products factory in the northeast city of Tianjin.
Local Chinese companies such as Genmeat and Starfield are also expanding their businesses, partnering with restaurants across the country and even offering vegetarian-based seafood.
Brown said the turbulent state of relations between the US and China was not a “major barrier” to the company’s entry into the market, and that the regulatory process is about food security, not trade.
The company on Thursday announced the launch of sausage products in Hong Kong through menu items at coffee chain Starbucks and some other restaurants.
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Impossible foods products include plant-based beef, pork and sausage.
Brown said the company plans to build a factory in China and have a domestic supply chain of essential materials so that its products can be manufactured entirely in China.
Matilda Ho, founder of Bits x Bits, China’s first food technology venture capital group, says the coronovirus epidemic is a good opportunity to familiarize consumers with plant-based alternatives, as some fears may spread the disease through meat, although no evidence Is not. Of such cases.
“Although people are now returning to normal routines after COVID-19, consumers are concerned about the possible link between meat products and the virus. Some people are reducing their meat intake, ”Ho said.
However, most plant-based meat products are often priced higher, so breaking into the Chinese market can be challenging.
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“The Chinese market is challenging because the food culture and consumer palette are highly diverse and the market is very sensitive,” said Ellen Cieu, managing director of The Good Food Institute Asia-Pacific.
“However, it is important that what are the core ingredients that make any food product a hit in the market – not to lose sight – is universally it’s taste, price and convenience.”
Meat consumption in China has steadily increased since the 1990s, although the pace of growth has slowed over the last decade. As a nation, China consumes more meat than any other country, although on a per capita basis, Chinese eat about half of Americans.
This means that any major change in the demand for meat can have large-scale consequences for the environment.
But even when meat consumption is increasing with income, local alternatives have long existed.
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In addition to tofu-based products, China has long had a long history of producing fake meat originating from Buddhist beliefs against animals that harmed the Tang dynasty. Such fake meats – mostly made from soybeans and wheat gluten – often look similar to meat but do not taste the same.