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Hong Kong’s plant-based grocery and café chain Green Common has rolled out Alpha Nuggets, a vegan take on fast food favourite chicken nuggets, across all its locations in the city. This marks another step forward in the accelerating market for plant-based meat alternatives, which have grown in popularity across the world and particularly in Asia.
The launch of vegan chicken nuggets comes as the plant-based meat alternative trend is at an all time high, around the world and especially in Asia. Two weeks ago, a KFC chain in Atlanta unveiled their plant-based fried chicken, which sold out within 5 hours. The Asian market is becoming more populated with a whole range of plant-based options, from vegan egg substitutes to plant milks, non-dairy yogurt and meat alternatives. Just last week, Chinese startup Zhenmeat debuted their plant-based range designed specifically for use in Chinese cuisine, from mooncakes to dim sum. This trend has taken off because consumers are becoming more health-conscious and sustainability oriented. As the latest IPCC report has reiterated, we are faced with a climate crisis that requires a global food system overhaul in order to avert future disasters. In addition to being more sustainable, recent studies have confirmed that a plant-based diet can provide all nutritional needs.
US-based startup Alpha Foods’ products are high in protein and free from cholesterol, trans fat and antibiotics. From a nutritional standpoint, choosing the plant-based version over animal-based chicken nuggets is a win for your health. The main ingredients include soy protein, wheat protein, vitamin E, flavourings such as onion and garlic powder, prepared in a breaded batter. The 100% plant-based chicken nuggets, dubbed the “Alpha Nugget Original Chik’n” are available for retail sale and on the cafe menu at all Green Common outlets as well as Kind Kitchen in Central.
The animal-free nuggets come with a much lower environmental cost – while chicken is not as carbon-intensive compared to beef, concentrated chicken farming and use of animal feed generates massive amounts of broiler manure and litter, which contributes to polluting waterways and soil erosion. With poultry set to become the world’s most consumed animal meat in 2019 due to the African Swine Flu epidemic’s effect on demand for pork and with Asia being the world’s largest meat producer, we urgently need meatless alternatives to become more mainstream across the region.
Lead image courtesy of Green Common.