‘New Era of Meat II’: China’s Pepsi-owned Baicaowei reveals plant-based sausage snack


By Pearly Neo, Food Navigator-Asia



PepsiCo-owned Chinese snacks firm Baicaowei is targeting a ‘new era of meat’ with its plant-based sausage snack, claiming that this is unlike any other seen in the country before.


The smoked sausage product was launched earlier this year, and Baicaowei has dubbed it as being the ‘New Era of Meat II’.


“Our man-made meat snack is made from plant proteins, specifically non-GMO soybeans. It is the first ready-to-eat man-made meat product processed at low temperature in the country,”​ Baicaowei Co-Founder Tanya Wang told FoodNavigator-Asia​.


“The technique used here is different from that for other vegetarian meats in China. We use non-GMO soy protein from the north-east together with twice-distilled konjac powder and other ingredients, and this is then applewood-smoked.​


“The product texture simulates fascia (connective tissue) and gives the same marbling as in meat, in addition to having a very distinct smoked flavour and aroma.”​


The sausage aims to capitalize on the rising trend of ‘new plant-based meat snacking with zero guilt’ that is on the rise in the country, and particularly targets consumers between the 18 to 35 age range.


In line with this, health and wellness is also a very driver for the firm, with many of its products geared towards this.


“2019 market research data from Innova showed that over 65% of Chinese consumers are health-conscious and demand foods and beverages that confer health benefits and help with weight loss,”​ Wang added.


“In response to this, Baicaowei also continuously launched products that are health-orientated, for example our ‘Energy Today’ series which includes high-protein smoked beef and almond bars, which have high protein and dietary fibre content.​


“We also have some organic products like chestnuts, which we only process by steaming without adding any additives. This product has been certified by the Organic Food Development & Certification Center of China and every packet has a unique 12-digit tracking code to trace back to its geography of origin.”​


PepsiCo recently acquired Baicaowei, which is also known as Be&Cheery, for US$705mn, with the MNC’s Greater China CEO Ram Krishnan describing it as ‘highly complementary’​ to its existing China business.


“Be & Cheery adds direct-to-consumer capability [for PepsiCo in China], positioning us to capitalise on continued growth in e-commerce. [It is also] a local brand that is able to stretch across a broad portfolio of products, through both online and offline channels.”​


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