Starbucks has announced a slew of new plant-based food and drinks to draw in more curious and environment-conscious diners.
This week, just as China reopens businesses following the Covid-19 lockdown, the world’s biggest coffee chain has not only reopened most of its stores, but has also rolled out a new plant-based menu in all of its 4,200 locations across the country.
The new menu will feature vegan meals from Beyond Meat, and Omnipork- a plant-based pork alternative brand, and include Beyond Beef Pesto Pasta, Beyond Beef Spicy & Sour Wrap, Beyond Beef Lasagna, as well as an Omnipork Vietnamese-style noodle salad, and an Omnipork mushroom-sauce grain bowl.
Starbucks will also sell non-dairy lattes using oat milk from Swedish brand Oatly.
The move comes at a time when a growing number of Chinese consumers are seeking food choices based on health, environmental and ethical reasons.
“Our new menu items make it easy and enjoyable to explore new lifestyles, starting from what we eat and drink,” said Leo Tsoi, senior vice president, chief operating officer and president of Starbucks China in a statement.
“Health and wellness, including healthy eating, has been one of most important consumer trends in China,” said Derek Deng, a partner with consulting firm Bain and Company.
China’s alt meat industry has been pegged as a key target market by several international plant-based players and the launch marks an important step for Beyond Meat in that direction.
“Today we mark an important milestone as Beyond Meat launches in China, advancing our goal of increasing accessibility to plant-based protein globally,” said Beyond Meat’s founder and CEO Ethan Brown in a statement.
Other chains trialing new plant-based meat options, include KFC, which is set to add vegan chicken nuggets made by agribusiness giant Cargill to its menu in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen for three days next week.
Starbucks has also been increasingly expanding its plant-based menu across the world in a bid to capture the growing vegan market.
While Starbucks UK added the Caramel Chococado Pot and the Vegan Spiced Protein Bowl to its existing plant-based menu last month, the international coffee chain announced that it was dropping the additional fee incurred for drinks made with plant-based milks.
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