Food tech giant Beyond Meat recently opened a production facility in China located in the Jiaxing Economic & Technological Development Zone (JXEDZ) near Shanghai in an effort to increase production of its plant-based meat products, especially Beyond Pork, and focus on improving costs and bringing sustainability into its operations.
Back in September of last year, California-headquartered plant-based meat company, Beyond Meat had announced an agreement with JXEDZ to build a new facility in Shanghai making it the first multinational of its kind to do so.
With founder and CEO Ethan Brown committing to aggressively expand in China, the firm’s first end-to-end manufacturing facility outside the U.S. looks set up to greatly accelerate the speed and scale of production and distribution of its plant-based beef, poultry and most especially, its Beyond Pork, a product that has been developed exclusively for mainland Chinese consumers.
Apart from this, the firm will focus on improving costs, incorporating sustainability into its operations and work on its R&D infrastructure to develop new products as well as back its local strategic partners.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, Brown said that the opening of the facility is an important milestone in strengthening the company’s presence in one of the largest meat-based markets. “We are committed to investing in China as a region for long-term growth, and we believe this new manufacturing facility will be instrumental in advancing our pricing and sustainability metrics as we seek to provide Chinese consumers with delicious plant-based proteins that are good for both people and planet.”
Beyond Meat first entered mainland China by joining forces with Starbucks in the country and other foodservice and retail brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Jindingxuan, GangLi Beijing, Slow Boat Brewery, Hema and METRO China.
We are committed to investing in China as a region for long-term growth, and we believe this new manufacturing facility will be instrumental in advancing our pricing and sustainability metrics as we seek to provide Chinese consumers with delicious plant-based proteins that are good for both people and planetEthan Brown, founder and CEO, Beyond Meat
General Manager for Beyond Meat in China Candy Chan said of the news: “The plant-based meat market in China continues to expand and Beyond Meat has been enthusiastically met by local consumers who are looking to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. The opening of the new Jiaxing plant is expected to enable us to quicken the pace of innovation and roll out our products at the speed and scale needed to remain highly competitive within the region.”
Additionally, Beyond Meat is working on opening its first owned manufacturing facility in Europe later this year.
Another food giant, Nestlé debuted its plant-based food brand Harvest Gourmet for Chinese consumers and opened a production facility at Tianjin that will partly produce these new products.
In a report published last year, experts said that with the plant-based market booming at an annual rate of 14.3% since 2014 in China, consumer demand and China-focussed investments are only likey to grow, massively expanding the vegan food sector here.
Another report mentioned that with the global plant-based meat market set to increase to US$21 billion by 2025, the Asia-Pacific region will have the largest share in this growth.
Lead image courtesy of Beyond Meat.