Beyond Meat-Starbucks partnership rolls out meat analogs in China as plant-based options open up
24 Apr 2020 --- Beyond Meat, through a new partnership with Starbucks, is set to roll out its plant-based meat analogs in China. The company will begin by introducing its plant-based ground “beef,” branded Beyond Beef, to the new market. The move, which follows a similar foray into the burgeoning sector by fast food giant KFC this week, is now spearheaded by 3,300 Starbucks locations across China and comes amid a shift in consumer preferences for plant-based products spurred by the coronavirus outbreak.
Beyond Beef is marketed as delivering the meaty taste, juicy texture and culinary versatility of ground beef but with more protein, less saturated fat and without cholesterol. Made with “simple,” plant-based ingredients without GMOs, soy or gluten, the beef analog is designed to be a “seamless swap” in traditional Chinese beef recipes like lo mein and xiaolongbao.
The branching out of meat-free diets across the world is evidence of Innova Market Insights’ “Plant-Based Revolution” in full swing, which the market researcher has pegged as its second Top Trend for 2020. The market researcher highlights a 59 percent average annual growth in global F&B launches with a “plant-based” claim (CAGR 2014 to 2019).
However, the rise of this trend is hampered as China comes out of lockdown and restaurants begin to re-open with more plant-based products on their menus.
“We’re proud to partner with Starbucks to introduce Beyond Beef as part of its new ‘GOOD GOOD’ menu, leveraging Starbucks’ extensive presence and avid customer base to bring plant-based meat and its benefits to millions of Chinese consumers,” the company notes.
The new GOOD GOOD menu includes three Beyond Beef options, including the Beyond Beef Classic Lasagna, Beyond Beef Pesto Pasta and Beyond Beef Spicy & Sour Wrap.
“We mark an important milestone as Beyond Meat launches in China, advancing our goal of increasing accessibility to plant-based meat globally. Starbucks is a trusted brand with a strong market presence and deep understanding of customers in China, and we’re pleased to partner with them on our market entry,” says Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO.
“We believe the new Beyond Beef menu items deliver on our promise of enabling consumers to eat what you love while also enjoying the nutritional and environmental benefits of plant-based meat. We are proud to support Starbucks in furthering their efforts around health and sustainability while offering Chinese consumers more diverse protein options,” he adds.
In similar moves this week, agri-food supplier Cargill entered a new partnership with fast food conglomerate Yum China to launch plant-based KFC fried chicken across China. The meat-free chicken substitute will be tested in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, later this month.
Beyond Meat’s latest venture follows its debut of the “Beyond Burger” at IKEA outlets in Amsterdam and Amersfoort, in the Netherlands.
Edited by Benjamin Ferrer
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