China’s fake meat trend is on the rise, researchers say
· Chinese demand for mock meat is going up, according to research house Fitch Solutions.
· Concerns that domestic meat supply won’t be enough to meet demand are largely behind this trend, it wrote in a report. The African swine fever outbreak, in particular, has pushed down supplies of pork.
· Plant-based mock meats are already used in Chinese dishes, so the mock meat trend could be the next step in this tradition.
Stella Soon, CNBC
Oct 1 2019
Chinese demand for “mock meat” is going up amid concerns that the domestic supply won’t be enough to meet demand, according to research house Fitch Solutions.
In a country where pork is a staple, the African swine fever outbreak is one factor that has pushed down supplies of the meat, Fitch noted in a report released September.
African swine fever is a highly contagious and fatal viral infection that has led to the culling of some 1.17 million hogs in China, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
China is one of the highest consumers of pork in the world. It was also the largest producer of pork in the world in 2018, according to data firm Statista.
As supplies dwindle, more meat imports may be needed to meet consumer demand, the Fitch report stated. Alternatively, “new options would need to be investigated and encouraged” in order to increase the supply of meat, the report said.
Mock meat is one option.
In 2018, China’s plant-based meat industry was worth $910 million — up 14.2% from a year earlier, according to a report by U.S.-based Good Food Institute. In comparison, the U.S. market stood at $684 million that year — increasing by 23% year-on-year, the non-profit organization said.
African swine fever, in particular, will be “positive” for the Chinese alternative meat industry, said Simon Powell, a researcher at U.S. investment bank Jefferies.
The deadly disease might have led to a 20 million ton drop in China’s pork market, according to Powell. On this decrease, consumers could turn to mock meat as an alternative.
“I think there could be tremendous pull through for alternative protein, alternative meat here,” he told CNBC last Wednesday.
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