The plant-based meat market is taking Asia by storm.
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Impossible Foods, the maker of plant-based meat products that aim to mimic the look and taste of real meat, is now selling its imitation ground beef products in nearly 200 grocery store chains across Hong Kong and Singapore, the company announced Tuesday. The plant-based meat has been previously available at restaurants in both cities.
The meat alternatives, made from soy, protein and the molecule heme will be sold at several grocery chains in Hong Kong, including ParknShop and Singapore's FairPrice supermarkets, among others, and will also be available for home delivery.
“The core to Impossible Foods is that we attract the hardcore meat-eater. Ninety percent of our customers are meat-eaters and as a result, that large market can mean that Impossible Foods can grow quite quickly," David Lee, chief financial officer of Impossible Foods, told FOX Business Tuesday.
The demand for plant-based products has skyrocketed during the pandemic as a result of meat shortages and beef plant closures earlier this year, as the virus became more widespread. To feed the need for alternative protein options, Impossible Foods ramped up its retail footprint, expanding from 150 in January to nearly 15,000 globally today, Lee said on FOX Business Network's "Cavuto: Coast to Coast."
“That 100 times growth is driven by the fact that meat-eaters don’t want to make the same compromises that we’ve all been making when we want a juicy, delicious burger and that’s the key to our success," Lee said.
China is a major target for plant-based meat makers looking for staying power in one of the world’s largest beef-eating markets outside of the U.S. Mainland China comprises 28% of the world's global meat consumption, that's double the amount of the U.S., Mother Jones reported.
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Last month, Impossible Foods competitor Beyond Meat announced it signed a deal to open a production facility near Shanghai to make plant-based products like faux pork, beef and chicken beginning in early 2021. The news followed the publicly traded company’s launch at restaurants like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and at Starbucks coffee shops in mainland China, in addition to selling its Beyond Burger at grocery store chain METRO China.
Impossible Foods, meanwhile, is also planning to branch out beyond alternatives to beef with a plant-based milk product in the works. The Silicon Valley-based food tech company announced in a virtual press conference Tuesday it was doubling its research and development team and teased its upcoming plant-based cow’s milk.