Nestle’s plant-based Harvest Gourmet brand in China has started its work on Wednesday. That move allows both sides to help the Asian meat substitute industry, one of the most perspective so far.
Upon launching new Nestle’s meat plant, there is a surge of interest from investors and brands. Since 2019, the Swiss food giant has been accelerating a global expansion in plant-based meat substitutes. Demand for alternatives to regular meat is surging due to concerns about health, animal welfare and the environment.
In China, Nestle is rolling out products through its Garden Gourmet brand in Europe and Sweet Earth in the U.S. It reported double-digit growth in sales of vegetarian and plant-based products for the nine months through September.
In its efforts to be a part of the new plant meat market, Beyond Meat announced plans for a major production facility in China and has agreements for its products to be sold in Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut outlets in China.
Nestle’s faux-meat factory launched in Tianjin
Harvest Gourmet products plans to open an online store on Alibaba Group’s Tmall marketplace this month, and will gradually start offering products for sale from Alibaba’s Hema supermarket chain by the end of 2020.
“We see China leading the trend towards a new generation of plant-based food in Asia, as people look for options that are good for them and good for the planet,” Rashid Qureshi, chief executive of Nestle Greater China, said in a statement.
The jury, however, is still out on whether Chinese consumers are really embracing plant-based meat substitutes.
According to the recent survey, nearly half of 2,659 respondents were unwilling to try fake meat, and just 13.7% said they had tried some products and they tasted good.