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ALDI China has just launched its new line of meatless ready-made convenience meals in Shanghai made with Omnipork, the vegan-friendly pork mince analogue made by Hong Kong-based food tech OmniFoods. The new products will be available for Shanghai residents to purchase in-store and online delivery, and is yet another indicator of the growing demand for plant-based options amongst Chinese consumers.
On Thursday (June 24), the German retailer ALDI announced that it will be launching new Omnipork convenient meals across their 7 locations in Shanghai, China. There will be 5 new ready-meals in total, including vegetarian pretzel BBQ burger, mediterranean-inspired salad, spaghetti bolognese and Thai-style bibimbap as well as a vegan-friendly Vietnamese rice noodle salad. Residents in Shanghai will also be able to order the ready meals online for delivery.
All of the meals will be made with the plant-based pork analogue Omnipork, which was created by OmniFoods, the food tech arm of Hong Kong-based Green Monday. Launched in 2018, Omnipork tastes and cooks just like conventional minced pork and is made from non-GMO soybeans, pea protein, mushrooms and rice, and comes with no hormones or cholesterol and a fraction of the carbon footprint compared to traditional pork.
Speaking to Green Queen about the launch, Green Monday’s founder and CEO David Yeung said: “We are honored for Omnipork to be selected by ALDI China to be their plant protein partner in their 5 brand new convenient meals in all their locations in Shanghai.”
Explaining that ALDI had a track-record of environmental responsibility, from achieving carbon-neutral status in its United Kingdom operations to ongoing investments in green energy, Yeung added that the latest move to push plant-based meals in China represents the company’s initiative in reducing its footprint in food.
True to ALDI’s reputation and commitment to affordability, all the new plant-based convenient meals will be retailed between 19.90 RMB (US$2.80) to 26.90 RMB (US$3.80) – a price that sits well below the national average cost of a McDonald’s meal at 35 RMB (US$4.90) and a crucial step to make more sustainable food choices widely accessible to the mainstream market.
It isn’t the first time that Green Monday’s Omnipork has landed in China, with the group launching its pork analogue product on Alibaba-run online retail site Tmall last year. Green Monday had also previously partnered with a number of restaurant chains in China, including rolling out a limited-edition vegan Omnipork taco across the country’s Taco Bell outlets.
But while the popularity of plant-based had been steadily growing amongst Chinese consumers, there has been a notable uptick in interest amid the coronavirus pandemic supply chain breakdown induced by global slaughterhouse outbreaks, which has led to imported meat shortages on Chinese shelves – all happening against the backdrop of ongoing livestock diseases such as African swine fever and Div1 shrimp virus.
In the wake of these overlapping crises, businesses have been scrambling to offer more plant-based options to consumers, perhaps most notably Starbucks China’s new entirely vegetarian menu created with Omnipork, Oatly and Beyond Meat.
It isn’t the first time that Omnipork has collaborated with FMCG brands to prove that plant-based foods can be accessible and affordable to the masses. Outside of China, the food tech has partnered with major Taiwanese convenience chain FamilyMart to bring ready-made Omnipork “cup” meals to Taiwan, which will be sold for just TWD 49 (US$1.63) across 3,600 locations in the country.
Most recently, Hong Kong’s most famous frozen dumpling brand Wanchai Ferry, a subsidiary of General Mills, launched two new Omnipork dumpling products, which will be sold across 600 supermarkets in the city at price parity with the brand’s conventional pork line.
All images courtesy of ALDI China.