China’s government plans to halve meat consumption
Over the next 10 years, plant-based alternatives and other products are expected to reduce meat consumption in the Chinese market.
In a bid to curb carbon emissions and control obesity, the Chinese government is planning to reduce meat consumption in the country by 50% in the next 10 years. Surveys have also found that Chinese consumers are becoming more open to a “flexitarian”, or mainly vegetarian, diet, according to the South China Morning Post. The shift is expected to become visible in the next three years, when China’s vegan food market is forecast to be worth nearly $12 billion by 2023, up from just under $10 billion in 2018, according to a report issued last year by Euromonitor International. Sales of plant-based meat in China increased from $7.2 billion in 2014 to $9.7 billion in 2018, according to the same report.
Several large players have already increased their presence in this market.
Beyond Meat made its retail debut in China last month with its Beyond Burger available in Alibaba Group Holding’s 50 Freshippo stores in Shanghai. The company also pledged to bring its products to 48 more Freshippo stores across China by the end of the year.
The partnership with Alibaba is the latest move in China’s increasingly crowded food tech sector. In June, Yum China – the owner of China’s KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell outlets – also joined with Beyond Meat to offer several plant-based beef dishes.
Hong Kong plant-based meat brand Omnipork announced a partnership with Starbucks in April to offer plant-based pork dishes that cater to an Asian palate. Nestle, the Swiss-based multinational food and drink giant, also announced plans to build a plant-based food plant in China.
Currently, China is confronted with a widening deficit animal protein and accounts for 40% of the global meat trade. Since August 2018, an outbreak of African swine fever led to massive culling of pigs, causing a surge in pork prices and rising concerns about food safety in the meat supply chain.
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