Beyond Meat launches plant-based pork in bid to outcompete Impossible Foods in China

Credit: Empress
Credit: Empress

The California-based company unveiled its latest product on [Nov 18]: meatless minced “pork.”

The new product is intended to mimic the taste of the popular filling used in many Asian dishes, such as dumplings and spring rolls. Beyond says customers will be served its rendition as a ramen topping, and in dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs, spicy bolognaise, and biscuits and gravy.

Beyond’s latest introduction could come as a welcome alternative for Chinese consumers, especially right now. China, which has long been the world’s biggest consumer of pork, entered a major production crisis last year due to an outbreak of African swine fever. The disruption forced some consumers to temporarily switch to other types of meat.

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Before that, pork had accounted for about 70% of China’s overall meat consumption, according to official Chinese data. This year, Chinese pig farmers have seen some recovery, allowing them to boost supply and ease prices, analysts at Rabobank wrote in a recent research report.

Related article:  Swapping red meat for plant-based beef may cut cardiovascular disease risk

But globally, “producers face a challenging outlook, given rising feed costs, weaker economic trends, and slower export growth as China rebuilds its domestic hog supply,” they wrote.

While the fake meat trend is still taking shape in mainland China, Beyond is going up against other popular brands, including fellow California upstart Impossible Foods, which has signaled plans for its own launch there.

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