While America’s biggest beef and pork producers were nearly laid low in April by COVID-19 cases in their workforce, sales of what detractors call “fake meat” boomed. But the pandemic may in time affect sales of plant-based protein, too, as U.S. consumers become more wary of all things China—which supplies a majority of the products’ ingredients.
China’s food-processing factories provide most of what goes into vegan burger patties …. made by market leaders Beyond Meat and Impossible foods—an arrangement that could damage their standing among consumers in the coronavirus age.
Beyond Meat recently signed a significant deal with Shuangta Foods, located in China’s Shandong province. Shuangta will provide 85 percent of the pea protein for its products. The company said its first purchases will total some 285 tons.
Ever since the emergence of the novel coronavirus in China’s Wuhan province, the world press has criticized the Middle Kingdom for its sanitary standards and its lack of institutional transparency.
Lucas Thompson, a spokesman for Impossible Foods, said the company’s supply chain and production volumes haven’t been affected, and that it is “continuously evaluating our entire supply chain with the goal of ensuring product safety and minimizing delays or disruptions.”