Beyond Meat is moving into retail with JD.com in China as demand for alt-meat options increases amid concerns for health and the environment.
Beyond Meat has launched an online store in China on e-commerce company JD.com in a bid to reach a wider audience in the country.
The move is to increase access to plant-based meat alternatives in the world’s biggest meat market and whet consumer interest.
According to Beyond Meat, the products will initially be available in four major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, before rolling out to over 300 cities across China.
Plant-based demand in China
Although China still consumes 28% of the world’s meat, there is a rapid surge in the demand for plant-based meat alternatives, creating a ‘battleground’ for manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurants scrambling to cash in on a changing food landscape.
Additionally, attitudes are changing with China coming under fire for its wet markets, which is believed to have caused the COVID-19 pandemic. This coupled with concerns for health and the environment has led to a ‘vegan revolution’ in the country, the Guardian reported.
James Ye, general manager of JD Fresh said: “We see that Chinese consumers pay more and more attention to healthy diet and lifestyle.
“Via our long-established advantages in supply chain, cold chain logistics, retail and omni-channels, we hope to bring Beyond Meat’s healthy and high-quality products to Chinese consumers.”
Beyond Meat in China
Beyond Meat’s online retail push in China follows partnerships with Starbucks Corp, Yum China Holdings Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Freshippo markets in the country.
Recently, it teamed up with KFC China to launch a plant-based version of the chain’s famous beef wrap.
The Plant-Based Spicy Beef Wrap is available in more than 2,600 stores across 28 different cities.
It features vegan Beyond Meat with lettuce, tomato salad, and mayonnaise – which can be excluded. The contents are wrapped in a crispy tortilla and soft wheat tortilla combo exterior.
The Brand and PR Director at Beyond Meat China, Ivy Xu said: “We’re honored to be KFC China’s chosen partner to introduce the first plant-based meat version of the Spicy Beef Wrap. [It’s] one of their most iconic and popular menu offerings to consumers.
“As people continue to seek ways to incorporate plant-based protein into the meals they love… We’re confident that KFC guests will enjoy the delicious taste of the Plant-Based Spicy Beef Wrap just as much as the original and will be excited by the added nutritional and environmental benefits of Beyond Meat.”
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