Future Food: China is the Holy Grail for Meat Alternatives, Eclipse Foods Launches Ice Cream
By Catherine Lamb, TheSpoon
November 7, 2019
Impossible Foods may be gaining territory, both geographically and market-wise, here in the U.S. But when it comes to the future regions, the startup has its gaze set on Asia — specifically, China.
You can read the full explanation of why Impossible is eyeing China in our post, but it boils down to three main reasons:
· China has the largest population in the world
· China produces the most meat in the world
· China consumes the most meat in the world, and its hunger for protein is growing
In short, China is the holy grail for any alternative meat company. That’s especially true with the recent African Swine Fever outbreak, which threatens to massively deplete pig populations and drive up pork prices.
Which plant-based meat company will get to world’s most populated country first? Impossible is certainly in the running, as is Beyond Meat. And Asian plant-based meat company Omnipork, which has the advantage of selling a product developed specifically for Asian palates, has said it will start selling in China by the end of this year.
Big Food could also make a move. China-based WH Group, the largest pork company in the world, owns Smithfield. In August Smithfield announced it would be launching a “plant-based protein portfolio.” If WH Group decides to sell a new alt-meat line in China, either under the Smithfield brand or another one, the company’s massive supply chain and retail partnerships could help it quickly scale up across the country.
Then again, it could be time for China to embrace a lower-tech meat alternative. With all these newfangled, bleeding, uber-realistic faux meat options out there, it’s easy to forget that China has actually been making its own meat alternatives for centuries to adhere to Buddhist diets.
Ten years from now, we’ll likely see a mixture of all of the above in China. The country’s appetite for protein is immense and it’ll take multiple plant-based meat players to feed. Let’s just hope that if and when Impossible does land in China, they’re prepared for the inevitable demand.
Eclipse Foods is (soft) serving up plant-based ice cream ...
Protein ’round the web ...
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