Beyond Meat’s newest product is designed to mimic the taste of China’s favorite meat.
Contrary to the United States, where the most popular kind of meat is beef, China’s favorite meat is pork. China is one of the world’s leading consumers of pork, with many Chinese dishes, including dumplings and soups, utilizing the meat. In such a market where beef wouldn’t perform as well, plant-based meat company Beyond Meat has developed a new product that may fare a bit better on Chinese soil.
Beyond Meat unveiled its newest development today, a completely meatless minced pork product. While the company has technically made plant-based pork before in the US, it was only in the form of sausages. This new pork comes in minced form, making it ideal for China’s various needs. Starting today, Beyond will be delivering the plant-based pork to five select restaurants around Shanghai, where customers will be able to sample it. The plant-based pork will be prepared into a variety of dishes, including spaghetti and meatballs, biscuits and gravy, and ramen.
“We’re excited to launch Beyond Pork in China, marking a milestone for Beyond Meat,” Beyond Meat’s general manager for China, Candy Chan, said in a statement. “We are not only launching an entirely new product innovation, but our first plant-based meat product created specifically for the Chinese market.”
Last year, China was hit with an outbreak of African swine fever, devastating local pig populations and farmers. While that outbreak has long since been dealt with, the impacts are still being felt, with many farmers paying exorbitant sums to restock their supply of pigs, as well as dealing with rising costs in animal feed and general economic difficulties caused by COVID-19 pandemic. In this complicated situation, Beyond Meat may have chosen the perfect time to debut their new product. Assuming the reception to their plant-based pork is positive, it could take some pressure off the pork industry while it continues its recovery.