This Company Is Getting Rich by Turning Jackfruit Into Pork


Anuchit Nguyen and Randy Thanthong-Knight, Bloomberg

via Yahoo Finance - October 13, 2020


(Bloomberg) -- Thai food producers are betting on growing plant-based meat trends at home and abroad for future expansion.


Food exports from Thailand are one of the few areas that have increased during the pandemic, while sales of other products have struggled because of the disruption to international trade. The government wants to make Thailand a food production hub, and plant-based meat can help it achieve that ambition.


Among growing Thai companies is NR Instant Produce Pcl, a food exporter that started making plant-based protein in 2016 by turning jackfruit into mock pork. The company raised about 1.6 billion baht ($51.4 million) in its initial public offering this month and the stock doubled in intraday trading on its debut on Oct. 9. The producer is expanding facilities in the U.S., China and Thailand.


“Consumer focus on health is a huge megatrend right now. The growth potential is massive,” said Danai Pathomvanich, the chief executive officer. He said about 7% of NR Instant’s revenue comes from plant-based products and expected the contribution to jump to 30% within four years.


NR Instant Produce isn’t alone. The country’s largest meat producer controlled by one of the richest families, Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl, is also looking at producing plant-based meat from soy protein. One of the top oil refiners, Bangchak Corp Pcl, also plans to diversify into the faux meat industry.


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