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Global hospitality group Accor partnered with plant-based pork brand Zrou developed by Chinese plant-based company YouKuai. The collaboration will see Accor’s hotel brands across Greater China incorporate Zrou to serve diners a variety of plant-based meat dishes.
YouKuai’s Zrou brand of plant-based pork is produced with non-GMO soybeans that are sourced from Northeast China. The analogue further contains coconut oil, konjac, and shiitake mushrooms. It is offered in either ground or mince formats and each 100-gram serving has more than 10 grams of protein.
At the moment, Zrou is offered in 100 foodservice outlets, like Michelin-starred restaurants, premium resorts, private schools, and corporate cafeterias.
Through social media and influencers, the brand targets young consumers and works closely with expert chefs to form a “community of early adopters”. According to research, 700 million young consumers in China are predicted to drive the alternative protein sector. This is due to an “appetite for change” and openness to try new food products.
Earlier this year, the YouKuai secured US$7.3 million Series A in a funding round led by Singapore-based investment firm TRIREC who has supported U.S. plant-based brand Hungry Planet in the past. The capital will help the company expand its vegan pork offerings.
Plant-based gastronomy across Greater China
France-based multinational hospitality company Accor’s lifestyle loyalty program ALL – Accor Live Limitless has collaborated with Zrou to offer innovative dining options to people across Greater China. The first-of-its-kind partnership aims to modernize the culinary scene across the company’s hotels.
To celebrate this launch, a private gourmet event took place at the Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai. Chef, restauranteur, and pioneer in modern Chinese cuisine David Laris; award-winning creative chef Jereme Leung; fashion and gourmet icon Lance Yu; executive Chef of Zrou and director of Product Development, Mark Sampson; and French creative Pastry Chef Sarah Ni were invited along with renowned master of wine Fongyee Walker to offer a gourmet tasting experience ‘Table Number Zrou’.
In a press release, founder and CEO of YouKuai Group International, Franklin Yao said Accor’s values are in line with the brand’s vision to offer Zrou to a ‘more culinary-conscious audience’. “Zrou empowers our clientele to do “more good” by bringing culinary innovation to high-end gastronomy. Not only in China, but world-wide, consumers are seeking an appetizing, sustainable alternative to traditional food sources. Through our partnership with Accor, we will be able to introduce Zrou cuisine to a wider audience.”
Zrou empowers our clientele to do “more good” by bringing culinary innovation to high-end gastronomy. Through our partnership with Accor, we will be able to introduce Zrou cuisine to a wider audienceFranklin Yao, founder and CEO of YouKuai Group International
Accor signature Zrou dishes
Through ALL acting as a trusted platform, in the coming months, Zrou will be responsible for the creation of new menus across Accor Greater China hotels.
The dishes will be designed by Accor’s celebrity chefs and will be showcased across menus at Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Swissôtel, Grand Mercure, and Novotel hotels.
Interested diners can already taste the dishes at select meals at the Fairmont Peace Shanghai, Fairmont Chengdu and Sofitel Kunming.
CEO of Accor Greater China, Gary Rosen, said: “We know dining is a key passion point for our guests. The spirit of our ALL program is to curate experiences that combine multiple sensations for our guests. We want them to sit down expecting their favorites but, at the same time, give them an opportunity to try something new and delightful. As a company, we continue to drive for even greater sustainability. Indeed, working with Zrou gives us the perfect partner to go a step further. Creating distinct, unique and lifestyle-centered menus with an emphasis on health with Zrou engages our guests and members of all ages and broadens their culinary horizon.”
Lead image courtesy of Zrou.